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Viggo Mortensen turned down the chance to play Wolverine, and here’s why

The Lord of the Rings star missed out on the opportunity to join the X-Men, and it’s partly down to his son’s influence.

The two biggest nerdy franchises of the early noughties would probably have to be The Lord of the Rings and X-Men, the former of which led to a greater reappreciation of the fantasy genre, and the latter of which kickstarted the superhero craze that still dominates pop culture to this day.

Viggo Mortensen has just revealed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he had the opportunity to take the lead role in both of the cult series; but why did he opt for Andruil rather than Admantanium? There seem to be two main reasons.

Firstly, the actor was reluctant to take on such a long-term project, saying: “The thing that bothered me at the time was just the commitment of endless movies of that same character over and over”. If you count Hugh Jackman’s cameo in Deadpool 2 then he’s played the character in a total of ten films, which justifies these early reservations.

Additionally, his son had some influence in the final decision. Evidently a keen comic book fan, Mortensen took him along to an early meeting with the director Bryan Singer, who was unceremoniously taken to task by young Henry for the changes in appearance that had been made to the character, saying “‘This is wrong, that’s not how it is”. Considering that the original hero in the comics is only 5’3″ in height and wears a skintight blue and yellow costume, he certainly had a point.

This wasn’t the first major call that Henry made in his father’s career, having also persuaded him to take the iconic role of Aragorn at very short notice (filming had already begun when he was cast). His reward? A cameo as one of the young boys at the battle of Helm’s Deep.

So despite spurning the superhero spandex, we doubt that Viggo Mortensen feels too cut up about any potentially destructive effect on his career, having earned two Academy Award nominations for his recent roles in Captain Fantastic and Green Book. And could you really imagine anyone but Hugh Jackman as the metal-clawed mutant?

Let us know who you would have preferred in the role in our poll below…



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