Marvel Studios got the rights to the X-Men characters back from Fox in the studio’s merger with Disney recently, and while the MCU producers have claimed that the X-Men won’t make an appearance in the franchise for a few years, they are on their way to the Avengers-verse. Fox’s X-Men franchise was never as thoroughly planned or meticulous as the MCU.
In fact, they were mostly put together by studio executives who didn’t understand the source material throwing random ideas at the wall to see what would stick. A lot of those ideas fell by the wayside, and some of them weren’t all bad. Here are 10 Scrapped Ideas From Fox’s X-Men Franchise That The MCU Should Use.
10 Faithful Costumes
Director Bryan Singer originally wanted to give the movie X-Men their classic costumes from the comics. However, after the success of The Matrix, the studio suits pressured Singer to make the X-Men look like the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar – lots of dark, muted tones. Instead of the costumes from the comics, we just get the X-Men wearing generic black onesies with Cyclops making a crack about “yellow spandex.” The MCU has done a great job so far of taking costumes that look silly on the page and making them look cool and faithful in the movies, directly translated from the comics. They can do it for the X-Men, too.
9 Joss Whedon’s “Quick-Witted, Pop Culture-Referencing Tone”
Joss Whedon was one of the many writers brought in to work on the script for the first X-Men movie before the studio was happy with it. Reportedly, the studio rejected Whedon’s script for its “quick-witted, pop culture-referencing tone.” Whedon would later translate the same exact tone to The Avengers, the primary movie aside from Iron Man that the MCU has to thank for all of its success. If the MCU gets the X-Men characters, then they should line their portrayal up with Whedon’s initial draft, which apparently included Magneto turning Manhattan into a mutant sanctuary and a romance between Wolverine and Storm.
8 X-23 Spin-Off Movie
The Oscar-nominated masterpiece Logan – the peak of Fox’s X-Men movies – didn’t just give us a tearful farewell to Wolverine. It also gave us a thrilling introduction to his similarly clawed long-lost daughter, Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, played by Dafne Keen. In the months following Logan’s release, director James Mangold announced that there were plans for a sequel/spin-off involving X-23 continuing her father’s fight following his death and the liberation of the other mutant kids she was raised with. It’s unclear if Disney intends to give Keen’s portrayal of X-23 a future on the big screen, but fans would love it.
7 Terence Stamp As Magneto
With Thanos gone, the MCU is going to need a new big bad. Making Magneto that big bad would be a natural way to get the X-Men into the story. One early choice for the casting of Magneto in Fox’s X-Men franchise was Terence Stamp, and frankly, he would’ve been perfect for the role. He still has the Magneto look, the required relevance in popular culture, and he’s not too old to pull it off. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Stamp would take another role in an effects-driven movie, having been disappointed by the lack of actor-on-actor interaction in his scenes for The Phantom Menace.
6 Jean Grey’s War On Mutant Oppression
We’ll see Fox’s second crack at Chris Claremont’s iconic “The Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline from the comics later this summer, although things don’t look great. After directing the first two X-Men movies, Bryan Singer intended to direct a third in which Jean Grey would emerge from the lake as the Phoenix and wage war on mutant oppression.
She’d have gone through the world, causing destruction and mayhem for anti-mutant groups, while being chased down by the X-Men, the Brotherhood of Mutants, and the Hellfire Club. Singer wanted Sigourney Weaver to play the latter team’s leader, the White Queen. Marvel could plunder some of these ideas.
5 A Mutant Invasion Of Manhattan
In Andrew Kevin Walker’s initial draft of the screenplay for the first X-Men movie, which was dated way back in 1994 when superhero films were still considered a gamble in Hollywood, mutants launched a full-on invasion of Manhattan. This storyline would’ve introduced the Sentinels, as they were brought in to fend off the invasion. The X-Men would be caught in the middle of this, and it would make a great event movie to introduce the X-Men into the MCU. Picture it: mutants invade Manhattan, the remaining Avengers team up with the Sentinels to fight back, and the X-Men come into the mix.
4 Channing Tatum As Gambit
A Gambit solo movie has been in development at Fox since as far back as 2014. Throughout most of that development, Channing Tatum remained attached to the title role, committed to playing the character sooner or later. Such big-name filmmakers as Rupert Wyatt, Gore Verbinski, and Doug Liman have come and gone from the director’s chair over the years. Just this May, the movie was removed from the release schedule. However, in some form or another, the MCU should give Tatum a chance to finally play Gambit. He’s a character that fans want in the movies anyway, so he might as well be played by an actor who’s been planning his characterization for years.
3 Magneto’s Origin Story
After X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox intended to make X-Men Origins: Magneto. However, when X-Men Origins: Wolverine underperformed at the box office and was torn a new one by fans and critics, X-Men Origins: Magneto was called off.
A draft of the script written by Sheldon Turner as far back as 2004 was described as “The Pianist meets X-Men.” In other words, it would be the midpoint between a superhero blockbuster and a harrowing Holocaust drama. Since the MCU likes to make all of its movies fit into a different genre, this could be their chance at a serious historical drama.
2 R-Rated X-Force Movie
One of the funniest gags in Deadpool 2 was the unexpected moment where all of the X-Force members we’d just been introduced to got killed, one by one, during the plane jump sequence. Despite this scene, Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese had been hired to work on an X-Force movie for Fox, which would be like an R-rated take on an X-Men movie. However, after the Disney/Fox merger, production on the movie was called off. Disney has always been iffy about R ratings. Hopefully, they’ll change their mind when it comes to anything involving Deadpool (and Domino and Cable and Negasonic Teenage Warhead and all his other cool allies).
1 Deadpool Joining The X-Men
Fox executives were reluctant to let Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth join the wider ensemble of their X-Men films, because if he was in those movies and acting in-character, then they’d have to be rated R. Fox found success with R-rated risks like Deadpool and Logan, but they weren’t necessarily ready to try it out on the core series. Hopefully, Disney will be the ones to take the plunge. It lines up with the emotional development he went through in Deadpool 2. Deadpool is reportedly the only X-Men character they don’t want to reboot and want to keep the same from Fox’s movies, so there is some hope.