The X-Men Film of 1984

Sometime in the mid 1990s I recall reading about a proposed X-Men film that was to involve at least two actors who would’ve represented their comic characters more faithfully. Arnold Schwarzenegger was tipped to play the metal-skinned Colossus (complete with Russian accent) and Mel Gibson was to play Wolverine, in all his short-statured fury. I remember this because I was just starting to get into the X-Men at the time, and was quite excited by the prospect of this cinematic adventure. Of course, years before that I was excited upon learning of a He-Man film with Dolph Lundgren. Those were the days before the internet, where we had to wait to be disappointed until we could see the film on the silver screen. Or VHS. Now we can learn every maddening detail on-line and save our dashed hopes for other things, such as our local sports team.

1984 X-Men FilmA few years before the 90s X-Men film there was this one, or there could’ve been. Comics writers Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway wrote a script for a proposed film of Marvel’s favourite super group, but as is often the case in Hollywood, a script doesn’t necessarily mean a movie. An interesting discussion between the pair, as well as a brief history on the project is available for free at TwoMorrow’s site. The publisher has been around since 1994 and focus their magazine, book and DVD efforts on comics history and discussion from the 1970s to today. Back Issue is one of my fave reads. It’ll mean a lot to nostalgic fanboys. Draw! and Write Now! are also full of useful advice from pros to all wannabe creators. Look for the Comics Go Hollywood PDF, fill in some details and the 36 pager is all yours. It also includes an examination of the storyboards of the new Justice League: New Frontier DVD, an interview with writer/producer Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes, lotsa comics) a look at legendary artist Jack Kirby and Hollywood, and the Joker’s transition from page to screen. It’s well worth a look for comics history buffs, or those who’d like to know more. I must say the X-Men film is a highlight. With giant nostrils, a walking Professor X and no mention of the word “mutant,” it’s a good thing this film was never made.

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