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Why Russell Crowe Turned Down Wolverine Role

We certainly weren't expecting this explanation.

During an appearance on the Australian morning show Fitzy and Wippa, Russell Crowe finally dished on why he turned down the role of Wolverine in Bryan Singer's 2000 X-Men movie. 

The actor was director Singer's top choice to play the adamantium-clawed mutant, but he declined the offer and turned Singer's attention to another Aussie: Hugh Jackman. As fans know, Jackman jumped at the chance to play Wolverine, reprising the iconic character several times over the next 17 years; his most recent appearance was in James Mangold's Logan.

That could've been Crowe, but one odd reason put him off the character for good. Crowe explained that he said no to playing Wolverine because he didn't want to resemble the wolf companion of his Gladiator character, Maximus. 

"Bryan [Singer] was a friend at the time and he was really putting the pressure on. If you remember, [Gladiator's] Maximus has a wolf at the center of his cuirass, and he has a wolf as his companion... which I thought was going to be a bigger deal [at the time]," Crowe stated. "So I said no, because I didn't want to be "wolfy," like "Mr. Wolf."

So, the reason Crowe turned his cheek to the part of Wolverine was down to a sort of forgotten-about animal friend. We could understand his reasoning if he was tapped to play, let's say, a sentient tree. Turning that role down to steer clear of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy comparisons makes total sense, but Crowe's logic in this case is undoubtedly strange. 

Thankfully, however, Crowe's career didn't suffer from his decision. We only wish we could say the same for these other actors who turned down major movie roles.