Jack Sparrow role was originally written for Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman Jack Sparrow

In a turn of serendipity, Johnny Depp almost never got to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the 'Pirates of the Carribean' franchise. Who would have thought? The role was originnaly written with Hugh Jackman in mind. Jackman, still not a big star back then by any measure, lost out to Depp after the Disney brass made some bold choices with Depp.

So how would Hugh Jackman have played Sparrow? Probably in a very Errol Flynn kind of way.

Speaking at the Advance Lounge Chair series this week, Stuart Beattie (who is credited as one of the "Story By" writers for "Black Pearl") said, "I initially wrote that character with Hugh Jackman in mind." Just how committed was he to the idea of casting Jackman? He named the character Jack in his honor. But according to Beattie, Disney didn't think Jackman was a big enough star, eventually going with Depp, who at the point had only had one $100 million movie to his credit: "Sleepy Hollow."

But whereas in earlier cases of an actor getting passed over for a big role -- like Eric Stoltz in "Back to the Future" -- we don't need to feel sad for Jackman or lament the glorious career he could have had. Jackman's doing just fine: He's busy currently working on "Wolverine" with "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky and is a Tony-winning Broadway actor. (Ironically, one of his biggest duds was "Australia," which was co-written by Beattie.)


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