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Viggo Mortensen reveals why he turned down the Wolverine role

  • Published at 12:47 pm February 8th, 2021
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Hugh Jackman, Viggo Mortensen Collected

The role eventually went to Hugh Jackman, who has been recognized as having 'the longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero' 

Forever etched in our memory as the heir of Isildur - Aragorn, from the Lord of the Rings franchise, Viggo Mortensen could have also been the eternally tortured, widely beloved Wolverine. 

In a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Mortensen explained why he turned down the much-coveted role.

"The thing that bothered me at the time was just the commitment of endless movies of that same character over and over. I was nervous about that."

Viggo also recalled taking his son, a comic book fan, to the meeting with X-Men director Bryan Singer. 

"I did take Henry to the meeting I had with the director as my sort of good luck charm and guide. In the back of my mind I was thinking he could learn something too, because I did let Henry read the script and he goes ‘This is wrong, that’s not how it is.'”

Mortensen recalled the director asking if Henry knew the character. “And he goes ‘yeah, but he doesn’t look like this,'” Mortensen added.

“And all of a sudden the director is falling all over himself and then the rest of the meeting was him explaining in detail to Henry why he was taking certain liberties. We walked out of there, and Henry asks if he will change the things he told him about, and I say I don’t think so. I’m not going to do it anyway, because I’m not sure I want to be doing this for years, and then a couple of years later I’m doing 3 ‘Lord Of The Rings’ so who knows.”

The role eventually went to Hugh Jackman, who has been recognized as having 'the longest career as a live action Marvel superhero.'  

 “I think he did great. I’m sure no one could imagine anyone doing it better than he did anyway," Mortensen said.