Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

dougray scott wolverine Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

Dougray Scott as Wolverine

Not far behind the Spider-Man franchise is X-Men, which really paved the way for the superhero genre in the 21st century after Batman and Robin ripped it to shreds at the end of the 20th. However, would X-Men have been such a success without Hugh Jackman anchoring the role of Logan, aka Wolverine?

Dougray Scott, the Scottish actor, was actually hired to play the Canadian wildman with the super-sideburns when director Bryan Singer was assembling his mutant team for X-Men in 1999. Scott was ultimately forced to pull out just as they began filming, due to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible II.

In stepped the multi-talented Jackman, who grabbed the film by the scruff of the neck and got himself a Hollywood career, including his own spin-off film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Jackman talked about taking over from Scott during a 2003 interview:

“I have spoken to him, I didn’t quite have the guts to say thank you, I kind of apologized more to him … he said ‘Ah, that’s Hollywood, these things happen’.”

Legend has it that before Scott and Jackman were cast, Gary Sinise, Russell Crowe, Viggo Mortensen, Aaron Eckhart and even Jean-Claude van Damme were also considered for the role of Wolverine, while Fox Studios reportedly wanted Keanu Reeves (shows what they know).

Jim Caviezel as Cyclops

jim caviezel cyclops Dodged Bullets: 14 Actors Who Were Almost Superheroes

While Patrick Stewart was understandably the only actor considered for the part of wheelchair-bound Professor Xavier in Bryan Singer’s X-Men, the early contenders for the role of Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) were said to be Thomas Jane, Johnny Lee Miller, Eric Mabius, Owen Wilson, Edward Burns, Edward Norton and Jude Law, with Jim Caviezel actually winning out.

However, much like Dougray Scott, Caviezel was forced to drop out due to a prior engagement – Frequency with Dennis Quaid.  The role of Cyclops then went to James Marsden, and with it, platform shoes so Marsden wouldn’t look so short in comparison to the likes of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Tyler Mane (Sabretooth).

Caviezel probably didn’t miss much – and may have been the one who dodged the bullet – considering that Scott Summers/Cyclops’ involvement in the X-Men series diminished more and more with each film, though his lack of screen-time in X-Men: The Last Stand was the result of Marsden’s own decision to switch comic book camps – from the Marvel universe to DC – to play Lois Lane’s fiancee in Superman Returns.

Ironically Caviezel would eventually play a ‘superhero’ of another kind – Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which in turn led to director Bryan Singer to disqualify him from the race to play the Man of Steel in Superman Returns. Apparently Singer didn’t want Jesus playing Superman.

Caviezel said as much in a recent interview:

“I first saw Superman with Christopher Reeve and I just thought that he set the standard there. The first one, the (Richard) Donner film, was amazing. But (Caviezel’s involvement in Singer’s new Superman) just never came to be … I think that by playing Jesus made them stay away from that, as there was too much attention drawn to it.”

Speaking of Superman…

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TAGS: batman, captain america, iron man, iron man 2, iron man 3, spider-man, superman, superman man of steel, the avengers, the dark knight rises

73 Comments

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  1. Kansas;Wichita

  2. Ah man,,,,,that was a good laugh!!! Epic!!!
    ^

    Nothing, I’m sorry to bother you, Nandrolone-Decanate.
    Ah. ;-O

  3. wtf K?

  4. the manips are gold, man. gold.

  5. You know Thomas Jane was also up for the Wolverine role. In fact Singer wanted him, but Fox wouldn’t let him hire Jane unless there was a screen test, of which Jane couldn’t do because of scheduling another film at the time.

    Here’s the interview where, Jane talks about it.

    http://www2.kisw.com/listen/thomas-jane-0

  6. Mihovil, I think Jackman was perfect for Wolverine!

    Jane is a good actor, but doesn’t have the wild look Hugh can pull off.

    :-)

    I think the X-Men films would have sucked without him.

  7. I liked Jackman as Wolverine too, I just found it interesting that Jane was basically a hair away from being cast. While, I do think Jane could have pulled off playing Wolverine, I thought he was much better suited as the Punisher.

  8. Ah I agree Mihovil, Jane was great as Punisher!

    I liked the recent directors cut Dvd release.

  9. You know, I’m really glad Tim Burton (crappy excuse for an artsy director) didn’t get to make Superman. Otherwise, Superman would have had hands for scissors, his girl would be goth and Johnny Depp would play the villain or Superman, which of course, would be dressed in black. Very original if you ask me /sarcasm. Why Tim Burton makes movies even today is beyond me.

  10. I loved this article!

    But there are several, well-documented cases that I think are worth mentioning that were left out:

    Charlie Sheen lobbied for the role of Spider-Man when the film was being developed in the early ’90s, Tom Cruise was also interested. Stan Lee wanted to play J. Jonah, and said in a raido interview that John Cusack was up for Peter Parker. John Malkovich, Nicolas Cage, and Robert De Niro were all offered the roll of the Green Goblin during Raimi’s run. Heath Ledger was the first choice to play Spider-Man at one point, he rejected the studio’s offers fearing typecasting.

    Glenn Danzig (of The Misfits) was set to play Wolverine in a low-budget one-shot X-Men film in the early ’90s because of his height (5’4″) and toned build. Russell Crowe was offered the role in a later production but declined. Angela Bassett had been offered the role of Storm.

    Tim Burton considered Pierce Brosnan, Keven Costner, Kevin Kline, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Selleck for Batman, among others. Willem Dafoe has gone on record stating he was in talks to play Batman early in production, despite rumors he was in the running to play the Joker. David Bowie, Tim Curry, John Lithgow, James Woods, John Glover, Ray Liotta, and Robin Williams were all considered for the Joker.

    Marlon Wayans was actually cast as Robin in Batman Returns & Burtons proposed third film. While promoting GI Joe, he said he still gets residual checks, even though he part was cut.

    Guy Pearce was offered the role of Daredevil (which would have been awesome – fingers crossed for the reboot…), Matt Damon and Edward Norton were also considered.

  11. Last year, I remember reading a story about how a reporter who had an appointment to interview Jason Statham (The Transporter) at Cannes had to interview him at table where he was meeting with Frank Miller (Sin City). Apprently, dispite Stathams obvious Cockney accent, Miller want him to play Daredevil in much darker, more violent reboot. I think, that if Statham could nail the accent he’d be brilliant in the role.

    • Not just the accent, PHOENIX80…he’d HAVE to get a toupee, as Matt Murdock is not bald, but Statham IS a bit sparse on the rooftop…

      • That’s very true. If they set it near the end of his crime fighting career they could work around it, (make out like he’s getting on a bit) but they’d still have to work around that accent. “Oeem t man witout Feeeeaar!”

  12. Rem pretty much got all the ones I can think of. Lets not forget Will Smith Being considered for Captain America. Back in The 90′s Captain movie they offered the part to Arnold Swartzenager but then changed there minds do to hi accent. They also asked Val Kilmer who later on played Batman. Christian Bale auditioned for the role of Robin in Batman Forever and was turned down. Just to add to Matt Damon playing Daredevil(that would be awesome) It was a script written by Kevin Smith who was the Current Writer of the comic and Robert Rodriguez Directing. They all eventually dropped because of the unnecessarily high budget.

  13. Another near-miss was Lyle Waggoner as Batman instead of Adam West.

  14. “Cruise, on the other hand, may have made Stark just an asshole. Sorry Tom.”

    That was LOL funny…

  15. … and, from what I undestand, Prince lobbied pretty hard for the original Joker

  16. Wow! Christopher Reeve, Tom Welling, and Brandon Routh all the way!!!

  17. Always knew Will Smith was a racist

    • I hope you’re joking.

      • …because he is 100% correct with what he said.

        I mean my goodness the comments section of this site is evidence of that!?!

  18. You forgot to mention Jack Black as Green Lantern! Ugh….that would have been awful.

  19. I’d be just FINE in a world without Christian Bale Batman—as well as one without Christian Bale—PERIOD. Just a huge bloated ego, overrated waste of space. Total diva. But no one but Downey could be Tony Stark. Tom Cruise is okay, but not in that role.

  20. I feel neither one way nor another about Tom Cruise, and I think RDJ is definitely the superior actor of the two, but I need to point out that RDJ could also be considered a “midget” in the same vein as Cruise. They are both about 5’6″…just sayin…

  21. And I may be alone in my thinking, but I think John Krazinski would have made a perfect Steve Rogers. *swoon*

    As for Halle Berry, I agree that see is a zero talent moron skating by on her looks. Just listen to any interview that she’s ever done if you don’t believe me. Catwoman is by far my favorite comic book character, abduction I refuse to recognize that abomination of a movie she made by that name. She was NEVER Catwoman as far as I’m concerned. *HISSSSS!!* lol

    End of rant. ;)

  22. AND* not abduction lol

  23. The weird one is Jake Gyllenhaal as Batman. With that voice? No. Now, Daredevil on the other hand, I could totally see him as.

  24. They shouldve used Angela Basset as Storm

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