How Stan Lee's loose lips derailed a James Cameron X-Men movie

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 16, 2012

Once upon a time, James Cameron decided he wanted to play in the Marvel Universe and sat down with Stan Lee and Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont to see what might, possibly, float his boat. And he was this close to strapping in for Marvel's merry mutants ... until Lee mentioned a certain webslinger.

Claremont recently spoke at Columbia University's Comic New York symposium and revealed the X-Men movie that never was, one that would've starred Bob Hoskins as Wolverine and Angela Bassett as Storm and would've been produced by Cameron and directed by Strange Days' Kathryn Bigelow (who'd eventually win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker).

"Just think about this for a minute: James Cameron's X-Men. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. That's what we were playing. ... So we're chatting. And at one point Stan 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 guys and I are looking at each other, and we all know the X-Men deal has just evaporated."

According to Claremont, Bigelow wrote a treatment for X-Men that fell on deaf ears. Cameron, meanwhile, dug into Spider-Man something fierce, writing an elaborate treatment and creating a batch of storyboards. But back in 1991, Spidey's movie rights were a tangled mess and, frustrated by the morass, Cameron moved on to write and direct True Lies.

An interesting trek down Never Was Lane, to be sure, but I think we can all agree to be thankful that we were spared Bob Hoskins as Logan.

(via Bleeding Cool)