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Hugh Jackman was initially rejected as Wolverine for being 'too tall': Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige

He was hired back after Scottish actor Dougray Scott dropped out at the last minute, according to Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 09:25 IST

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Los Angeles: Hugh Jackman was initially rejected for the role of Wolverine as the Australian actor was deemed too tall to play the mutant superhero.

He was hired back after Scottish actor Dougray Scott dropped out at the last minute, according to Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige.

Scott was initially set to played the clawed superhero in the 20th Century Fox mutant franchise, Jackman flew to Toronto to audition for the lead role of Wolverine but Tom Cruise did not want the actor to play both the villain in "Mission: Impossible 2" and Wolverine. Scott opted out of the role and the team decided to bring the Australian actor back.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Feige, who was an assistant to producer Lauren Shuler Donner at the time, shared what went behind the scenes before Jackman was hired.

“There was a scramble to get our Wolverine. Lauren was very excited about this Australian guy, who had been rejected initially. In my memory, one of the main reasons was that he was too tall. Wolverine in the comics is called ‘Lil’ Fireplugs’ sometimes. He’s a short guy. But they were desperate.”

Jackman, who is 6 foot three inches tall, was flown into Toronto for another audition, but after the reading he did with screenwriter Tom DeSanto and director Bryan Singer, the actor thought he didn't stand a chance. Not wanting to send Jackman “out into the cold,” Feige bought him dinner before taking him to the airport.

"I said, ‘Kevin, we all know I’m not getting the part. You don’t have to do dinner',"Jackman said to EW.

"But no, he sat in there and had a steak dinner with me and then drove me to the airport. I'll never forget it. That was the nicest thing. I thought, I'll never see him again.”

But Jackman was unaware about what was happening behind the scenes with Scott's exit at the last moment.

Jackman had announced his retirement from the character after 2017's "Logan" but he reunites with Feige for the upcoming "Deadpool & Wolverine" as Fox merged with Disney in 2020.

He also gets to collaborate with Ryan Reynolds, who has been trying to convince Jackman to return as Wolverine for years.

"The notion that, all these years later, we’re in a world where [Jackman] is Wolverine, and Deadpool and all of those X-Men characters are together under the same roof, is a pretty amazing quarter-of-a-century experience,” said Feige.

"Deadpool & Wolverine" releases on July 26.

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Published 08 July 2024, 09:25 IST

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