But the actor was told by a friend that the movie would not be the smashing success that it was, kickstarting a 17-year run with the character.
While speaking with Willem Dafoe as part of Variety's "Actors on Actors" series, Jackman relayed a story of some advice a colleague gave him before the first X-Men movie premiered in 2000. Check it out in the video above!
"I remember finishing the first movie, and a mate of mine who was in Hollywood- who was a player in Hollywood, he goes, 'Dude, I've heard not very good things about the movie. You really should book something else before it comes out,'" recalled Jackman. "So there was about a four month gap. He goes, 'Just make sure you got something else because when it comes out, you're back down at the bottom of the pile again.'"
Of course, X-Men premiered in that summer and became the highest-grossing opening weekend for a superhero film at the time, surpassing Batman Forever, and kickstarting Marvel Studios' hopes for various franchises.
"Happily, he was wrong," Jackman said of his friend.
After Batman & Robin came out in 1997, the superhero genre was all but dead. X-Men reignited fans' passions for cape stories. Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Batman Begins, and more franchise quickly followed.
"No one really knew, there was no comic book genre," Jackman said. "Comic book movies were really not around at the time."
Jackman has had one of the most successful tenures in the genre, recently wrapping up earlier this year with the release of his third solo movie, Logan. Though he's not likely to snikt the ole' adamantium any time soon, he still has a legacy that's unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
Jackman can currently be seen in The Greatest Showman, now playing in theaters.