How legendary comic writer Chris Claremont saved the X-Men movies

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Mar 22, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT

Before Marvel started kicking ass with their grand plan toward The Avengers, the X-Men franchise was one of the few bright spots of the early-to-mid 2000s when it came to comic-book movies. So who should we thank for it all? Apparently, acclaimed comic writer Chris Claremont.

Claremont, best known for his lengthy stint writing Uncanny X-Men from 1975-1991, had a hand in creating many beloved characters and storylines that are vital parts of the X-Men lore.

The guru also scripted the original comic version of "Days of Future Past," which inspired Bryan Singer’s upcoming film. Claremont recently chatted with Comic Book Resources about his role (or lack thereof) with the big-screen version, and revealed he actually played a large part in getting the studio fired up to make X-Men movies back in the 1990s:

“I was instrumental in getting Fox to produce the concept in the first place. I mean, the whole thing was ready to go into turnaround back in 1998-99. I had the serendipity or the karma to write a memo that convinced both Lauren and Fox and Bryan that this was a viable project, and this is how to approach it. I guess you could say my contributions came in a basic level, back in the beginning.

You know, I have the pride of looking in the mirror and saying, ‘None of this would be there if not for me’ on a whole different bunch of levels. If Fox wants to utilize my ability, they know where I am. All they have to do is call -- that's their decision.”

It’s interesting to look back and see the early days of how the franchise evolved on its way to the big screen, and it’s a little sad that the original mastermind doesn’t have a larger role in the film adaptation. Of course, comics and film are very different mediums, and you can’t blame Fox for making whatever film they think will do well and be profitable.

Oh well, at least Claremont managed to get the ball rolling all those years ago.

Do you think it’s fair the comic writer is sidelined once the film finally gets made?

(Via Comic Book Resources)