One possible superhero casting that almost occurred twenty years ago was Russell Crowe as Wolverine for Bryan Singer's X-Men. The actor was reportedly a frontrunner for the part, but he ultimately turned it down because of the perceived similarities Maximus Aurelius' wolf motif from Gladiator. Crowe explained:
If you remember, Maximus has a wolf at the centre of his cuirass, and he has a wolf as his companion ... which I thought was going to be a bigger deal [at the time]. So I said no, because I didn't want to be 'wolfy', like 'Mr Wolf.'
During a recent appearance on Nova's Fizty and Wippa radio show (via News.com), Russell Crowe admitted that he was at one point considered for the role of Wolverine in the first X-Men movie. Although it was a seemingly perfect casting choice, he turned down the role because he felt that the wolf symbol of Maximus from Gladiator bore too much similarity to the Marvel character.Read more at Cinemablend