It's the early 2000s and Hugh Jackman has exploded onto the scene following his appearance in X-Men as the legendary Wolverine. The world has also just witnessed the 22nd James Bond film, Die Another Day, which some people reckon tested the boundaries of the classic MI6 spy franchise - as well as the audience's patience.
With the Aussie actor's name on everyone's lips, he was reportedly tapped on the shoulder to become the next Agent 007. Becoming James Bond is a pretty big deal considering only seven men have played him on the big screen in the franchise's history - however, the allure clearly didn't ring too much with Jackman and he turned down the offer.
The 49-year-old has told Variety: "I was about to do X-Men 2 and a call came from my agent asking if I'd be interested in Bond.
Credit: X2 / 20th Century Fox
"I just felt at the time that the scripts had become so unbelievable and crazy, and I felt like they needed to become grittier and real. And the response was: 'Oh, you don't get a say. You just have to sign on.'"
Die Another Day proved a stretch too far for some people, with hindsight suggesting they found the overall effect of a satellite laser cannon, Bond surfing a ludicrously massive wave and a character switching from Asian to Caucasian to be a bit too much, altogether.
So it's understandable that Jackman might not have wanted to be involved - even though he continued to star in the even-less plausible X-Men franchise, which is literally about superheroes. He even plays a character who's virtually invulnerable and has retractable claws in his knuckles. C'mon!
Still, he adds that if he were to juggle both films it would have been hard for him to do other projects.
But little did Hugh realise that the next movie in the Bond series, Casino Royale, would strip the franchise down to the bare bones and focus more on the spy himself, as opposed to spectacular set pieces and outlandish gadgets.
Credit: Casino Royale/MGM/Colombia Pictures
The 2006 movie, starring Daniel Craig, obviously included those things, but it was a big shift away from the stuff viewers had seen with ever-increasing severity over the years. Craig has starred in Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre, which have ranged in commercial success.
He once said he'd prefer to 'slash his wrists' than do another one and yet he's signed up for the 26th Bond film, which is expected to be released in 2019.
Jackman doesn't appear to regret his decision to turn down the offer to become Pierce Brosnan's successor and instead is happy with the way he pulled off Wolverine. He told the magazine that he wished he was able to play the superhero earlier in his life and was sad when Logan brought the series to a close.
Featured Image Credit: PA / Warner Bros. Pictures