Today is a major milestone for X-Men fans as July 14th marks the 20th anniversary since the release of 2000’s X-Men in cinemas. Fox’s franchise may have had some highs and lows over the two decades since, but we have a lot to thank it for. Top of the list is Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Though not an obvious match for the short, stocky comic book character, the Australian star made the part his own and is now considered one of the most beloved superhero movie performers.
Jackman took the time to celebrate the 20th birthday of his big breakout role today by sharing a BTS video from the set of the film on social media. “So here’s the thing. When the studio called and asked if I could get in shape to play #Wolverine in 3 weeks. I might have over promised!” Jackman joked in his tweet. “But wouldn’t you have too? Happy 20th Anniversary X-Men Universe.”
As you can see below, the fun clip features a shirtless Jackman messing around in between takes in the vaults of the X-Mansion. Whoever’s shooting the video holds a Wolverine action figure and captures a rare Logan vs. Logan brawl.
So here’s the thing. When the studio called and asked if I could get in shape to play #Wolverine in 3 weeks. I might have over promised! But wouldn’t you have too? Happy 20th Anniversary X-Men Universe. #Xmen #20 pic.twitter.com/bwQJnmyZBI
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) July 14, 2020
As fans may know, Jackman wasn’t the original choice for the part. Scottish actor Dougray Scott was initially hired to play Wolverine, but he ultimately elected to pull out of the project to do Mission: Impossible 2. The part then fell to Jackman who, as he says above, only had a brief time to get in shape. If you go back and watch the movie, or pay close attention in the video above, you can see that the star’s nowhere near as ripped as he is in later appearances.
Jackman last took on the role in 2017’s Logan. The mainline X-Men series then came to a close last year with Dark Phoenix. One last entry into the universe is still to come, though, in the form of The New Mutants. There’s much speculation that it won’t make its August release date, but hopefully it does arrive this year to conclude the franchise on its 20th anniversary.