Two of the biggest movie franchises of the 2000s, ‘X-Men’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’ very nearly lost one of their key players – all because of one Tom Cruise movie.

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It’s fairly well-known that ‘Mission: Impossible II’ robbed the original ‘X-Men’ of one of its intended stars, as Dougray Scott – who starred opposite Cruise as villain Sean Ambrose – was the first choice to play Wolverine, until shooting overran on the John Woo-directed spy sequel, forcing him to relinquish the role to Hugh Jackman.

However, Sir Ian McKellen has revealed that he too was offered a role in ‘Mission: Impossible II’ – and had he accepted, he would almost certainly have missed out on his two biggest film roles as Magneto and Gandalf.

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