An Unmade X-Men Prequel
The X-Men is a popular comics book series about a group of young super-powered mutants trained by Professor Charles Xavier who are hated by much of society but also protect it from Xavier’s former friend Magneto (possibly the second greatest Comic Book Super Villain).
In 2000, the last year its name made sense, 20th Century Fox released The X-Men a film adaptation of the concept, followed in 2003 by X2. Both were successful and lead to interest in a sequel (2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand) and prequels.
Sheldon Turner was hired by 20th Century Fox in December 2004 to work on a X-Men script. He decided to work on an X-Men Origins film about Magneto, which he pitched as “The Pianist meets X-Men.” David S Goyer signed on to direct it in April 2007. The film was planned for a 2009 release and was the be filmed in Australia.
1939 to 1955: Magneto is liberated from Auschwitz by Xavier, a young soldier. He hunts down the Nazi war criminals who tortured him, and this lust for vengeance turns him and Xavier into enemies.
In May 2006 Ian McKellen (who played Magneto in the three X-Men films) said he would appear with the CGI generated facelift he had in flashback scenes in The Last Stand. When Goyer was hired it was revealed that actors in their twenties would fill the roles. McKellen still hoped in 2008 that he would open and close the film in line with producer Lauren Shuler Donner’s claims that McKellen would anchor the film, which would occur as flashbacks. But by October 2009 McKellen admitted that his age was a barrier and he would not be reprising the role.
The production was delayed by the 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike. In December 2008, Goyer said that filming would commence in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was successful. In an interview with Empire Magazine in October 2009, Shuler Donnor stated that “the studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it’ll get made in five years – who knows?”
Elements of X-Men Origins: Magneto were incorporated into X-Men: First Class, with Shuler Donner and Bryan Singer stating that that film “supersedes” the Magneto film.
Originally posted here 9th Jan 2014.