The role of Wolverine has made Hugh Jackman world famous, but according to the actor, it didn't originally look that way to some of the actor's friends in Hollywood. Fox has made 10 X-Men movies since then and all have had varying degrees of success. However, the first few movies were huge and Jackman was warned that he should jump ship before the first movie even hit theaters. Thankfully, Hugh Jackman did not take his friend's advice seriously and decided to stay on as the menacing Wolverine, becoming synonymous with the character.
Hugh Jackman recently sat down with Variety to promote The Greatest Showman and revealed that a friend in Hollywood gave him some pretty bad advice before the first X-Men movie made its debut in the theaters. According to Jackman's friend, there were bad things being said about the movie at the time, which may have more to do with director Bryan Singer than anything. But, the movie came out and was a huge success, reigniting the superhero genre for the big screen. Hugh Jackman had this to say about his first turn as Wolverine.
"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."
X-Men premiered on July 12th, 2000 at Ellis Island and went on to earn nearly $300 million at the global box office. The success of the movie led to sequels and spin-offs as well as the reemergence of the superhero genre as a whole. The movie was praised by fans and critics and is still looked back as a strong reintroduction to the X-Men, even by hardcore comic book fans. Some have even hailed it as the best superhero movie of all time, so it's definitely a good thing that Hugh Jackman avoided the early advice that he had been given.
In the year 2000, comic book movies were not looked at the way they are now. There was no Dark Knight trilogy, there were no Avengers movies. The stench of Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin from 1997 still lingered in the memories of comic book fans, so it's not a stretch to believe that the original X-Men movie could have bombed. There were definite talks about the movie being a gamble, but the gamble paid off for Hugh Jackman and opened the door for the superhero movies as we know them today.
Hugh Jackman recently retired from the role of Wolverine, leaving fans saddened and fiercely protective of what the actor was able to achieve as the iconic Logan character. The next actor to step into the adamantium skeleton is going to have some mighty big shoes to fill. Jackman is currently starring in The Greatest Showman, showing off another facet of his many talents and he's more than happy to leave the X-Men franchise in the rearview mirror after dominating as Wolverine for nearly two decades. You can see what Hugh Jackman had to say about ditching X-Men early on courtesy of Variety's YouTube channel below.