Hollywood stars who quit film franchises that made them famous

Apr 05, 2015, 08:00 IST | Nikshubha Garg

With Hugh Jackman reportedly bidding farewell to the 'Wolverine' character, we list other actors who quit film franchises that were once an important part of their career

Hugh Jackman

Brace yourself. After more than a decade, Hugh Jackman is ready to hang up his adamantium claws and bid the Wolverine days goodbye. Last month, the actor posted a picture of the trademark claws on Instagram and captioned it: “Wolverine...one last time, HJ”. Since then, speculations have been rife that the actor who plays the clawed mutant in the X-Men franchise, will not stick around for much longer. However, it remains unclear whether Jackman will make his final appearance in X-Men:  Apocalypse which is scheduled for a 2016 release or save it for The Wolverine 3 which is expected to make it’s way to the theatres in 2017. We give you a lowdown of other actors who quit franchises which helped them scale heights in their career.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey: This one is a clear example of how sometimes it’s impossible to recreate the magic once the lead actor is replaced. Carrey, who garnered a lot of attention for essaying the role of Bruce Nolan, a down-on-his-luck TV reporter to gets a chance to become God for a week, refused to be a part of the sequel Evan Almighty. With actor Steve Carell on board for the sequel and Morgan Freeman reprising the role of God, the movie released in 2007. However, it failed to set the cash registers ringing at the box office. As a result, no further films in the series have been made since. A couple of years ago, however, a direct sequel to Bruce Almighty was announced, with Carrey returning to star. Let’s wait and watch as to how far into development this film is.

Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin: The star of Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was reserved for Home Alone 3 as well, when at 14, Culkin announced that he is quitting acting. Keen on keeping the franchise going, the makers signed on Alex D Linz for Home Alone 3 which had the same premise as the first two parts but with different actors. The actor (Culkin) however grew up surrounded by controversies, which included getting arrested for possession of marijuana in 2004 and defending Michael Jackson at the pop star’s molestation trial in 2005.

Micheal Keaton

Micheal Keaton:  Initially touted as a ‘wrong’ choice for playing the dark and brooding Batman given his prior work in comedies, the actor went on to garner praises from both critics and audience alike for his performances in Batman and Batman Returns. However, just before all was set for the actor to play Batman for the third time, director Tim Burton was dropped from the franchise resulting in Keaton’s withdrawal for the series. According to reports, he was dissatisfied with the screenplay approved by the new director, Joel Schumacher, which Keaton considered to be too lighthearted in tone.

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence: Last month, the actress announced that she would not be a part of X-Men franchise post X-Men Apocalypse. At the premiere of her film, Serena, she said, “It’s my last one actually.” Lawrence played Mystique in both X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past, having taken over the role from Rebecca Romjin in the first three films. Curious about the new Mystique? So are we.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon: If one talks of action films, The Bourne series would definitely be amongst the well-made ones. Damon who essayed the role of Jason Bourne, was synonymous with the franchise until he called it quits post the third instalment. He said in an interview, “If you look at the first three movies, we kind of pounded that idea of identity and amnesia into the ground. We really got everything out of it that we could. So to reboot it, we need to come up with something completely new.” The fourth instalment, The Bourne Legacy, which released in 2012 had Jeremy Renner in the lead and the storyline revolved around Agent Cross and not Jason Bourne.

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