In a story straight out of Marvel Comics “What If!?” tales comes Chris Claremont’s tale of what could have happened ten years before Brian Singer helmed the X-men. It involved Angella Basatte as the X-men’s Storm among other things. Check it out below!
“James Cameron, Bob Hoskins, Angela Bassett — ahhh. Fanboy heaven. I would have been happy as a clam,” Claremont said in a Q&A with Louise Simonson, his longtime “X-Men” editor.
Claremont also talked about how he tried to dissuade former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter from reviving the character Jean Grey after Claremont killed her off in the Dark Phoenix saga, one of his most famous X-Men stories. (It was partially adapted, along with Claremont’s X-Men graphic novel, “God Loves, Man Kills,” for the second X-Men film.)
He was wistful about the X-movie that might have been — but still irritated at the retcon that brought Grey back to life for the comics series “X Factor.”
Claremont has said before that he wanted Hoskins (pictured) as Wolverine and Bassett as Storm, but went into detail Saturday about why a proposed adaptation from the then-married Cameron and Bigelow never came to pass. (Cameron went on to win best picture and director Oscars for “Titanic” and Bigelow to beat Cameron’s “Avatar” to win best picture and directing Oscars for “The Hurt Locker.”)
In the comics, Claremont noted, Wolverine is diminutive but feral, like a real wolverine. He recalled a scene in the 1984 film “Lassiter” in which Hoskins pushes open a door and shoves the much taller Tom Selleck while berating him. That moment, to Claremont, captured the essence of Wolverine.
He said that as Cameron launched his own studio, Lightstorm Entertainment, in 1990, he and Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee went to his office to pitch him an X-Men movie.
“Just think about this for a minute: James Cameron’s X-Men. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. That’s what we were playing,” Claremont said. “So we’re chatting. And at one point Stan looks at Cameron and says, ‘I hear you like Spider-Man.’ Cameron’s eyes lit up.
“And they start talking. And talking. And talking. About 20 minutes later all the Lighstorm 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. To Carolco. To Universal. To this to that. To Fox. It was just a nightmare.”
20th Century Fox finally released Singer’s “X-Men” in 2000. Sony ultimately released Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” in 2002, with a script by David Koepp.
Claremont had no complains about Singer’s “X-Men” films — or the casting of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Halle Berry as Storm. They launched a franchise and helped open the door to a decade of comic book blockbusters. But Claremont wondered what might have been if Cameron’s film had been made a decade before Singer’s.
As the watcher would say….what If?….What If?….What If!?