At the start of the new millennium there was a push in comic-book related movies. Sure in the years since movies have gotten a bigger budget to bring comics to life, but what really kicked it off was the X-men. Director Bryan Singer brought in nearly $300 million and launched a $900 million franchise with the help of A-list actors Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellan.Would you believe though that their star Canadian mutant was almost never played by the now blockbuster Australian?
It’s true bub. Check out the whole story after the jump.
During a recent Q&A at Columbia University, long-time X-men comics writer Chris Claremont talked about a time when he and comic book icon Stan Lee tried to get the franchise optioned back in 1990. In a meeting at Lightstorm Entertainment the pair sat down with James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow (director of Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker), then producer and director of the project. Now this sounds weird right from the start, but this goes straight into the realm of “You’ve got to be kidding me?”.
In the comics, Wolverine at one point was a diminutive tough guy- sharing the similarity with the mammal he was nicknamed after- as such they wanted someone to fit that role. And just who do you ask was going to fill the role of the Canuck with a heart of adamantium: Bob Hoskins!
It’s sounds like some kind of big joke, but they actually wanted the man who would be known as the live-action Super Mario to play Wolverine. The studio nearly went for it too, that was until Stan opened his mouth about how Cameron felt about the Spider-man movie.
“About 20 minutes later all the Lightstorm guys and I are looking at each other, and we all know the X-Men deal has just evaporated. Kathryn goes off and writes a screen treatment for X-Men that was eaten alive by all the idiots who have a piece of Spider-Man because Marvel during its evolution has sold off the rights time and time and time again.” And we all know what happened with that Spider-Man script that James Cameron was writing. I’m pretty sure Cameron needs to stay away from superheroes in general.
Thankfully, we now know what happened as Lee and Cameron giggled like school girls over Peter Parker on the silver screen. Jackman became a household name to a new generation of nerds and we’re all on our heels waiting for X-men: First Classs 2, but think of what could have been……
Source: Geek Tyrant