You know how people are all up-in-arms about the thought of Disney casting a new Wolverine? Well, a few years ago, that idea was actually floated to Fox.
Following the critically abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand and the much-maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox decided to do a soft-reboot of the mutant franchise. Tasking Matthew Vaughn, X-Men: First Class successfully reintroduced audiences to Professor X and Magneto, as well as several young mutants, including Mystique. Vaughn was originally set to helm the follow-up, but he backed out and Bryan Singer returned to spearhead X-Men: Days of Future Past instead.
Vaughn confirmed, as he did in the past, that he intended to make a different X-Men movie in between First Class and Days of Future Past— and now he has revealed that said film would have introduced a new, younger Wolverine. In addition, he’s revealed several other tidbits regarding his scrapped trilogy.
Speaking with ComingSoon, Vaughn specifically cites Fox’s decision to make Days of Future Past the direct sequel to First Class as one of the reasons he left the franchise:
“That’s one of the reasons I didn’t continue, because they didn’t listen to me. My plan was First Class, then second film was new young Wolverine in the 70s to continue those characters, my version of the X-Men. So you’d really get to know all of them, and my finale was gonna be Days of Future Past. That was gonna be my number three where you bring them all… because what’s bigger than bringing in McKellen and Michael and Stewart and James and bringing them all together?”
Vaughn then goes on to say that when Fox saw the original screenplay for Days of Future Past, they immediately wanted to develop that film instead of Vaughn’s proposed sequel to First Class:
“When I finished the Days of Future Past script with it ready to go I looked at it and said, “I really think it would be fun to cast Tom Hardy or someone as the young Wolverine and then bring it all together at the end.” Fox read Days of Future Past and went “Oh, this is too good! We’re doing it now!” And I said, “Well what do you do next? Trust me you’ve got nowhere to go.” Then they did Apocalypse and it’s like… If you flip that ’round even it would have been better. Hollywood doesn’t understand pacing. Their executives are driving 100 miles-per-hour looking in the rear-view mirror and not understanding why they crash.”
The one major problem to Vaughn’s idea however, is the fact that the series had established that Hugh Jackman’s incarnation of Wolverine is the one that has existed since arguably the 1910’s. A younger Wolverine is just a younger Jackman, so casting a different actor wouldn’t necessarily have worked.
Days of Future Past was indeed a mega-hit, as Fox expected, and remains as the highest grossing X-Men movie (Deadpool ranks as the overall highest grossing film) with $747.8 million worldwide. Vaughn didn’t confirm if he had even finished his First Class sequel script yet, but he and writing partner Jane Goldman received “story by” credits on Days of Future Past.