How “The Stan” stole the Christmas? or Why Brian Singer end up directing The X-Men.

Blog, Cine, Comic, MARVEL, Wolverine

1963, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, created the X-Men. Or do they not?

Actually they did create a bunch of powered teens called The X-Men. But other than name and Charles Xavier they are completely different groups.

In fact The real X-Men as we know them started in the mind of Neal Adams,  with additional ideas later from John Romita Sr, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and of course John Byrne. Sure, they did have inspiration in other comics and ideas, like The X-Men (classic), The Avengers, DC Legion, The Hell Fire, Alien, etc.

The famous X-Men started with Neal Adams, because it was his idea to create a group of characters from around the world. Having them playing in exotic places with exotic backgrounds. But perhaps Stan Lee’s envy forced this idea to perish, canceling the X-Men and forcing the visceral Neal Adams to quit Marvel almost forever. After 5 years without any X-Men, the ideas of Neal Adams were reforged by John Romita Sr, Lein Wein and dave Cockrum, and probably Roy Thomas. And so it begun the real X-Men with the one and only Giant Size.

But Stan Lee always appeared as the creator of those X-Men. Well he may create a group of teens with powers; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, IceMan, The Beast and Angel, all trained by the Professor Charles Xavier. But then, the X-Men turned under the new series in a bunch of international agents, all pretty far from childhood, being the initial rooster formed by; Cyclops (in his 30’s, US), Banshee (Ireland, something like 50), Colossus (URSS 19th years old), Storm (Kenia 18th years old), Nightcrawler (20, Germany), Thunderbird (20’s native American),  Sunfire (Japan 20/30) and of course Wolverine (Canada 40’s).

The new group was way more powerful, more experienced, and their adventures really went to another level. And few years later when Chris Claremont and John Byrne took over it, it become the iconic comic, the biggest success of Marvel. But Stan Lee had nothing to do with it, and he knew it, so he always tried to underrate the X-Men. But they were unstoppable. Or do they not…?

xmenAfter more than 15 years being the man behind the X-Men Success, and getting the growing feeling to be always put behind the artist of the series (first John Byrne, then Jim Lee) Chris Claremont was really starting to think in getting a new job deal. And then Carolco appeared. James Cameron approached Marvel to create an X-Men movie. It was the Early’s 90s and the movie will be directed by his nowadays ex-wife and Oscar prized Katheryn Bigelow.

Many scripts were written like:

As Chris Claremont said,  conversations really did run well, but then Stan Lee joins them and 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 Lightstorm Entertainment 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.”
Cameron would go on to write a Spider-man script treatment that was never made thanks to a tangle of legal problems.
So the X-Men movie deal wen t from one hand to another first with Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Angel, MarvelGirl, Xavier and Wolverine… but the idea went from one hand to another, sometimes people really interested in it, like Josh Weedon, Brett Rattner, but it all ended in some director with a true love for black leather…
My favorite comic ever, it’s Days of the Future Past, will we see at least the X-Men I always wanted to have?

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