Oscar-Winning ‘Usual Suspects’ Writer Wants to Expand Fox’s X-Men Universe

Published 1 year ago by , Updated December 19th, 2012 at 8:57 am,

Christopher McQuarrie X Men Movie Universe Oscar Winning Usual Suspects Writer Wants to Expand Foxs X Men Universe

Oscar-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie returns to theaters this week as both writer and director of the Tom Cruise mystery/action flick, Jack Reacher. Superhero movie fans will also remember McQuarrie’s name, as the Usual Suspects writer was at one point the screenwriter of Fox’s 2013 summer tentpole, The Wolverine – before director Darren Aronofsky left the project and it ultimately landed in the lap of a different creative team.

While talking with McQuarrie at the Jack Reacher junket in New York, I learned that his desire to play in the X-Men movie universe didn’t start and end with The WolverineIn fact, he seems to have a much bigger plan in mind.

McQuarrie is friends with writer/director Bryan Singer; the pair worked together on The Usual Suspects, as well as the upcoming fantasy adventure film, Jack the Giant Slayer. With Singer back in the director’s chair for the upcoming sequel  X-Men: Days of Future Past, and McQuarrie’s involvement with The Wolverine, I naturally had to ask if the two had swapped ideas – or even script re-writes – to better link The Wolverine with Days of Future Past, as part of shepherding Fox’s burgeoning X-Men movie universe.

Here’s what McQuarrie had to say:

 You know, Bryan and I have talked about it a bunch of times – and in fact, right after I got back from shooting [Jack Reacher] I had a meeting with Tom Rothman – just a general meeting – and I said to Tom, ‘You know what I’d really love to do, is I’d really love to flesh out the X-Men Universe for you. You have this great wealth of these Marvel characters, and the X-Men franchise has only focused on a small handful of them – there’s many more.’

And I thought that it’d be really cool to create a ‘bible’ – you know, a series of outlines of interlocking movies where you could do kind of what they did with ‘The Avengers,’ where you’re creating multiple movies that could come together as one movie here and there. And… you know… I never heard back [laughs].

But that would kinda be fun – to do something like that – where you could kind of become the curator for something like that.

X Men Original Trilogy vs. First Class Movie Continuity Oscar Winning Usual Suspects Writer Wants to Expand Foxs X Men Universe

Fox currently has Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar shepherding their X-Men/Fantastic Four movie universe, but it seems like a missed opportunity to not take McQuarrie up on his offer. His work with Bryan Singer has resulted in great filmmaking (Usual Suspects); he’s a serious talent as a writer (The WolverineValkyrie) and an emerging talent as a director (Way of the GunJack Reacher). Even Wolverine star Hugh Jackman was praising McQuarrie’s script for that film when we talked to him recently. Fox could definitely do worse.

Marvel has settled into having Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon plan the “Phase Two” arc of their cinematic universe; DC/Warner Bros. has so far benefited from keeping the same creative circle for the entirety of their Dark Knight Trilogy - the same team subsequently behind the story and script for their Superman reboot, Man of SteelIn other words: studios are getting acclimated to the new blueprint for building these shared movie universes – and having a writing talent chart the overall path seems to be a useful component in that machine. If Fox was to be a contender in that ring, they may want to call back the guy who received an Oscar for making a smart and thrilling ensemble film.

Which way would you like to see this situation go?

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Stay tuned for more from our interview with McQuarrie, including what it’s like directing a blockbuster film like Jack Reacher, and what his version of The Wolverine would’ve been like.

Jack Reacher will be in theaters on December 21, 2012.

The Wolverine releases on July 26, 2013 and X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.

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TAGS: the wolverine, x-men, x-men days of future past

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  1. Honestly, I would think they should just wait until Future Past comes out until they start talking about further plans. I just hope Future Past isnt a mess, dealing with time travel and trying to fix 6 year old continuation errors in front of a new audience.

    • reboooooooooooooooot

      • This would be much better.

        Reboot the whole thing with writers who know what they’re doing and a definitive plan in place so each movie fits with one another somehow and doesn’t turn out to be a huge mess.

        I’d also hope for an X-Men movie that has a story that entertains more than once. There’s potential, I just haven’t seen it yet. Then again, re-reading The Dark Phoenix Saga recently in a collected hardback, I finished it and thought that 80% of it could’ve been cut out and not had an effect on what was going on.

        • I agree, reboot.

          The current Fox X-Men universe is a mess, which promises to become even more convoluted by adding time travel.

          • You’d think they’d say multiverse rather than time travel but then again, I get the feeling either they’re stupid or think the movie going public are stupid and don’t see how characters going back in time will make any sense.

            Example:

            In the 60s according to First Class, Beast had his powers then turned blue and furry during his time in the X-Men.

            In whatever year X-Men 2 was set, Dr Hank McCoy was a regular human on tv giving an interview about genetics and then joined the X-Men in the third movie after somehow transforming into Kelsey Grammer between movies (plus gaining the blue fur and animalesque features and powers).

            Not sure how time travel will explain that one.

            • Exactly.

              All Fox cares about is making money with Hugh Jackman, while the integrity of the X-Men franchise continues to suffer with the broken continuity and barely fleshed out characters.

              “Continuity? Who needs continuity? We have Hugh mother@!&*in’ Jackman!”

              • It’s not so much that FOX pushed “Hugh mother@!&*in’ Jackman” more than his co-workers. It’s really about them taking for granted having the most popular X-Man under their belt which coincidentaly Hugh happens to be playing. It’s the character not the actor that they’re focusing on more than the rest which has been a huge mistake on their part. They’re called the X-Men for a reason, not the WOLVERINE-MEN!!

                • All Fox cares about, as far as the X-Men are concerned, is making more Wolverine movies with Hugh Jackman.

                  Fox does not care about “The X-Men”. That is just a brand name to them. They don’t care about continuity, the characters or the comics, they only care about the cash cow that is Wolverine/Hugh Jackman.

            • They could do what Abram’s Star Trek did. Due to time travel, everything that supposed to happen happened earlier or later in their life. But I think I give Fox to much credit to think of something like that to explain the continuity errors.

            • In the comics didnt Hank wear a ‘human’ suit? After the missle crisis he went into hiding creating a suit/method/formula to disguise himself.

              Easily explained in a COMIC movie, but no so much in a movie that you might want to try and make ‘down to earth’.

  2. I won’t think less of FOX if they cast Keanu Reeves as the Silver Surfer. It’ll actually play out the both stereotypes. Keanu Reeves/Surfer/Bill&Ted, “Whoa!”

    “I’d like to hear his plan first.”

  3. Cool! That’d be like the silverscreen version of every X-title comic book series (e.g. The Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New X-Men, etc.) that we grew up with.
    But I think they should start from scratch. AGAIN!

    I’d love to see how and where this goes just as I’d love to see a complete and more faithful reboot of the Resident Evil franchise.

    • @Van. About the Resident Evil series. I appreciate them sticking in the actual characters from the game series while “Over” focusing on Milla Jovovich’s character, but my expectation from the beginning was that I thought a video game movie series should be based on….I don’t know….the actual video game series! Jill & Co. were mearly used as supporting characters to Milla’s character which sucked big time.

      • @Broadway

        I agree. If Alice was going to be a mainstay throughout the franchise then in the least she should have appeared in the games so as to help strengthen and ground her existence more into the entire RE universe. After the 2nd film, I was already asking myself where she fit in all the games and various print adaptations. Capcom should have maintained some creative control on the franchise and Marvel should too or in the least give it to people who share a cohesive vision for the X-Men franchise. The X-universe still have lots of characters who have yet to make their debut in film. So why not make use of them more this time around?

        IMHO, I would rather see a TV series adaptation of the X-Men (focusing on the beginnings of the Xavier school and the like) than see it one-time on a big screen and then wait years for a sequel. This way, you cannot only have more room character development but also maintain consistency and continuity with plot.

        • They already tried X-Men on television. There was a show called “Alphas” that aired on the Sci-Fi network. Very very similar to MARVEL’s favorite mutant team.However, I think it was canceled due to the same reasons why an X-Men show would never work on t.v. Small budget for t.v. series means less than spectacular special FX, & lack of action scenes. 2 key elements people want to see from anytype of X-Men project whether it’s the big or small screen.

  4. Every week somebody comes out saying they have of these bug plans for these X-Men movies. No wonder they get those scripts that make no sense, 10 people have a hand in them…

  5. He sounds like he’s well-qualified, but then again, it sounds like Fox already has something going. I really want the Fantastic Four to come back in a way that does them justice, and I suspect that dovetailing them with the X-Men bodes well, since the latter typically get a serious, thoughtful treatment.

    And what I always say…Hugh Jackman overload. First Class was *so* refreshing in that it had only a cameo by Wolverine. He’s great, but there are so many other great charaters that there should be a broader focus.

  6. kkkkkkk

  7. I would really hope to have the rights go back to Marvel but that would mean very limited movies, so I want Fox to “work” with Marvel to an extent. But I would really like to hear what this guy has to offer. If he could work along Miller/Singer then that would be great! (assuming his plan is good, and wht I think it is)

  8. Ive read a lot of the comics from X-Men and their universe is so convoluted that this wouldn’t be a good idea. Especially since a lot of them include other Marvel characters owned by other companies. Regardless of how bad Fox has already messed up this current “Universe” of theirs, to even fathom what it would take to include the comic’s stories is not perceivable. Especially if they bring in time travel and alternate universes. Cable and Daken to name a few are going to be impossible to explain given who their birth parents are. Same goes for Nightcrawler. And The First Class was the beginning of their F ups. The original trilogy was good enough for me. I can accept and want to see new installments for other characters. IE: Deadpool, Magneto, Prof X, Cable, Cyclops. I think them having their own series of movies like Wolverine is huge. And BIG bucks for the studios. They don’t need to connect into some bigger universe. The Avengers/Justice League are awesome but not necessary for Hollywood. Keep it in the animated world. Has anyone watched the Japanese animé Marvel films? They were cool and included cameos of other characters. Good enough for me.

    • ‘The Avengers/Justice League are awesome but not necessary for Hollywood.’

      I dont understand that statement. One of those movies hit 1$ Billion in its second week and god knows what other records and money it has brough in since then.

      The other movie if it even is remotely as succesful as the other will bring viewers which in turn brings in money.

      So why would they not be necessary for Hollywood?

      ‘to even fathom what it would take to include the comic’s stories is not perceivable. Especially if they bring in time travel and alternate universes.’

      What comic stories are you refering to? You need to remember the main audience is not the comic book fans. So the stories need to be ‘like’ the comic stories but (dare I say) simple enough for the general populace to understand.

      I beleive the only way time travel will kind of work is if our movie Xmen time travel changing another times Xmens future. Then the movies pick up from there.

      The only reason I say this is (IMO) you cant change what has happened and expect it to reflect upon the time you reside in.

      As for your Anime comments.. some styles I like some I do not. Those (some) I do not. And the reason you can see cameos of other characters is the licensing is written differently and does not include what the Movie studios have.

      • “I dont understand that statement.”
        I was referring to having X-Men in its own universe ‘Avengers’ style isn’t necessary for Hollywood. The majority of the characters that their universe has actually holds their own better than mixed in to a series. From what I read in this article, they want to try and reach so much more into the universe and bring in a lot more characters/stories. BTW I want the JLA movie just as much as the next guy.

        “What comic stories are you refering to?”
        Check out ‘House of M’ for example. That’s the kind of stories that I would EXPECT to see if they are going to dive into time travel and alternate universes. Obviously they would create their own to fit into their jumble they have already created. Which is a bummer because it couldve been so much better.

        • Rgr that.

          As for the stories you want to see…. they are a pipe dream my friend.

          At least until either Marvel gets all their properties back and the man power to make enough films to keep us happy (which may saturate the movie market with heroes and regular joe gets tired of them WE cant keep the comic movies alive on our own) OR the studios sign agreements that will share licensing.

          Sadly, I do not ever see either one of those happening. At least not in my lifetime.

          • But what could happen or rather what they should do is make more animated movies like DC/Warner has. Their current movies are good, not equal to DC just yet but their stories/our pipe dreams are very much so up there.

  9. No question about it, he’s got the talent to write this in fact I want to know how little work Christopher Mcquarrie is getting that he’d want to write for X-Men. Not that it’s bad or anything I’m a big marvel fan but I’d have thought since he’s such a great writer he’d be getting tons of work.

  10. Def. Make it so.

  11. They should do a Marvel Alliance movie and set that movie in a separate universe. Use the same actors but make the movie be in its own dimension.Kinda like the ultimate marvel universe.

  12. Marvel /Disney had the right idea by letting one guy streamline their movies. The other studios should follow suit. After X2…the only bad Xfilms were X3 and Wolverine origins. First class was a good film, but had a bunch of countinuity errors and also characters that didn’t belong.
    Everyone knows who the true first class x-men were. The first film should have been, Jean, Scott, Warren, Mccoy and bobby along with Professor X and Magneto. Yes…they did butcher the Bryan singer films in reguards to who the first X-men were.

    Someone will come along one day, and get it right.A total reboot of The X-MEN universe is in order

    • No al. What this franchise needs is a totally new movie studio to take charge. Preferably the one that everyone wants to see take back control away from FOX. Can you imagine if “they” did the same thing to the X-Men what “they” have already accomplished with the Avengers?

      • I agree! Let Marvel finish The Avengers story arc, then let them tackle The X-Men in the same style they used for The Avengers (solo movies leading up to a “team” movie every few years).

        That would kick so much a$$!!!

        • The problem with that “F.pig” is that the X-Men might only have one character who the majority wants to see in a solo film. That’s why he has another one coming out in 2013. It might be a better idea if MARVEL were to split them up in groups of 3 at a time instead, or maybe even tag teams(Cyclops & Jean),(Wolverine & Beast), something like that. Then Xavier can play the role of Nick Fury bringing them together when ever the danger is too big for them to handle in groups that small.

          • I was thinking an origin story for Wolverine, Jean Grey and/or Cyclops, culminating in a full-blown X-Men movie. Then you’d do movies on one or two other related characters (like Gambit or Storm), with a second Wolverine movie leading up to the second X-Men movie, etc.

            Either way, it’d be better than what we’ve had for the last decade or so.

  13. Honest question: can someone explain to me why X-Men: First Class is considered to be in the same timeline/universe as X-Men 1-3 and Origins, OTHER than Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine in all of them?

    I always considered First Class to be a reboot, that just happened tostart off earlier in time than the first trilogy, and therefore can have altenate versions of what happens to certain characters and where they originate, just like Abrams’ Star Trek or Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.

    I understand there was a fan uproar since First Class further deviated from the comic book source material, but I still don’t see how this new reinterpretation is explictly tied into the Bryan Singer films, and the movie, if I remember correctly, doesn’t make any grand claims that its the same universe, let alone same continuity timeline.

    It’s two alternate realities of the same characters, so why do they need to be connected somehow, let alone chronologically?

  14. Honest question: can someone explain to me why X-Men: First Class is considered to be in the same timeline/universe as X-Men 1-3 and Origins, OTHER than Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine in all of them?

    I always considered First Class to be a reboot, that just happened tostart off earlier in time than the first trilogy, and therefore can have altenate versions of what happens to certain characters and where they originate, just like Abrams’ Star Trek or Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.

    I understand there was a fan uproar since First Class further deviated from the comic book source material, but I still don’t see how this new reinterpretation is explictly tied into the Bryan Singer films, and the movie, if I remember correctly, doesn’t make any grand claims that its the same universe, let alone same continuity timeline.

    It’s two alternate realities of the same characters, so why do they need to be connected somehow, let alone chronologically?

    • The fact that nobody connected with the film has ever made it clear what First Class was supposed to be may be in part to blame for all the confusion. From what has been printed on this site and elsewhere there was another draft of the movie that was a true reboot, but when Singer got involved again it turned into the film they put out. The opening scene being nearly shot for shot of the original movie seemed like is was meant to remind people of the fist film when they introduced Magneto.

      Along with Jackman showing up they did the little cameo of Rebecca Romijn as Mystique and put Strykers father in the movie for no apparent reason. For whatever reason they felt the need to remind people of the first movies just enough to cast a shadow of doubt as to what they were trying to accomplish.