Daniel Radcliffe is thoroughly debunking Wolverine casting rumors that have cropped up following jokey comments he made about the role. It took a long time for a film version of X-Men to hit the big screen, and the project went through various iterations. James Cameron was once set to produce a version directed by Kathryn Bigelow in the early 1990s, which had Bob Hoskins (Super Mario Bros) lined up to play Wolverine. Russell Crowe was Bryan Singer’s first choice for Wolverine during casting on the 2000 movie, but after he turned it down, Dougray Scott was hired. Schedule overruns on Mission: Impossible 2 forced Scott out of the role, leading to a then-unknown Hugh Jackman being cast instead.
A lot of fans reacted negatively to Jackman’s hiring, feeling he was miscast and way too tall. His performance won them over, however, and he would come to define the character for a generation of fans. After playing the role nine times, Jackman decided to hang up his claws with 2017’s Logan. This was a wise choice since both the film and his performance were praised. Despite fans hoping he could be convinced to return for a crossover with The Avengers or Deadpool, Jackman is sticking firmly to his retirement vow.
With the part now vacant, fans are speculating about who could inherit the mutton chops, and Daniel Radcliffe accidentally threw his name into the ring last week by making a joke about being cast in the role. In a new chat with IGN, Radcliffe seemed to lament how far his tongue-in-cheek Wolverine comment had gone.
This is what happens when you make jokes. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just start casting yourself in things by just saying them in interviews? So I guess people have been asking something about me and Wolverine, and I made a joke about [playing] Wolverine after being in a hot wash, like I’d been shrunk in a hot wash, and the internet seems to think that I was putting that out there on my dream board cosmic ordering system.
Later in the interview, he added, "But there’s no truth in it," just to underline his point. Radcliffe’s original comment was clearly intended to be a joke, but it took root surprisingly fast. Even fan artist BossLogic was quick to put together a picture showing what Radcliffe's take on Wolverine could look like. Since finishing his run with the Harry Potter franchise, Radcliffe has racked up an impressively divisive number of roles, appearing in everything from romantic comedies to dark dramas. In truth, he could be an interesting, left-field choice, but even if he was approached, he might be wary of signing on for another long commitment to a major franchise.
It seems increasingly likely the X-Men universe will be rebooted following the Fox/Disney deal, with Dark Phoenix and New Mutants likely to be the final entries in the current franchise. There are also reports the troubled New Mutants might bypass cinemas entirely and go straight to Hulu instead. The X-Men will almost certainly be rebooted within the MCU, where Kevin Feige will need to find the next Wolverine. Jackman has really come to define the part, so the next performer will have to work hard to win over the fanbase. Jon Bernthal and Zac Efron are two current favorites, but that’s likely a question Feige hasn’t had much time to contemplate just yet.