For most of us, it's hard to imagine what the world was like before comic book movies. However, there was a time when making a film featuring comic book characters was a struggle to turn into reality. A new report reveals that there were actually plans to produce an X-Men movie back in the 1980s. Interestingly, the cancelled flick would have focused on Kitty Pryde as she eventually embraced her Shadowcat persona.
The in-depth report by Polygon reveals that Stan Lee wanted to bring Marvel characters to the big screen after the success of Richard Donner's Superman films. After several rejections, Lee's associate Alice Donenfeld-Vernoux managed to make a deal with Nelvana in 1982, which was then known for animation. With a studio finally ready for the project, Marvel writer Chris Claremont was assigned to work with Nelvana on which characters will be used and the story for the film.
So what would have happened in the movie? Claremont had two outlines which are listed below.
"The first version, dated June 1982 and called Rite of Passage, specifically focuses on Kitty Pryde. Claremont enters the world of the X-Men through the life of Kitty, following her journey from new recruit to part of the X-family. The villain is the heroine’s father, who, after trying to kill Professor Xavier while being possessed by an evil mutant named Proteus, turns against his daughter and uses his senatorial power to turn the country against the mutants. Meanwhile, Professor X grows weak from the possession, prompting his pupils to rise up and save him from being trapped in the astral realm. At the end of the day, the gang saves Xavier, Senator Pryde’s love for his daughter wins out, and everyone is happy.
"The second outline, from 1983, also features Kitty, but takes a more macro focus on a global conflict between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, putting their feud against the backdrop of the Cold War. At one point, Magneto raises an island from beneath the ocean and destroys a Soviet submarine full of nuclear warheads with his hands. Later, he creates a volcano in a distant Russian city and sets it off to send a message. In the end, after almost killing Kitty, Magneto realizes that he’s gone too far and turns to Charles for forgiveness."
Both outlines are certainly interesting but perhaps people weren't ready for an X-Men movie just yet. When Marvel's Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway were brought in to work on the script, their screenplay kept getting rejected by Orion Pictures, which got a distribution deal with Nelvana. In the end, the project was ultimately scrapped when Orion went bankrupt.
What did you think of the original outline for the X-Men movie? Let us know in the comments below.