While Hugh Jackman became an integral part of Fox’s X-Men series, the Australian actor reveals he was warned that Bryan Singer’s X-Men in 2000 was going to be a box office flop.
Fox has now gifted us 10 X-Men movies – nine of which starred Jackman – so it is hard to imagine the series not reaching the heights that it has today. As the seventh-highest-grossing franchise in all of cinematic history, the world of Charles Xavier’s gifted youngsters and beyond is not an entity that wants to be trifled with. As for X-Men, it earned an impressive $293 million off its $75 million budget and is still held as one of the best superhero movies.
However, while it was a story of triumph and genre-defining success, Jackman said that he was once told to jump ship before X-Men even hit cinemas. Speaking to Variety the 49-year-old reveals how he once ignored some very foolish advice:
“I remember finishing the first movie, and a mate of mine who was in Hollywood, he goes, ‘Dude, I’ve heard not very good things about the movie. You really should book something else before it comes out.’ So, there was about a 4-month gap, he goes, ‘Just make sure you got something else, because when it comes out you’re back down at the bottom of the pile again, you know?’ Happily, he was wrong, but no one really knew, there was no comic book genre. Comic book movies were really not around at the time.”
These days, comic book movies are something of a big deal, but back before the might of the MCU or Christopher Nolan’s gritty Dark Knight trilogy, taking heroes and villain from page to screen was a risky move to make. X-Men is often credited with starting the superhero movie boom of the noughties, so whoever told Jackman to give up is presumably eating their words about now.
Although you might argue that the main X-Men movies aren’t what they used to be thanks to the likes of 2016’s Apocalypse, Singer’s first two entries are held in pretty high regard. Even though Jackman was only just starting to get used to his adamantium claws, X-Men and X2 were what cemented him in the iconic role. With that bouffant haircut courtesy of Kevin Feige, and not a glimpse of yellow and black lycra in sight, the Wolverine from Singer’s first foray is a million miles away from the character that ended his swansong in Logan.
Although Jackman may have put down those claws for good, Disney’s recent acquisition of the X-Men means that those marvelous mutants are surely only just beginning their domination of the box office. Sure, the series may be changing hands to the House of Mouse, but expect the legacy that Singer, Jackman, and the rest of the cast lay down in 2000 to still be a blueprint for the future of the X-Men.
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