A script for the unmade Beast solo X-Men movie reveals how Wolverine could've joined the team much earlier in the new timeline. Continuity throughout the X-Men franchise has always been a frustrating area for fans, but Fox gave themselves almost complete freedom after X-Men: Days of Future Past. The time traveling movie crossed over the original trilogy actors and characters with the newer and younger X-Men: First Class roster and the result was a brand new X-Men timeline.
The change came as a result of Mystique not killing Bolivar Trask but also meant that these mutants met Wolverine back in the 1970s. However, Wolverine doesn't stay a permanent member of the team. He is still taken to the Weapon X facility and briefly has a role in X-Men: Apocalypse, breaking out of containment. That is the last we would see of the adamantium-infused mutant in this timeline, as he did not make an appearance in Dark Phoenix. But, a script for a solo Beast movie that was canceled reveals how Logan could've joined the team much earlier in this new timeline.
The script for X-Men: Fear the Beast was developed by franchise editor John Ottman and his assistant Byron Burton, and it would've served as a sequel/spinoff of Apocalypse. Although Hank McCoy would be the focus of the film, a significant supporting role would've been given to Wolverine. In the script, he is recruited by Professor X to help Beast on his mission to defeat the film's villain. His opening scene is a near recreation of the cage-match intro he received in X-Men and results in Logan accepting the mission to work with Beast. There's a tease that Professor X is going to fill Wolverine in on more (such as prior movie events) as he goes to meet Beast.
While their team-up is successful, Wolverine does not officially join the team and heads back out on his own at the end of the film instead. But, the seed for what could come is laid. With a late 1980s setting for the film, this accelerates Wolverine's proper introduction to the X-Men by roughly 10-15 years in this new timeline. It would also see him fitted in his classic brown and tan suit - with the mask. More importantly, the Beast movie does not break canon with past encounters between these characters.
Professor X and Beast both officially met Wolverine in Days of Future Past (not counting Charles' brief attempt to recruit Logan in First Class), but the Weapon X experiments on Logan made him forget this shared history. This explains how Professor X knew to contact Logan specifically to help out. Meanwhile, Beast does not recognize Wolverine when they meet, but that appears to be the result of Hank taking on a more primal form as Mega-Beast. When the main X-Men team arrives in the aftermath of the finale, Wolverine spots Jean Grey and the rest of the young heroes again. Jean previously helped unlock some of Logan's memories when they previously met in Apocalypse, and the brief encounter here teases the spark of romance between them.
If this movie would've happened - and recast Wolverine with a younger actor as proposed by Ottman - then it would've had big ramifications on any future stories. Wolverine would now be on-call to join the fight, possibly even being recruited by Professor X in Dark Phoenix to try and save Jean. As a whole, it would strengthen Wolverine's ties to the X-Men for this new timeline. The Beast solo movie never happened though, leaving this alternate version of the new X-Men timeline just up to our imaginations - but that doesn't make the idea of Wolverine joining their forces (even on a limited basis) any less fascinating.
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020