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Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen explains why he turned down playing Wolverine in X-Men

(Image credit: New Line)

Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has explained why he turned down playing Wolverine in Bryan Singer's X-Men. 

On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, when asked if he regretted passing on the Wolverine role, Mortensen said: "I don't, no. I think [Hugh Jackman] did great, no one can imagine anyone doing it better than he did anyway."

Mortensen continued: "I think the thing that bothered me at the time was just the commitment of endless movies of that same character over and over. I was nervous about that, I think. And also, there were some things, I mean they did straighten most of them out."

He recalled explaining to his son, who he'd brought along to a meeting with Singer, why he was passing on the role. "I'm not gonna do it anyway... because I'm not sure that I want to be doing this for years."

He added with a laugh: "And then, you know, a couple of years later I'm doing three Lord of the Rings, so who knows." Mortensen then reflected, "But there was something about The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien, the source material, and Tolkien's own source material which has always been of interest to me."

The role of Wolverine eventually went to Jackman, who ended up playing the role across almost two decades, in major and cameo appearances throughout the X-Men universe, culminating in Logan.

We'll next see Middle Earth in Amazon Prime Video's Lord of the Rings TV show, which currently doesn't have a release date. As for the X-Men, we can expect them to arrive to the MCU at some point, but their entrance to the Marvel movies is shrouded in mystery at the moment. Right now, though, WandaVision is streaming on Disney Plus – and you can check out our WandaVision release schedule to find out exactly when you can catch each new episode. 

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.