Early concept art for X-Men
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X2: X-Men United
- Neil Patrick Harris and Ethan Embry were was considered for the part of Kurt Wagner before Alan Cumming was cast.
- Early on in the film's production, Shaquille O'Neal lobbied to play the part of Bishop. Due to David Hayter not having any familiarity with the character, Shaq didn't get the part. The character would later debut in Days of Future Past, played by Omar Sy.
- Ray Park was going to return as a brainwashed Toad and get into a fight with Nightcrawler while the latter and Storm were trying to rescue the mutant kids. However, schedule conflicts prevented this, and as a result, the set that was built just for this scene was not used.
- Sabretooth was planned to return, this time as Stryker's bodyguard. However, the part was rewritten into Anne Reynolds, Stryker's bodyguard from the comics, who would have been granted Lady Deathstrike's mutant powers and adamantium claws for this film. Her role was then filled by Lady Deathstrike herself and given longer fight scenes so that the movie would have more action.
- Originally, Magneto would have rescued Professor X from Dark Cerebro and escaped with the other X-Men instead of trying to Kill All Humans, but this was rewritten to keep Magneto's ruthlessness. Also, initially he was the one executing the plan by fixing Dark Cerebro, not Mystique deceiving Jason.
- Pyro attacking the police cars was planned to end with Storm putting out the fires with a sudden rainfall. The budget didn't allow for this, so they had Rogue drain his powers and put the fires out herself.
- The scene in which Storm and Nightcrawler rescue Xavier was going to be much longer and quite more dramatic. Jason would have trapped them in trippy hallucinations, which they escaped only because Dark Cerebro was falling apart and it disrupted his illusions. They would have next talked Xavier into realizing the ruse, and the professor would have engaged Jason in a psychic battle, mind-raping him and finally defeating him with Storm's help. Jason would have then shown remorse on his face before being sent into the abyss by a falling girder, after which the three X-Men escaped narrowly.
- Hank was supposed to be shown turning into Beast when the "destroy all Mutants" plan was launched, showing that his human-looking self was induced through serums. Other mutants who would have been shown affected by the plan were Marrow and Gambit. (In another cameo-related affair, a young Multiple Man was going to appear at the beginning of the film in a scene with Siryn.)
- Several versions of the script had Jean surviving the film and returning with the others. This was kept in the official novelization.
- Angel was planned to appear as a student at the Xavier Institute. He would've been one of the teens taken captive during the raid on the school, and Stryker would've forcibly transformed him into Archangel at his lab. This subplot was cut, but the X-rays of Angel's wings can still be seen during the scenes in Stryker's facility.
- The Danger Room was going to feature in the film. When Scott, Jean and Storm are away, Wolverine would take some of the students for a workout in the room. A sneak peak of how it would look was even in the teaser trailer. But the budget got cut down, and the scene had to be scrapped.
- Many of Cyclops' scenes were cut from the final film. Aside from the extended deleted scene mentioned above, he also had a longer fight scene with Deathstrike.
- A planned idea was for Jean to be rendered blind after her fight with the brainwashed Cyclops. It was filmed as such but dropped later in production. If you pay close attention when Wolverine shuts the dam door to save them from the water, Jean is the only one not looking at him.
X-Men: The Last Stand
- Eliza Dushku, Maggie Grace, and Summer Glau auditioned for the part of Kitty Pryde before Elliot Page was cast. Grace was turned down due to the fact that she was considered "too old" for the role. Coincidentally, Glau asked Joss Whedon for advice on the character without knowing he had written Astonishing X-Men #5 and her audition script turned out to be pages from the comic.
- Jason Flemyng was considered for Hank McCoy before the casting of Kelsey Grammer. Flemyng would eventually go on to portray Azazel in X-Men: First Class.
- Mike Vogel was originally chosen as Warren Worthington III before Ben Foster was cast. However, Vogel dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts with Poseidon.
- Josh Holloway was approached for Remy LeBeau while he was still a major part of the script. However, Holloway turned down the offer due to the role being too similar to Sawyer Ford on Lost. Gambit would later debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine played by Taylor Kitsch.
- Matthew Vaughn was initially chosen to direct the film before Brett Ratner was hired. However, Vaughn departed the project due to familial issues and Creative Differences over the script. Vaughn would eventually go on to helm X-Men: First Class.
- According to an interview with Michael Dougherty (the screenwriter of X2: X-Men United), his vision for The Last Stand was vastly different, and would have included the Phoenix/Jean being a cosmic force that attacks various locations across the world (and chooses to leave of her own volition at the end of the film), Cyclops building the Danger Room as a way to cope with his guilt and make the team stronger, and Rogue coming to terms with who she is and choosing not to take the cure.
- In Bryan Singer's plan for the film, Cyclops and Jean would have been the center, and they would have been entangled in a three-way war for Phoenix's control between the X-Men, the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Hellfire Club. The last of those would have been directed by an older Emma Frost (played by Sigourney Weaver), while the first one would have added Gambit (Keanu Reeves) and Dazzler (Northern Irish-Canadian country singer Beverley Mahood) as new members. Similarly, Kelly Hu would have possibly returned as Lady Deathstrike, who would have been revealed to be alive after the events of the previous film. At the end, Jean would have committed suicide to save them all by telekinetically forcing Scott to look at her and then removing his visor, and after her death she would have turned into a divine being a la 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- In Matthew Vaughn's vision, the X-Men were much more active during the cure storyline, to the extent that Beast and Rogue broke into Worthington' Labs in order to investigate it. Also, Storm and Wolverine would be in a sexual relationship.
- Even after Singer's plan was scrapped, the role of Gambit remained in the film for a long time. He would have been rumoredly played by Channing Tatum and would have served as a romantic rival to Bobby, similar to how Kitty was one for Rogue. However, Fox was already concocting X-Men Origins: Wolverine and wanted Gambit for that film, so he was erased from the script.
- There was an unfilmed Danger Room sequence where Bobby and Kitty are training and are then supposedly blasted to pieces by Sentinels, only to sit up as (projected) skeletons as the team looks on.
- Despite Alan Cumming's discomfort with the prosthetic makeup, he was willing to return in this film as Nightcrawler, but he was written out due to Fox realising that it wasn't worthwhile to pay for the long and costly makeup process as the character's role in the film was going to be very minimal.
- Brett Ratner wanted to appease the fans by ditching the black leather costumes from the previous movies and replacing them with something more colorful, but the rushed production schedule prevented this. That's why there's a single scene where Storm can be seen wearing a brighter blue uniform◊.
- The final film had a large amount of footage cut from it, some of which still hasn't been released in any form. There was much more footage of supporting mutants like Psylocke and Colossus (who not only had a fight with Juggernaut, but even confronted Magneto at one point before being tossed aside by him), and several extra endings, including a rumored one where Pyro returns to the school after being presumed missing in the final cut.
- The scene with Bobby and Kitty ice skating on the frozen pond after Xavier's funeral originally ended with them kissing. The kiss was dropped because several members of the production crew were disturbed by it, since (as stated on the DVD) Shawn Ashmore looked much older than Elliot Page.
- The Golden Gate bridge sequence was to only happen in the middle of the film - with Magneto breaking Mystique out of Alcatraz. He then would have marched on the White House, intending to take control there. Brett Ratner felt that the Golden Gate Bridge sequence was more exciting as a climax, and relocated Worthington Labs from DC to Alcatraz.
- The scene in which Magneto gets his powers back while playing chess on a park went through several versions. In the original, he was playing with a stranger who was revealed to be Xavier in another man's body, but as Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were unavailable to play the scene together, it was scrapped. In the next version, the stranger was Mystique, who would have been recovered her powers through a special drug she would pass to Magneto. At the end, however, they choose to shoot it with Magneto alone and to give Xavier his own scene; this was done secretly, so much that Stewart and McKellen didn't even know if the scenes would be in the film's cut or not.
- Ratner wanted a scene in which Jean's tombstone exploded in fire to hint a future return, but it was never shot.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- Michael C. Hall was considered for the role of William Stryker before Danny Huston was cast. Brian Cox also expressed an interest in reprising the role, using the same de-aging technology that had been utilized in The Last Stand.
- Gerard Butler and Karl Urban were considered for the part of Victor Creed before the casting of Liev Schreiber. Urban would eventually go on to portray Skurge the Executioner in Thor: Ragnarok.
- Michelle Monaghan was offered the role of Kayla Silverfox before Lynn Collins was cast. However, Monaghan turned it down due to scheduling conflicts, despite her enthusiasm to work with Hugh Jackman.
- Chris Hemsworth, Alden Ehrenreich, and Scott Porter screen-tested for Remy LeBeau before the casting of Taylor Kitsch. Hemsworth would later go on to play Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- David Harbour auditioned for the part of the Blob before Kevin Durand was cast, but ironically lost out due to being too fat for the scenes meant to take place before the character put on weight. Harbour would eventually portray Red Guardian in Black Widow set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Edgar Wright was approached for the role of Chris Bradley before the casting of Dominic Monaghan. However, Wright turned the offer, citing that he wasn't a good enough actor.
- Len Wiseman, Alexandre Aja, and Zack Snyder were considered to direct the movie before Gavin Hood was hired.
- The cameos from Remy LeBeau and Scott Summers didn't happen in previous drafts, and the guy Logan went to see in New Orleans was actually Barbarus, an obscure Savage Land character from the comics.
- Wade Wilson almost didn't appear in the movie either. The original final battle was going to be against a pack of feral, crazed Sabretooth clones. Presumably, this would've explained why Sabretooth doesn't speak very much and acts like a savage beast in the original X-Men movie, with the implication that the Sabretooth working for Magneto was actually just one of the surviving clones.
X-Men: First Class
- Jamie Dornan, Jonas Armstrong, Matthew James Thomas, Patrick J. Adams, and Boyd Holbrook screen-tested for the part of Charles Xavier before James McAvoy was cast. Holbrook would eventually go on to to portray Donald Pierce in Logan.
- Andrew Garfield, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Eddie Redmayne, Frank Dillane, and Jack Huston auditioned for the role of Erik Lehnsherr before the casting of Michael Fassbender. Garfield would later go to play Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man Series, while Johnson would portray Pietro Maximoff and Kraven the Hunter in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
- Benjamin Walker was initially chosen for Hank McCoy before Nicholas Hoult was cast, but dropped out of the project in order to star in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
- Alice Eve was offered the role of Emma Frost before the casting of January Jones, but turned it down due to scheduling issues with She's Out of My League.
- Bryan Cranston and Colin Firth were approached for the role of Sebastian Shaw before Kevin Bacon was cast. Cranston turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts with Drive (2011).
- Matthew Vaughn considered his friend Dexter Fletcher for the Man in Black, but the studio felt the cast had too many British actors and Fletcher himself declined, to direct Wild Bill.
- Vaughn tried to get Peter Wyngarde to appear in the film, but was mistakenly told that he died.
- Bryan Singer was originally approached to direct the film having previously directed X-Men and X2: X-Men United, but turned it down due to his previous commitments to Jack the Giant Killer.
- This movie initially started out as a spin-off focusing almost exclusively on Magneto's backstory which was meant to be part of a planned X-Men Origins film series, but the idea was then discarded in favour of a prequel that also included Professor X as a major character (he only had a supporting role in the original Magneto script) along with his first class of mutants.
- Sunspot was originally going to appear as a member of the team, but got cut due to being too expensive to render onscreen. This would've offset some of the complaints about the Monochrome Casting after the fates of Darwin and Angel. This idea ended up getting recycled for the next X-Men movie.
- The film was originally going to have a complex psychic action sequence between Charles Xavier and Emma Frost, which ended up getting cut due to worries that it would seem too similar to Inception.
- Azazel was originally going to look much more demonic◊.
- Sebastian Shaw's role as the Big Bad was originally going to be Mister Sinister with Kevin Bacon playing the character, which explains why some of Shaw's powers in the film are actually Sinister's in the source material.
- Katie Leung and Jessica Henwick were considered for the role of Yukio before Rila Fukushima was cast. Henwick would eventually go on to portray Colleen Wing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Jessica Biel was approached for the part of Viper before the casting of Svetlana Khodchenkova.
- Darren Aronofsky was originally set to direct the film before James Mangold was hired. However, Aronofsky dropped out of the project due to the fact that the long overseas shoot would prevent him from seeing his family. Aronofsky was previously considered to helm X-Men: The Last Stand before Brett Ratner was hired.
- Simon Beaufoy was approached to write the script for the movie, but declined due to his reluctance to commit to the film's production schedule.
- This was originally positioned as a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine but thanks to both the poor reception to that film and the fact that there were so many things that just don't work with the continuity following it, it was tied back to the continuity as established by The Last Stand.
- According to co-writer Mark Bomback, Rogue was going to appear, but was written out.
- Early drafts would have had Wolverine as the only mutant character.
- An alternate ending for the film, found on the DVD release, featured Logan receiving the comic-accurate yellow and black costume Wolverine costume from Yukio, complete with the trademark mask.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
- Jamie Campbell Bower and Nico Tortorella auditioned for the role of Peter Maximoff before Evan Peters was cast.
- Angel, Azazel, Riptide, and Emma were intended to return, until they decided to go with the Days of Future Past story and killed the former Hellfire Club offscreen.
- According to Singer himself, Deadpool and Gambit were supposed to appear in the film.
- Among the concept art that has surfaced for the film is a costume concept◊ of Jubilee for the future scenes, indicating that she was among the characters considered for the film. Lana Condor would play Jubilee in X-Men Apocalypse.
- Rockslide was also planned as one of the future X-Men, but did not make it past the storyboard stage. However, a Sentinel mimicking his powers does still appear as a bit of an Orphaned Reference.
- The mutant who helps the heroes break Magneto out of jail was originally going to be a teenage version of Cain Marko, aka The Juggernaut. The script was rewritten to feature Quicksilver in the jailbreak sequence instead, and Josh Helman, the actor who was cast as Marko, was chosen to play a young version of William Stryker (the Big Bad of X2: X-Men United) to make up for his role being cut.
- Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke, was also considered to make an appearance in the film, but was cut from the script early. It does not help that before the film came out, many were confusing Fan Bingbing's Blink for her. Psylocke is played by Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse.
- A major Deleted Scene would have turned the plot of the movie on its ear had it been kept as it featured Mystique returning to Charles's mansion where she has her gunshot wound tended to by Hank and is basically completely filled in on her role in the story arc, which although Mystique remains defiant, still pretty much would have left the film with nowhere to go had it been kept.
- Stan Lee was offered a cameo, but opted out so he could attend Fan Expo Canada in Toronto.
- Singer also wanted a younger Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, to show up as well, but he thought there were already too many characters as it was. However, Kodi Smit-McPhee was cast as Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse.
- Rachel Summers was originally going to be the one to send Wolverine back in time and have a complicated relationship with Storm, but her role was cut and given to Kitty because Simon Kinberg felt the movie already had enough drama and characters.
- Scenes implying a romance between Storm and Logan were filmed, but cut for time.
- Beast was to appear in the future scenes but Kelsey Grammer was busy filming Transformers: Age of Extinction. His cameo was added in re-shoots.
- Havok was to be captured later on in the film and used to test a prototype Sentinel. It was cut for time purposes. This explains why Havok is not seen when Magneto makes his broadcast, but Ink and Toad are.
- In Matthew Vaughn's intended version of the film, Magneto would have intended to kill JFK as revenge for the murders of Angel and Azazel. Raven would also have attempted to pose as Kennedy, with help from Emma Frost, in an attempt to gain power. It would have backfired horribly, explaining the anti-Mutant sentiment.
- Vaughn's version of Days of Future Past was also intended to be the third installment of the X-Men prequel series, rather than the second. The second film would've been set in the 70s, and would've introduced a new actor as a younger Wolverine, with plans for this new version of the character to encounter the original Hugh Jackman Wolverine during the eventual Days of Future Past film, which would've been set in the 80s. Had this happened, Vaughn's pick for the younger Wolverine was Tom Hardy.
- Olivia Munn was approached for the role of Vanessa Carlysle before Morena Baccarin was cast, but turned it down due to Creative Differences over the portrayal of the character. Munn would eventually go on to portray Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse.
- Daniel Cudmore was offered to reprise his role as Colossus from X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men: Days of Future Past for the film. However, Cudmore declined the offer, as he was unhappy with the idea of only doing motion capture work while another actor dubbed over his lines.
- Robert Rodriguez was originally approached to direct the movie before Tim Miller was hired, but turned it down in order to helm Spy Kids: All the Time in the World.
- There were plans for cameos from various other X-Men, including Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but the studio denied all of them for being too expensive.
- An earlier draft of the film surfaced online, and while similar to the finished film, did not feature Angel Dust or Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Additionally, Garrison Kane, Wyre (who would've had the ability to deploy whiplike tendrils from his fingers), and Sluggo were all supposed to appear as Ajax's enforcers. Due to budgetary issues (with the CGI required for Kane's cybernetic arms proving especially expensive), the three villains were combined into Angel Dust, who takes Sluggo's place as the one who fights Colossus during the final battle.
- Miller and the writers considered having Cannonball as the teenage X-Men member partnered with Colossus, with Miller saying he would have been written as a "stupid hick" character. They decided to use Negasonic Teenage Warhead instead, as they felt Cannonball was too silly to work as a Straight Man to Colossus and Deadpool.
- Related to this, the writers would have originally had to have Negasonic Teenage Warhead's power set be more similar to the comics, as they did not have the rights to change it at first. What did they do? They went to Marvel Studios to ask permission for this to happen. By sheer coincidence, Marvel themselves had wanted to use certain charactersnote that 20th Century Fox had the rights to. It worked out well in the end: Marvel got the rights to Ego, while Fox could change NTW's power set.
- Director Tim Miller has said the tone shifted several times in development, with the studio looking for a PG rating at one point.
- Early drafts of the script featured a joke where it would have been revealed that Deadpool's mask was actually a store-bought Spider-Man mask that had been turned inside out. This was presumably cut due to potential legal issues (as Spider-Man's film rights are owned by Sony).
- There was going to be a Running Gag involving Wade and the other bar patrons betting money on how Amy Winehouse would die. This was cut because Winehouse actually did die sometime after the script was written, making the joke both irrelevant and possibly insensitive.
- Patch originally appeared in the script as a bartender, and would have been strangled to death by Wyre when Ajax and his men stormed the bar. His role was ultimately given to Weasel.
- There was going to be a Sequel Hook revealing that Ajax was actually just a puppet working for Doctor Killebrew, the real mastermind behind the experiments that mutated Wade.
- Cable almost made it into the movie, but it was decided that his introduction would work better in a sequel.
- The gag involving the Deadpool action figure from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the WHAM! album was originally slightly different, and was more of a Take That!.
- The original plan for the stinger was yet another Call-Back with Deadpool finding Beast shitting on his lawn and chasing him off. They even went so far as to approach Nicholas Hoult, who absolutely loved the idea, but again it proved too expensive.
- Taskmaster was in the script at one point, but like the above instances, was cut for being too expensive, especially since Marvel still owns the rights for him.
- Bob was originally meant to be the actual Bob from HYDRA, but a combination of the film's limited budget and possible legal action from Marvel forced the writers to take out any explicit references to HYDRA.
- The writers and director had to figure out how to trim $7 million out of the film's budget in 48 hours, or else production couldn't begin. While in most instances this is a sign of a Troubled Production (especially given the production troubles of Fantastic Four, filmed around the same time), everyone thought the changes made the movie much tighter. The deletions they made included:
- The condensing of Wyre, Garrison Kane, and Sluggo down into Angel Dust.
- A motorcycle chase between Ajax and Deadpool.
- A pitched gun battle at the scrapyard, which was solved by introducing the Running Gag of Deadpool forgetting his ammo bag in the taxi.
- Other pitches for the end credits included a 1980s Knight Rider style version, and an Honest Trailers version done by the actual crew of the web series.
- Ajax was supposed to be scarred by Wade, who puts "Hi, my name is Francis" on his forehead and get arrested after the fight with Wade.
- Wade was originally supposed to Mercy Kill Worm.
- One idea for Colossus was to make him a cloaked figure who liked to hide in the shadows.
- Taron Egerton was originally approached for the role of Scott Summers before Tye Sheridan was cast, but turned down the offer in order to star in Eddie the Eagle, despite being a fan of the X-Men franchise.
- Chloë Grace Moretz was initially offered the role of Jean Grey before the casting of Sophie Turner. However, Moretz turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with The Fifth Wave.
- Amber Stevens West and Zendaya screen-tested for the role of Ororo Munroe before Alexandra Shipp was cast. Zendaya would eventually go on to play Michelle Jones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Zazie Beetz also auditioned for the part of Ororo Munroe before the casting of Shipp. Beetz would later go on to portray Domino in Deadpool 2.
- Idris Elba and Tom Hardy were considered for Apocalypse before the casting of Oscar Isaac. Elba previously played Heimdall in Thor, and Hardy would go on to portray Eddie Brock in Venom.
- A part for Gambit was considered, but it was eventually scrapped.
- Previous drafts of the script had a bigger part for Wolverine, with the character entering the plot midway through the movie and acting as a drill sergeant to the new X-Men. According to Simon Kinberg, his role was cut down because having another mentor figure for the kids would have made Mystique redundant.
- The film was going to be titled Age of Apocalypse, but it got shortened to Apocalypse because of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Transformers: Age of Extinction. The fact that this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the Age of Apocalypse storyline probably helped too.
- At one point, Charles was going to be the fourth Horseman.
- In an IGN interview promoting Dark Phoenix, Michael Fassbender revealed that he had suggested the stress endured by Erik during the Auschwitz scene would result in him gaining his comic counterpart's iconic white hair, but the writers and director vetoed the idea.
- Psylocke was planned to have a more practical black outfit, but Olivia Munn successfully argued for the classic purple leotard instead.
- Jean Grey's costume originally looked more faithful to the comic book version.
- Although the mall sequence was included as a deleted scene on the Blu-Ray, it's still missing a moment where Scott finds a Dazzler record.◊
- Millie Bobby Brown screen-tested for the role of Laura before the casting of Dafne Keen. When asked about her audition, Brown responded with this.
: Honestly, for me, I felt so I felt an actor, in the audition room, hitting Hugh Jackman
, and James Mangold
sitting right in front of me.
- Liev Schreiber was approached to reprise his role as Sabretooth from the first Wolverine movie, but scheduling conflicts with Ray Donovan prevented this from happening. He would've appeared in Oklahoma City as a casino owner, with Logan and the others surprisingly going to him for help this time.
- Ian McKellen expressed an interest in returning as Magneto.
- Cliff Martinez was originally hired to do the score but for unknown reasons, dropped out and was replaced by Marco Beltrami, who has previously worked with Mangold before on The Wolverine.
- Jackman has remarked that if a crossover between the X-Men Film Series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been possible at the time he announced his retirement from the role, he may have held off on that decision.
If that was on the table when I made my decision, it certainly would have made me pause. Thats for sure. Because I always love the idea of him within that dynamic, with the Hulk
obviously, with Iron Man
but theres a lot of smarter people with MBAs who cant figure that out.
- Earlier drafts of the movie featured explicit flashbacks to the "Westchester Incident" where Xavier lost control of his powers, which resulted in 600 injuries and the deaths of several X-Men. The scene was cut because it was decided that leaving what exactly happened ambiguous (including which X-Men actually died) made the whole thing even more tragic. Mangold also felt that showing the death of the X-Men would make the film about them rather than about Logan and Charles, while also knowing that the scene would likely be more expensive than the rest of the film due to the high-profile cameos required.
- Hugh Jackman said that originally he wanted Wolverine to survive the events of the movie.
- Originally, X-23 was planned to be a teenager like her comics counterpart, partly due to concerns as to whether a younger character would be viewed as a legitimate threat. The change was made because Mangold wanted to break away from the convention of casting a very attractive teenage actress and putting her in a "hot" uniform, as well as a general shift away from a Teen Hero mold. The teenage X-23 remained far enough into production that concept art was created◊ for that iteration of the character.
- A few changes from the final shooting script:
- When Logan arrives at the motel to pick up Gabriella and Laura, he finds strange scratch marks in the pavement that hint at Laura's true nature. Additionally, the manager of the motel would also have been killed by the Reavers.
- Several moments which reference Logan and Laura's enhanced senses were removed, such as Logan recognizing Gabriella is lying to him at the motel, and Laura sniffing Nate Munson.
- A slight extension of the scene between Laura and Nate in his room has Laura demonstrating her intelligence, by easily solving a difficult problem on the math homework that Nate is struggling with.
- In the final battle, Elena (the girl who controls plants) would have been shot and killed by the Reavers. Lizard Boy was also shot in the script, though it wasn't revealed whether he survived.
- Logan was going to have a dog at one point.
- There was going to be a scene where Laura finds a photo of Jean Grey in Logan's jacket and asks if Jean is her mother, prompting Logan to crumple the photo and toss it away.
- In an early script, Logan and Charles were living in an old Kentucky bourbon mill.
- The water tank Xavier lives in was originally upright.
- Brad Pitt and Liam Neeson were offered the role of Cable before Josh Brolin was cast. Pitt would eventually go on to portray the Vanisher, an invisible character, who ends up being electrocuted by a telephone cable.
- David Harbour, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Shannon, and Edge read for the part of Cable as well. Mortensen was previously approached for the role of Wolverine in X-Men. Harbour would later go on to play Red Guardian in Black Widow set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Pierce Brosnan, Alec Baldwin, Kurt Russell, Stephen Lang, Mel Gibson, Ron Perlman, Russell Crowe, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were also considered for Cable before the casting of Brolin.
- Gugu Mbatha Raw and Sienna Miller were initially approached for the part of Domino before the casting of Zazie Beetz. Mbatha-Raw would eventually go on to join Loki as Judge Renslayer.
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kerry Washington, Lizzy Caplan, Ruby Rose, Sofia Boutella, Stephanie Sigman, Mackenzie Davis, Kelly Rohrbach, Eve Hewson, Sylvia Hoeks, and Janelle Monáe screen-tested for the role of Domino as well before the casting of Beetz.
- Drew Goddard, Rupert Sanders, and Magnus Martens were in the running to direct the film before David Leitch was hired.
- If the scrolling text seen in the news reporter's coverage of Russell's rampage at the orphanage is to be believed, Christopher Plummer was offered a role in this film, but turned it down.
- Tim Miller's original vision for the sequel envisioned a more comic-accurate (i.e. tall) Cable, portrayed by Kyle Chandler, as well as an expanded role for Vanessa as she became the character Copycat. Additionally, Miller planned for an appearance by The Thing, with Michael Chiklis reprising his role, who would fight The Juggernaut in the climax.
- One of the planned post-credits scenes would have involved Chris Evans reprising his first superhero role as the Human Torch.
- Likewise, another idea was to have Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell from the failed Fantastic Four reboot show up, but the scene never made it past the scripting stage.
- Black Tom originally had a much larger role in general, and was supposed to corrupt Russell and lead him down the path of violence and darkness. The studio eventually cut down his part because the special effects required to depict his powers would've proven too expensive.
- In the original cut, Vanessa and Peter's deaths were meant to be permanent. David Leitch came up with the idea for the The Stinger, where Wade travels back in time and prevents both characters from being killed, after the first test screenings, and it was added in the reshoots.
- X-Force was originally going to get blown up by landing on a minefield. The filmmakers scrapped the idea when they were unable to come up with a good reason for the plane to be flying over an airfield.
- K-Pop singer RAIN was considered for a role in the film but he turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.
- Mystique and Magneto were not originally intended to appear as Jennifer Lawrence implied in several interviews that she was done with playing Mystique, though she said in an interview that she had a change of heart as she didn't want fans to be confused if her character got the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome treatment.
- Angelina Jolie was considered for the role of Vuk. Surprisingly enough, her estranged husband Brad Pitt was considered to play Cable in Deadpool 2. He did appear as The Vanisher, albeit not for very long.
- Dark Phoenix was originally going to be the start of another trilogy, much like how First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse all featured prominent time periodsnote , with Dark Phoenix covering the 90s, and (presumably) its two sequels would've covered the 2000s and 2010s.
- In earlier cuts of the film, Vuk (Jessica Chastain's character) is referred to as Lilandra, suggesting that originally, the D'Bari were going to be the Shi'ar. Kinberg felt that the Lilandra storyline would draw attention away from the main cast, and instead chose to use the D'Bari (who, in the comics, were wiped out by Jean's actions).
- Tye Sheridan has confirmed that at one point, the aliens would've been the Skrulls instead of the D'Bari. Presumably, Chastain's character would've been Veranke the Skrull Queen had that not been changed.
- A cameo from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was considered, but scrapped due to a combination of reasons: Kinberg felt that the age gap between Jackman and Turner would've made interactions between Wolverine and Jean Grey creepy; Kinberg refusing to just include a one-off cameo, saying that if he included Jackman, it would've distracted audiences from Jean's journey; and Kinberg feeling that doing so would also cheapen the feeling of finality that Logan had for the role.
- The original ending would've been a massive space battle, with Jean fighting off the alien invaders above the Earth. The ending had to be completely reshot and changed to the train battle in order to avoid similarities to the ending of Captain Marvel.
The New Mutants
- Rosario Dawson was initially chosen for the part of Cecilia Reyes before Alice Braga was cast. However, Dawson dropped out of the project due to scheduling commitments to Luke Cage.
- Sacha Baron Cohen had brief discussions for the role of Warlock in the film before the character was scrapped from the script.
- Early drafts for the film featured James McAvoy returning as Professor X, along with Alexandra Shipp reprising her part as Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse.
- The original stinger would have introduced Jon Hamm as Mister Sinister, before being changed to Antonio Banderas as Emmanuel da Costa, the father of Sunspot, which wound up never actually being filmed due to the Disney-Fox merger going through.
- Sunspot's father Emmanuel da Costa would also be the antagonist in the film's proposed sequel, set in the family's native country, Brazil.
- The film was meant to set up a New Mutants trilogy, with the second film introducing the alien robot Warlock and the third film to adapt the X-Men comic storyline "Inferno", where demons invade the Earth and Magik embraces her demonic heritage.
- The early story plans included Storm as a "sadistic jailer," which everyone understandably very quickly decided against.
Other Assorted Trivia
- X-Men series producer Kevin Feige expressed a desire to see Hugh Jackman cameo as Wolverine in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (which Feige was also producing), which would have created a shared Marvel film universe six years prior to the MCU. Jackman admitted that it didn't happen because the filmmakers couldn't locate his costume in time.
- Gambit had a film in the works for a long time, which Disney eventually shelved.
- In addition to Gambit, there were three more films that were in development prior to the Disney-Fox merger, such as an X23 film, which would've continued from Logan with Dafne Keen reprising her role as Laura, a Kitty Pryde film with a screenplay written by Brian Michael Bendis and a Multiple Man film with James Franco playing the titular character.
- As Fox had the film rights to both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, there were a few aborted attempts to do a crossover between the two franchises:
- In an interview with Fatman Beyond, X-Men: First Class co-writer Zack Stentz revealed that he wrote a script for a Fox Marvel crossover film which would've established that the film series, Daredevil, Elektra and Fantastic Four were from the same Shared Universe and that Paul Greengrass was going to direct the film, but Greengrass' decision to direct Captain Phillips, along with Marvel's regaining of the Daredevil/Elektra film rights and Fox's decision to reboot Fantastic Four scrapped it.
- The Hollywood Reporter subsequently revealed further details about the film, which would have been inspired by Civil War (years before Marvel Studios' own adaptation) and seen the implementation of a Superhero Registration Act after the Human Torch accidentally caused a massive explosion in New York during a battle with the Molecule Man. The members of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four would have become divided over the registration act, leading to a series of battles between them. One key matchup would have had Mister Fantastic stretch his hands to a molecular level of sharpness to chop off Wolverine's arms. The film would have ended with a tease of a Skrull invasion, setting up a future crossover based on Secret Invasion.
- Warren Ellis was later hired to pen a completely different X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie, but this too never came to fruition.
- In 2012, Fox hired Mark Millar to shepherd a shared continuity featuring both the X-Men series and the then-upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, with plans for both teams to eventually meet in a crossover. The plan eventually fell apart, with Simon Kinberg later claiming the FF reboot was not in the same universe as the X-Men movies. The fact that the film ultimately wound up being a Box Office Bomb killed any further plans of a team-up.
- Longtime editor John Ottman co-wrote a script for a solo Beast movie, which would've only featured the other X-Men in supporting roles. Set after X-Men: Apocalypse, the script saw Hank head to a small village in Canada to try and help out Paul Cartier, a mutant scientist who had transformed into the cannibalistic monster known as the Wendigo. During his stay, he would've met a young Inuit single mother named Ahnah, who would've becomes his love interest after revealing that she was a mutant with telepathic abilities. The climax of the film would've had Beast team up with Wolverine (now clad in his iconic brown costume and mask) to battle the Wendigo, with a Sequel Hook at the end teasing Mr. Sinister. The project was ultimately scrapped when Simon Kinberg declined to read the script, as its use of Wolverine conflicted with his own intention to introduce a new version of the character in a potential Dark Phoenix sequel due to Hugh Jackman's departure from the franchise.
- A third show, Hellfire, was initially developed as a series revolving around the Hellfire Club into a period-piece drama, but Fox passed on the opportunity to make a pilot.
- A Deadpool animated series was originally planned for 2018 with Donald Glover as producer and co-writer. However, the series was ultimately dropped owing to Creative Differences and the Disney-Fox deal.