The image below may look like something from one of the stranger, more celebrity-obsessed corners of DeviantArt, but it is not. It is real. Frighteningly real. See, back in 1997, when the success of Braveheart was still fresh in everyone's mind (and three years before the X-Men would get the big-screen treatment), Mel Gibson was approached to play Wolverine on film.

Obviously, this never actually happened -- the role would eventually go to Hugh Jackman, who would spend the next 14 years alternating between snikting, singing and appearances on Monday Night Raw -- but it went far enough that there was concept art produced by Miles Teves showing just what Gibson would look like in the role.

Teves, a veteran artist who also provided concepts for Batman and Robin and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film, among other things, certainly gave Gibson Wolverine's signature hair for this one, and the blood dripping off the claws hints at a movie that might've skewed a little more violent than the one we eventually got. Gibson, however, passed on the role due to salary concerns and would go on to have a whole lot of problems.

I think we can safely say that this not happening was all for the best.

[via Screencrush]