David Hayter recently spoke to THR about the early days of the 2000 movie X-Men, and there was some crazy stuff happening in the early development. For example, celebrities were popping up left and right hoping for a chance to be cast in the film, most notably Michael Jackson! Hayter explained:
I was writing it for the comic book characters. I was brought on as they were casting, so I was lucky enough to be there for some of the people who came in like Terence Stamp for Xavier and Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey for Storm. Michael Jackson came in because he wanted to play Professor X. It was amazing. Shaq came in. Viggo Mortensen came in. I really liked Viggo for Wolverine, but it didn't come together for whatever reason. Angela Bassett was our first choice for Storm, but her agents wanted more money than we had at the time. Same with Rachael Leigh Cook for Rogue.
Ultimately, I think we can all agree that it's a good thing that MJ didn't get the role of Charles Xavier, but what about those other names? Angela Bassett might have fit the mantle of Storm at least look wise better than Halle Berry, and I'm wondering what alternate universe features Viggo Mortensen for Wolverine! Could you imagine Mortensen taking point on both Lord Of The Rings and X-Men at the same time?
What I can't imagine is Michael Jackson playing Charles Xavier! You want to talk about a casting that would ruin an entire film, that would be it! Glad Patrick Stewart snagged the role.