Jackman instead went on to portray Wolverine in eight more X-Men films, and capped off his 17 years as the character with 2017's Logan. At times, it seemed like Jackman would be playing the character (and working out relentlessly to do so) until he collapsed, but one of the longest-serving superhero actors of all time finally retracted his claws with Logan.
As well as discussing the what-could-have-beens of Bond, Jackman spoke of his one regret for Wolverine, a character he's chose to retire having played the Marvel mutant since the year 2000. But there was a time between "X-Men 3" and the first Wolverine movie when I could see the roles getting smaller. The main feeling I had was: 'There, that's the character.
Before Daniel Craig took over the iconic 007 role, Bond makers were looking to replace the franchise's former spy - Pierce Brosnan - with another popular face; and it was none other than Hugh Jackman. "And I was calm and at peace, but I'm going to miss that guy".
"I just felt at that time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and insane, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real".
So it's understandable that Jackman might not have wanted to be involved - even though he continued to star in the even-less plausible X-Men franchise, which is literally about superheroes.
Eventually, Daniel Craig stepped in to play James Bond with "Casino Royale" in 2006. "But I'm in the surgeon's office, and he's not letting me leave until I call you and say there's no way I can sing tomorrow'".
Jackman said that he's always wanted to try to do "different things" in his career, although he anxious about getting typecast between X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as the roles he started getting offered were becoming too similar. "I was also anxious that between Bond and X-Men, I'd never have time to do different things", Jackman added. Jackman was determined to keep variety in his career, though, and two megafranchises would have likely prevented that.
Variety has an in-depth interview with Hugh Jackman today in advance of the release of The Greatest Showman, his upcoming musical about P.T. Barnum, the founder of what would become the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.