The first X-Men movie, as in the action movie released in 2000, was edited down quite a bit for theatres. Wolverine star Hugh Jackman believes that a week prior to coming out, it was almost a full hour longer.
In a recent interview with Collider, Jackman was asked which of his movies changed most between edits. He answers with X-Men, and explains that the mutant blockbuster was once quite the epic adventure movie. “I’m probably speaking out of school, but a week before it came out, I think it was 47 minutes longer,” he says. “It was a lot. And maybe the week is an exaggeration, but what we shot on, I remember going, ‘What happened to that scene and that character/ what? Wait, whoa.’ That movie from memory is about 100 minutes, I think. It was a lot longer, a lot longer, so that was definitely a big surprise to me.”
Jackman’s memory serves him well, X-Men was just over 100 minutes when it came out. Adding 47 minutes would inexorably change just about any film, and it’s hard to imagine what kind of substantial changes that footage would’ve brought. We may never know, and it’s likely a good thing too, since two-and-a-half hours probably wouldn’t have helped the movie any. Jackman recalls hopes weren’t high, either.
“They were like, ‘Make sure you got another job. The word on the street is they’re seeing it as a dud. And it’s OK. At the moment, you’re a lead in a movie in Hollywood, right? Don’t tell them it’s a comic book. That means nothing. Just say you’re a lead in the movie, and you’re at least going to get auditions, and then try and book something before it comes out, and they’ll give you one more shot’,” he says. “I remember getting that advice, and I’m like, ‘All right, let’s get auditioning’.”
Between the DCEU and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s safe to say comic books mean something now. Jackman recently teased one last go as Wolverine for the MCU in a vague Instagram post. The multiverse from the Loki ending means anything in possible in Marvel Phase 4, especially with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Jackman is currently promoting Reminiscence, a science fiction movie where he plays a “private investigator of the mind” who becomes obsessed with a new client. Written, directed, and co-produced by Lisa Joy, it’s in theatres in the UK now.