Before Daniel Craig was selected to take over for Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond, Hugh Jackman had been the media’s odds-on choice to inherit the killer tuxedo. In fact, the Aussie seemed to take great delight in fanning the flames, joking that he himself started the rumor of his playing 007 just to get his name in the mix. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to play James Bond?” he said back then. “I’ve always wanted to be 007. He’s the only British superhero.”
But in 2005, it was reported that Jackman had rejected an offer to play Bond because it might actually limit his burgeoning career. Recently, Jackman seemed to confirm the essence of those events. “I got a call from my agent saying, ‘There is some possible interest in you for Bond, are you interested?’” the Real Steel actor told the British Press Association. “At the time I wasn’t. I was about to shoot X-Men 2 and Wolverine had become this thing in my life and I didn’t want to be doing two such iconic characters at once.”
But then he added, “I think every male at some point thinks about playing James Bond so it was not right then, but it may be right if it comes back.”
Can’t we enjoy Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond a little more before we start measuring his successors? No? Okay, well if Jackman becomes Bond, he wouldn’t become the first actor to get the role the second time around. Both Roger Moore and Brosnan became Bond after earlier flirtations fell through. But since the current 007 is officially signed for at least two more Bond films, that means that the earliest that Jackman could slip into the suit is around 2015. Though Jackman’s conditioning is legendary, he would then be 46 years old – not ancient by Bond standards but five years older than Sean Connery was when the original Bond initially left the franchise.
Judging from their on-screen personas, Jackman might make a more sophisticated Bond than Craig, and in other ways, I see Jackman being closer to the Brosnan mold of spy. Plus, he could be the first Bond to sing his movie’s theme song!
What do you think? Is Jackman the Bond you’ve been waiting for? Is it awkward that Jackman is discussing the role while Craig – who he co-starred with in the 2009 Broadway production of A Steady Rain – is still in his prime?