Tom Hardy is an Oscar-nominated actor with superhero looks—so it’s hardly surprising that he has starred in two comic book films. The first role was Bane in DC’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and his second was in 2018’s Venom, playing the titular Marvel character. Now, it turns out that he almost starred in a third superhero movie, where he would have played one of Marvel's most iconic characters.

Matthew Vaughn, who directed 2011’s X-Men: First Class, recently spoke with ComingSoon on his plans for the franchise that didn’t come to pass. Among the filmmaker's many revelations was the fact that he wanted Tom Hardy to play a younger version of Hugh Jackman's iconic Wolverine.

"When I finished the Days of Future Past script, with it ready to go, I looked at it and said, 'I really think it would be fun to cast Tom Hardy or someone as the young Wolverine and then bring it all together at the end,'" Vaughn said, according to ComicBook.com. "Fox read Days of Future Past and went 'Oh, this is too good! We’re doing it now!' And I said, 'Well what do you do next? Trust me, you’ve got nowhere to go.' Then they did Apocalypse and it’s like … If you flip that ’round, even it would have been better. Hollywood doesn’t understand pacing. Their executives are driving 100 miles per hour looking in the rear-view mirror and not understanding why they crash."

Vaughn attributes his creative differences with Fox as one of the reasons he exited the X-Men series. “My plan was First Class, then the second film was new young Wolverine in the 70s to continue those characters, my version of the X-Men. So you’d really get to know all of them, and my finale was gonna be Days of Future Past,” he recalled.

Now that Jackman has officially retired from playing the role of Wolverine, after one last go in the Oscar-nominated film Logan (2017), fans have been speculating about who could portray the mutant next. Recently, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg told GamesRadar he’d like to see Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden or Tom Hardy in the role. To make things even more interesting, Jackman himself suggested Hardy as his successor back in 2015.

While Hardy is already occupied with the Marvel role of Eddie Brock/Venom, it’s important to note that the character is owned by Sony, and is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Disney’s recent purchase of Fox, the next Wolverine, whenever the character is revisited, will appear in the MCU. We’re sure fans could get behind Hardy with adamantium claws.