Viggo Mortensen Explains Why He Turned Down Wolverine Role
There was a time where Viggo Mortensen was in talks to portray Wolverine on the big screen in 2000’s X-Men. And one major reason why the Danish-American actor refused the role — which, ultimately, went to Hugh Jackman — is Mortensen’s son, Henry. While talking with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Mortensen elaborated on his meeting with X-Men director Bryan Singer. Apparently, Henry read the script for his father’s Wolverine and found it an inaccurate adaptation.
“The thing that bothered me at the time was just the commitment of endless movies of that same character over and over,” he confessed (via EW). “And also there were some things — I mean, they straightened most of them out, but I did take Henry to the meeting I had with the director as my sort of good luck charm and guide. In the back of my mind, I was thinking he could learn something, too, because I did let Henry read the script and he goes, ‘This is wrong. That’s not how it is.'”
Besides his son’s skepticism, Mortensen didn’t want to commit himself to a franchise at the time. Ironically, he changed his mind when he was offered the role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
“All of a sudden, the director is falling all over himself and then the rest of the meeting was him explaining in detail to Henry why he was taking certain liberties,” the actor added. “We walked out of there, and Henry asks if he will change the things he told him about, and I say, ‘I don’t think so. I’m not going to do it anyway, because I’m not sure I want to be doing this for years. And then, a couple of years later, I’m doing three Lord of the Rings [movies] so who knows.”
Over the years, Mortensen reiterated his choice to not play the same character in different movies. In Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, he was offered the chance to return as the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, but he turned down the role after pointing out that the character didn’t appear in the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.
How do you think Viggo Mortensen would have fared as Wolverine? Let us know your guess in the comments section below.
Recommended Reading: Wolverine: Origin – The Complete Collection