Hollywood Screws Up History for X-Men Origins: Magneto

Posted by (kiplingkat) on Nov 08 2008
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From The Geek Files - Conventry Telegraph. (Thanks to jmc247 for the tip)

Production update on proposed X-Men Origins: Magneto prequel

I NOW have the official studio synopsis for the proposed prequel X-Men Origins: Magneto about the backstory of the metal-controlling mutant, who was played by Sir Ian McKellen in the three X-Men movies.

The movie, which is in development, is set to be directed by David Goyer, who wrote a draft of the screenplay which I was sent earlier this year. Goyer has several possible film projects on the go so when he gets round to Magneto is another matter.

McKellen (pictured here practising his character's magnetic power gestures at the X-Men:The Last Stand premiere) is the only cast member listed for the movie and is expected to 'book-end' the movie with voiceover narration and perhaps a cameo appearance.

Despite the digital de-ageing of his character by 25 years at the start of X-Men: The Last Stand, the studio would want a younger star for the main role of Jewish mutant Erik Lehnsherr who surivives Auschwitz concentration camp and becomes the archvillain in later years after bitterness and tragedy shapes his destiny.

Here is the official synopsis for the movie, as listed by subscription trade mag Production Weekly...

"The original X-Men film began with a prologue that showed the character as a child being led to a concentration camp by Nazis and that is the period in which the Magneto film will take place. This setup will allow a future villain to at least flirt with the designation of protagonist since the character will be seen almost exclusively in his formative years."

This essentially means that the young Magneto is a hero who battles the Nazis.

The synopsis continues: "The storyline will heavily involve Professor X, the wheelchair-using X-Men leader. That character was a soldier in the allied force that liberated the concentration camps. The professor meets Magneto after the war and while they bond over the realisation that they are alike in their special powers, their differences soon turn them into enemies."

The screenplay I saw didn't include Xavier (played by Patrick Stewart in the X-Men films) as a member of the Allied Forces; he was working in Israel at a hospital where he helped war survivors from both sides to recover and rehabilitate.

Fox tells me that all efforts are focused on X-Men Origins: Wolverine at present - that film is due out next May. There is apparently no movement on other X-Men projects - or Fantastic Four films - at present. But Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman has said he hopes to make a Silver Surfer spin-off (that character was introduced in the second Fantastic Four movie) and this would apparently have to happen before 2012 when the film rights reportedly revert to Marvel.

I hope we do get the Magneto movie as well as more X-Men films and (with greater depth this time) more Fantastic Four films. Some fans hope the rights will revert to Marvel, which publishes the comics, in the hope of better and more accurate and 'respectful' films.

But it's more to do with having a solid director and writers. Bryan Singer and his creative team did pretty well with Fox's X-Men movies, despite the criticisms of the studio's management methods.

McKellen and X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart reunite for the stage play Waiting for Godot starting in UK theatres from March next year.


Webmistress Commentary:




The first X-Film sets the concentration camp in Poland. There were no American troops in Poland. There weren't even British troops in Poland. It was the Russians.

One of the reasons U-571 tanked overseas is because the story made the Americans the heroes, when in fact it was the British who captured the Enigma encoder. The Brits were pissed off to the point the writer of the screenplay made an official apology. Changing history that much is going to be a drag on this film. There are certain things you can play with in history, but major heroic acts like that are not it.


Last changed: Nov 08 2008 at 1:42 PM