The Marvel Superhero Movies That Never Were: X-MEN ORIGINS: MAGNETO - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Marvel Superhero Movies That Never Were: X-MEN ORIGINS: MAGNETO

Peace was never an option.

After X-Men 3: The Last Stand the plan was to produce a series of individual X-Men origin movies, and we got one of them in the form of 2009s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But before that Hugh Jackman starring film had arrived in theaters work had begun on the next in the spin-off series, a film which would've focussed on on Erik Lensherr / Magneto.

A solo Magento film had first been proposed as far back as 2004 when screenwriter Sheldon Turner was hired by Fox to write a treatment which would both act as an origin story and a tale that would expand upon Magento's mythology as included within the main X-Men films. Ian McKellen was under contract for an additional feature to take place after X-Men: The Last Stand, with the assumption that this would be it.

In 2007, David Goyer was bought onboard to oversee the project, both re-writing the screenplay and set to step behind the camera to direct. Although the film was originally not going to heavily feature any other X-Men characters that had been established in the recent trilogy of films, outside of cameos, Goyer changed this direction, increasing the small role Patrick Stewart's character Charles Xavier / Professor X was to have had. It was also intended to use CGI to make McKellen and other actors appear younger, but again Goyer vetoed this choosing to make a more focused flashback origin story with a recast younger Magneto, book-ended by McKellen in the here and now.

In November 2008, Goyer released a little teaser synopsis to get the publicity machine flowing...
"The film explores the World War II time period in which Eric Lensherr is a prisoner of a concentration camp and discovers his mutant abilities, later becoming Magneto. This period was briefly touched upon in the first "X-Men" movie. Charles Xavier (Professor X) will also factor into the story, and the meeting between Xavier and Lensherr, their subsequent friendship and eventual parting of ways is detailed in the film."
The following month Goyer confirmed that the Magneto origin story was on hold, with Fox potentially waiting to gauge reception for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Come April 2009 the project seemed all but dead.

But if all of the above sounds quite similar to you that's because elements of Sheldon Turner's treatment was incorporated into 2011s X-Men: First Class, with Turner even given a "story by" credit in the film. First Class was intended to be the film after X-Men Origins: Magneto, it was already mapped out and revealed back in 2008, so perhaps Fox just thought there was way too much overlap between the two pictures. Combined with the disappointing box-office returns for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the studio seemingly felt the soft-reboot option was the right way forward.

And I think they made the right decision on this occasion.

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