In an interview with EW, Jackman mentioned he got the role of Wolverine because of his Les Miserables co-star Russell Crowe.
“Russell and I actually became very close friends,” said Jackman. “We were good friends before. We knew each other a lot. And Russell has given me advice several times at key moments in my life that helped with my career. I also owe him because two of the biggest roles I’ve ever had in my life, he turned down – and suggested me for them.”
When asked which ones those were he replied: “On X-Men, he was Bryan Singer’s first choice for Wolverine, and he mentioned me also for [Baz Luhrmann’s] Australia. He really is incredibly smart, and generous. It was a joy to work with him. The whole cast it was a great sense of ensemble. We all had that feeling it was going to take everything.“
Since his first appearance as the character in 2000’s X-Men, he’s gone on to reprise his role in both sequels (X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand), a prequel film (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), a cameo in the reboot (X-Men: First Class) and another upcoming solo film, simply titled The Wolverine.
Based on the celebrated comic book arc, The Wolverine finds Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. The Wolverine will hit theaters July 26, 2013.