Aussie transplant Hugh Jackman enjoys big Stateside stardom thanks to his roles as Wolverine in the X-Men movies and Peter Allen in Broadway's The Boy from Oz. Still, the 35-year-old hunk hesitated about taking his latest high-profile part as a supernatural crime-fighter in Van Helsing (opening May 7). Hmm... A fat paycheck for doing a big-budget action flick — what's for a working actor not to like?

"After X-Men 2, I was going to do a smaller independent movie," Jackman says. "I was a bit reluctant to be in another big, franchise-type, summer popcorn movie. I feared to go down that road. They take a long time [to make]. It's a year of your life.

"Then, of course, there could be X-Men 3, then Van Helsing 2," he adds. "That could be my film life. [Van Helsing director] Stephen Sommers told me that I am probably the only actor to worry about being in two successful franchises!"

Jackman seems to have taken his boss's words to heart, since he wants to adopt another serial character: James Bond. After all, Pierce Brosnan isn't yet signed up to play 007 again, so the job's up for grabs. "I'm just starting rumors about it," he laughs. "I mentioned it in Australia and they're taking it as gospel. I don't think there is man who would not want to play Bond one day. But there is nothing official, and I haven't been offered anything."