Gladiator and The Mummy star Russell Crowe was “insulted” by Deadpool and Cable co-creator Rob Liefeld’s invitation to audition for the time-traveling mutant, Liefeld said during an Amazing Las Vegas Comic-Con panel (via Collider).
“One night before I went to bed,” Liefeld recalled, “I didn't know Russell Crowe was on Twitter, and I stupidly tweeted to Russell Crowe — not ever thinking he'd answer me — and I go, ‘Hey Russell, you should read for Cable!’”
“That didn't turn out very well, I got yelled at a lot, because I woke up — because he's in Australia — to Russell Crowe saying, ‘Read for it?!’, and my manager said, ‘Yeah... Russell Crowe doesn't read for parts, Rob. You kind of insulted him,’” Liefeld said.
He explained: “I’m like, ‘I’m sorry! They just haven’t picked Cable yet so I’m just putting it out there.’ And then my phone rings, so some Fox people may or may not have yelled at me for an hour.”
The role eventually went to Avengers: Infinity War star Josh Brolin, who signed a four-movie contract and boarded the franchise in May’s $700 million-plus grosser Deadpool 2.
Despite receiving acclaim for his turn as the metal-armed mutant mercenary, Brolin told USA Today he’s driven to “redeem” himself and improve his performance when he returns alongside Ryan Reynolds in the X-Force movie.
“I do like the way it turned out. But I thought it could have been better,” Brolin said of his performance. “But then it clicked. I got to know [Ryan Reynolds] better. I trust him more. And we started this volley where it was like, 'This is actually fun.’”
“I literally want to redeem myself to myself,” he explained. “I want to do a better version of what I do.”
Crowe, meanwhile, starred as Jor-El, father of Superman, in 2013’s Man of Steel, and his latest attempted franchise entry — 2017’s Tom Cruise-led The Mummy — was considered a disappointment with $409 million worldwide.
Before fellow Australian Hugh Jackman starred as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men, Crowe nearly landed the role — but passed on it because of his role as Maximus in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.
Crowe then suggested to X-Men director Bryan Singer he look at Jackman, who won the role and starred in Fox’s X-verse in a 17-year tenure.
The studio next re-teams Reynolds and Brolin in X-Force, under writer-director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale). The project has yet to stake a release date.