The “X-Men” film franchise stands at a crossroads at this point with the movies ready to go in a new direction – following a different and often younger group of core characters, whilst at the same time changing up tone and format.
From the spin-offs like “Deadpool” and the upcoming “Gambit,” to the 1990s set “X-Men: Supernova” and “New Mutants,” a new generation of mutants are taking over from the old guard. Wolverine has said his farewell in “Logan,” and now producer Lauren Shuler Donner tells Vanity Fair that the franchise is changing one key focus of the six main films to date – the relationship between Professor X and Magneto:
“We cannot, once again, explore the Erik/Charles dynamic… [A Charles and Erik-less world] is both liberating and makes me nervous—it’s mostly liberating. [Charles and Erik are] always essential to X-Men—but there are other stories to tell.”
Whether it be Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, or James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, the dynamic between Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr has been a key focal point in all but the spin-offs to date.
As this relationship won’t be explored anymore though it doesn’t mean we’ll never see these characters again. Patrick Stewart, who seemingly retired from the role recently, has admitted this week he’ll take it on again for an appearance in another “Deadpool” film. James McAvoy is also rumored to be reprising Xavier for at least “X-Men: Supernova” if not “New Mutants” as well.
The comments come as series producer David Hayter revealed to THR this week about some of the others that were up for roles in the original “X-Men” including Terence Stamp and Michael Jackson (Prof. X), Viggo Mortensen (Wolverine), Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey (Storm), and Shaq (Bishop). He also confirmed Angela Bassett and Rachael Leigh Cook were the first choices for Storm and Rogue respectively but demanded too much money.