Chris Claremont On James Cameron’s Abandoned ‘X-Men’ Film & Bob Hoskins as Wolverine

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

James Cameron X Men Bob Hoskins as Wolverine Chris Claremont On James Camerons Abandoned X Men Film & Bob Hoskins as Wolverine

Bryan Singer’s X-Men is arguably the film that revitalized the superhero genre in Hollywood, after Joel Schumacher all but destroyed it with Batman & Robin. But we almost got a very, very different X-Men film many years prior.

Chris Claremont – probably the most renowned X-Men writer ever, having written everything from “The Phoenix Saga” to “Days of Future Past” – recently reflected on the potential X-Men film from way back when – the one produced by James Cameron (Avatar), directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), and starring Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) as Wolverine and Angela Bassett (Waiting to Exhale) as Storm.

Courtesy of The Wrap, Claremont said:

“James Cameron, Bob Hoskins, Angela Bassett — ahhh. Fanboy heaven. I would have been happy as a clam.”

Claremont recalled seeing Hoskins in Lassiter – you know, the action-adventure film set in the 1930s that Tom Selleck made when he lost his chance to play Indiana Jones – and believing that he would be perfect for the role in Wolverine.

Bob Hoskins as Wolverine Chris Claremont On James Camerons Abandoned X Men Film & Bob Hoskins as Wolverine

While this may come as a shock to those who are more accustomed to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or even the taller, thinner Wolverine of modern-day comic books, the version of the character that Claremont worked with was hairy, stocky, and short; in other words, he looked exactly like a 1980s Bob Hoskins (give or take a few pounds and some hair on top).

Angela Bassett Storm X Men Chris Claremont On James Camerons Abandoned X Men Film & Bob Hoskins as Wolverine

Angela Bassett, of course, was a fan-favorite for playing Storm all the way through the 90s. In fact, after the “Do you know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning?” debacle of the first film, many a fan wanted Bassett to replace Halle Berry in the sequel. Instead, Bryan Singer just gave Berry a better wig.

Claremont continued:

“Just think about this for a minute: James Cameron’s X-Men. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. That’s what we were playing.”

It certainly would’ve been an interesting experience. An X-Men film without a movie called The Matrix to influence it? Sign this Screen Rant writer up. But what, pray tell, happened to torpedo such a potentially excellent vision of superpowered mutants?

Says Claremont:

“So we’re chatting. And at one point, Stan [Lee] looks at Cameron and says, ‘I hear you like Spider-Man.’ Cameron’s eyes lit up.”


“And they start talking. And talking. And talking. About 20 minutes later, all the Lightstorm guys and I are looking at each other, and we all know the X-Men deal has just evaporated. Kathryn goes off and writes a screen treatment for X-Men that was eaten alive by all the idiots who have a piece of Spider-Man because Marvel during its evolution has sold off the rights time and time and time again. To Carolco. To Universal. To this, to that. To Fox. It was just a nightmare.”

Anybody who knows his/her Spider-Man film lore knows that the adaptation went through about fifteen different hands and iterations before it finally wound up on the screen starring Toby Maguire. However, one of the details from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man that carried over from James Cameron’s treatment was the organic webshooters.

Toby Maguire Spider man Chris Claremont On James Camerons Abandoned X Men Film & Bob Hoskins as Wolverine

It’s too bad we didn’t get to see the outcome of this X-Men film, but then, that’s how I feel about most superhero films that never come to fruition — even the ones that would’ve undoubtedly been abysmal, like Green Lantern starring Jack Black.

What do you guys think? Are you bummed you never got the chance to see Bob Hoskins as Wolverine and Angela Bassett as Storm? Let us know in the comments.

X-Men: First Class 2 – which will focus heavily on Magneto — is currently being developed by Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman.


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: The Wrap

TAGS: X-men
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  1. The problem is with Wolverine that all of us that grew up reading in the 80′s and 90′s developed a absolute impression of how he should look and act. I have never been satisfied with Jackman even if he is a good actor. His attitude is scripted you can tell its not deep down, mentally damaged, animal like, anger and aggression that he fights to hold back every second of every day. And when he lets it lose anyone in his way is going to at least get their ass kicked (if not killed) bersker style. That is Wolverine, what and who he is, and it so far cant be scripted and portrayed on screen adequately. The 90′s TV series was perhaps his best portayel. So far the on screen Wolvey has been WAY to wimpy.

    • I agree mostly with your Hugh Jackman assesment. I think the only time Jackman truly channeled the berserker Wolverine was in X2 when the mansion was invaded and he cut loose. I cheered loudly when Wolvie was cutting through Stykers troops like they were nothing. It was one of those rare suspenseful moments in comic cinema when the good guys were in serious peril and someone stepped up. It’s the same emotion I get when I think of Superman II when Superman calls out Zod after he wrecks havoc on the Daily Planet and in The Dark Knight when the Joker crashes Waynes Party looking for Dent.

    • Amen.

  2. Oh my God Bob Hoskins, wow thats really like oh My God,, all I can say they were brave,, who knows what might have come, and Angela Basset, now they are great actors and they can act. Maybe with the new prequels could they even bring Angela Basset and Bob Hoskins into them somewhere. Its just a taught, these two are great actors i havent really seen them lately in films . Put them together in a film, with a good script, and top notch roles thats what i would love to see with these two great actors. Thanks Screen rant for this insight into what could have been who knows it might still inspire some great director out there.

  3. LOL…the only way I can see Bob Hoskins playing Wolverine is on a sketch comedy

  4. AHAHHAHAHA! This is as ridiculous as Bryan Singer’s X-Men including First Class.

  5. So if I could make a cast list for X-men (this is fun) and I could cross time and space to get the right actors this is who Id pick…chime in or not to tell me your opinion.

    Wolverine- Jack Nichelson…Bob would be a second choice. I know Im gonna get flack for this but maybe Taylor Lautner as a young wolverine.

    Storm- Angela Bassett…If were talking bout a new X-men I would cast someone like Zoe saldana because she brings the right amount of athleticism kick butt additude and she has a commanding female presence

    Gambit – 90s gambit would be Johnny Depp…
    2012 gambit Josh Holloway

    Cyclops- I still like James Marsden. Idk any older actors off the top of my head who could play him. Nathan fillion maybe…

    Colossus- Ok my pick would be brock lesner…Colossus was a quiet guy…or maybe the rock. Both physically imposing guys.

    Beast- Loved Kelsey Grammer in that role…I wouldent change him at all.

    Jean Grey- Maybe Amy Adams or christina hendricks (Mad Men)

    Ice Man- I liked the guy that played Bobby drake…but that would have been a great role for Ryan Reynolds.

    Angel- Keep Ben Foster…its a shame though that they dident really give him Presence.

    Rogue…Def would have changed her. Megan Foxx would have been a good choice.

    I really like alan cummings as Nightcrawler.

    • Anyone ever consider “Nola Gaye” for the part. She is a beauty and statuesque. She played Z in one of the Matrix sagas. You could never tell (from The Matrix) she stands 10.5 feet. I believe she would make such a yummy, delicious Storm. She’s a natural.

      • wow! Before I even saw these blogs, I was always telling my wife the Angela Bassett would have be the PERFECT storm!! I just remembered Nona Gay from the Matrix as well and she actually looks like a younger Angela Bassett. Didnt’ like Halle at all.

  6. maybe Josh Duhmell as Cyclops.

  7. Hmmm…a younger, thinner Bob Hoskins. He has the right amount of raw intensity that Logan really needs. I think Angela Bassett would have given Storm life in a way that Hallie Berry wasn’t able to. Now I have enjoyed Jackman’s Wolvie interpretation, but anyone who grew up reading old X-Men remembers that Wolverine was a short, stocky, cigar chomping bada$$, while Storm was tall, not quite willowy, but taller than the Hallie Berry Storm.j

    The bottom line, is that I’ve enjoyed the many years of serious attempts by Hollywood to bring many of the heroes I grew up reading to the big screen. From the early Superman movies to the latest Spidey revamp (I don’t count things like the 60s Batman or the 50s Superman because they were a bit hokey) Don’t forget the spectacular 40s animated Superman clips! They were phenomenal!

  8. If you think about it, 1975′s Giant Size X-Men was essentially the same plot as Jim Cameron’s Aliens more than a decade earlier. It was a rescue mission by a collection of badasses recruited to recover a group of humans who had been captured in order to have their lives slowly drained by a parasitic alien.

    With Cameron on board, it probably would’ve blended elements of The Abyss and Bigelow’s Blue Steel with eight foot Sentinels that more than resembled Stan Winston’s T-100…

    …Yeah, it probably would’ve gone down as the best comic book movie since Superman, redefining the genre for a whole new generation of fanboys a full ten years before Singer got his hands on the franchise.

  9. In the 90′s everyone wanted Danzig to play Wolverine. Perfectly built and quite the right attitude.

    • Glenn Danzig I would be interested in checking that out. I dont feel anyone can fill Wolvey’s shoes on screen though he is just to much attitude that cant be scripted. Wolverines attitude was created through a lifetime of trauma. I mean the Weapon X project, his history with silver fox and lady deathstrike, not to mention sabertooth. I could go on and on. He is a tortured soul with a tendency to snap and rip you to shreads. It would be hard to find someone to be able to pull that completely off. No offense to Hugh Jackman he has done a good job but the character goes so much deeper.

  10. People who say it’s ok to for Wolverine to be tall or it’s ok because he’s been portrayed differently throughout the years, don’t understand the CORE dynamics of the character known as WOLVERINE.

    You first have to understand WHY the character was chosen to be named “Wolverine”. Why? Because a wolverine animal is a stubby, hairy, ugly faced and <<<>>> but highly ferocious, dangerous and feisty little animal with razor sharp claws and teeth, that is known to go up against all kinds of prey and animals several times larger than themselves without fear and or flight from it. The character “Logan” or James Howlett, was compared to and called this because he has the same characteristics similar to that of the mammal known as the wolverine. He’s much shorter than the average guy, hairy, not very attractive in the face, can be feral, is feisty with a nasty attitude(but has a lot of and huge heart), has claws that will cut through almost anything on earth and is known to go up against enemies several times his size(such the Hulk, Wendigo,Sabertooth). Wolverine’s height & stature makes up about 35-50% of the character’s “physical” characteristics, the other percentage would be his claws, hair and what he’s wearing. Aside from his personality traits, to make Wolverine average height or tall takes away a significant portion of his physical persona, making him MUCH less the essential or TRUE “Wolverine” character which is wrong.

    • Exactly, he got that codename before he ever had his claws – it was for his size and demeanor, his personality. I remember when Danzig was being considered for the old film, too. X-Men, Dr.Strange (John Carpenter), Black Panther and other features were already on the “inside” magazine listings for being on the production backburners at the same time.

  11. ^wolverines are small animals that are frequently known to go up against bears, moose, wolves and all kinds of big prey AND predators. They’re the best at what they do bubs and what they do aint pretty”.

  12. THAT. WOULD. HAVE. ROCKED. And I agree with most of Mr_Law’s picks..ESPECIALLY Josh Holloway as gambit…MAN, i can see that. epic.

    • thanks Al…I had alot of time to think about it. I honestly still feel Jack really used Wolverine as inspiration in “Wolf” lol. & yeah its not too late to make an all star X-men reboot with all the right characters and star power. its been 10 years right?

  13. Well, since Cameron likes to spend so much time underwater lately, maybe he’d be interested in producing a Sub Mariner movie and directed by Bigelow.

    It would be like Avatar in a fish tank with The Rock as Namor and Swarzenegger as IT’S NOT ATTUMA!!!

  14. I don’t really think those two can work together. Because Bigelow will want to throw in some random anti-military vibe in the movie while Cameron has been very pro-military so far. With Avatar he made sure to say in the very beginning of the movie that these people are not the military, that they are mercenaries hired by that big corporation…

    • I think them being a divorced couple would have more to do with them not working together if such an issue would exist…..

      • Yah, you’re right, creative differences is never a problem in movie productions…

  15. Anyone not named Halle Berry would be an exponential improvement to portray Storm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1