Mission: Impossible II Star Says Tom Cruise Prevented Him From Playing Wolverine

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It’s difficult to imagine modern superhero cinema without Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. His performance was universally judged to be one of the best things about 2000’s X-Men, with Fox’s X-Universe acting as a rough prototype for the MCU. Jackman’s Wolverine was a near-constant presence throughout those movies, with his final turn in Logan proving to studios that an R-rated superhero film aimed at adults could be successful, thus helping pave the way for Joker.

But it all could have been so different. Dougray Scott was originally offered the part, only for him to realize that the shooting of X-Men would slightly overlap with Mission: Impossible II. Ordinarily, these kinds of clashes are resolved, with shooting schedules allowing actors to begin one film while finishing up another. But standing in the way was Tom Cruise, and Scott recently explained in an interview with The Telegraph exactly how it went down:

“That one was out of my control. Tom Cruise didn’t let me do it. We were doing Mission Impossible and he was like, ‘you’ve got to stay and finish the film’, and I said I will, but I’ll go and do that as well. For whatever reason he said I couldn’t. He was a very powerful guy. Other people were doing everything to make it work.”

And that was that. Hugh Jackman was cast (a decision described at the time by fans as “one of the world’s greatest horrible decisions“) and went on to a glittering multi-film career as Wolverine, winning over the hearts of audiences across the world. Meanwhile, Dougray Scott’s career didn’t exactly hit the skids, but he’s now primarily a TV actor and has appeared in The CW’s Batwoman as Colonel Kane.

I wonder if he lies awake at night and curses Tom Cruise for causing him to lose the role of a career. Well, at the very least, he doesn’t hold anything against Hugh Jackman, with Scott saying:

“I love what Hugh did with it. He’s a lovely guy.”

Any actor currently competing for the role of Wolverine in the MCU should probably pay attention to this cautionary tale.

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