David Hayter, the screenwriter behind X-Men and X2 has revealed his vision for what the third X-Men film in the franchise could have been.
Hayter got his start in screenwriting thanks to his friend, X-Men director Bryan Singer. Back in 1998, Hayter had produced in and starred in the independent film Burn which Singer executive produced. Unfortunately, the film’s distribution deal fell apart and it was never released. Hayter was left broke and in order to make ends meet, Singer gave him a job as an assistant answering the phones on the first X-Men which was in pre-production at the time.
Singer himself was very frustrated with the initial script for X-Men. Hayter, who knew the X-Men very well, got involved as a writer on the film after he suggested a scene that Singer liked. Before he knew it, Hayter had written rewritten over half of the script and Hayter was officially hired onto the project. He ended up rewriting so much of the film, he received sole credit for the script.
Hayter was then hired back for X2 which most fans hold in the highest regard of all the X-Men films, but Hayter wasn’t hired back to write the third film in the franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand, after Singer exited the franchise when he was given the green light to helm his passion project Superman Returns.
X-Men: The Last Stand was poorly received by both fans and critics alike. The film itself was a disappointing attempt at the Dark Phoenix Saga that led to majorly confusing flaws in the franchise’s continuity. We can all remember the first teaser trailer for X-Men: The Last Stand with Wolverine running through the forest but Hayter recently revealed what we may have seen instead had he been brought back for the third film, telling THR:
“The image that I wanted for X-Men 3 trailer was essentially, you see Xavier and Logan facing off against Jean and her eyes are on fire and she’s become the Dark Phoenix and they are talking about the war between humans and mutants and she says something along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll put an end to it.’ And then we cut to this statue of Iwo Jima in Washington, as the sun is coming up, but it’s still twilight and purple, and you see a flare of orange and it melts away. She fires through, on fire and blasts right through it. You see the Capitol Building and she flies up to the White House and lands into the middle of the street. We cut opposite and we see the entire army arrayed against her. She’s like “Come on!” and we cut to black. I went up to set on X-Men 3. I met [director] Brett Ratner there. They said, ‘This is David Hayter,” and he was like, ‘Oh my God, we need you on this!’ I was like, ‘I bet!’ It was the day with the big sentinel head and Hugh in the training room.”
Hayter also revealed many A-list celebrities had auditioned for roles in the first X-Men film, including the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, who wanted to play the leader the X-Men Professor X:
“I was brought on as they were casting, so I was lucky enough to be there for some of the people who came in like Terence Stamp for Xavier and Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey for Storm. Michael Jackson came in because he wanted to play Professor X. It was amazing. Shaq came in. Viggo Mortensen came in. I really liked Viggo for Wolverine, but it didn’t come together for whatever reason. Angela Bassett was our first choice for Storm, but her agents wanted more money than we had at the time. Same with Rachael Leigh Cook for Rogue.”
So what do you think? Does Hayter’s take on the Dark Phoenix Saga sound like one you would have liked to see? Can you imagine Michael Jackson as Professor X? Sound off in the comments below.