In a world where the last two X-Men movies were good – A Beast solo film may have been cool.
There’s an old saying; you never know until you try. After more than a dozen films that seems to be how 21st Century Fox has handled the X-Men movie franchise. Just seeing what stuck. In my opinion, they had a little under or above a 50% success rate. When I say that, I mean in terms of quality, not basing it on whether the movies lost money or not. To my knowledge, Dark Phoenix will be the first X-Men film unable to recoup its budget. However, if Fox had been able to continue down their path, I don’t think it would have been the last. Recently, a Byron Burton-written Beast Solo film had been revealed. While it doesn’t sound like a complete dumpster fire, following up a bomb like Dark Phoenix with a Hank McCoy headlined feature was probably a step in the wrong direction for the franchise.
Most definitely, a movie titled “Beast” would have been filed under “films no one asked for” but it was pitched to finally include fan-favorite villain, Mister Sinister and the return of Wolverine to the franchise. Albeit, with a new actor interpreting the role of James “Logan” Howlett. That alone would have put butts in seats, at least on the opening weekend. Riding on those two strengths, the film, which the script’s editor, John Ottman, described as echoing John Carpenter’s The Thing, may have been automatically placed on the ‘good’ X-Men movie list, but for me, it’s hard to imagine that Nicholas Hoult’s Beast has enough screen presence to pull it off.
“I said, knock yourself out, but just know there’s a 95 percent chance no one is ever going to make this”- John Ottman, The Hollywood Reporter
The film would have been set in the late ‘80s, so again, another period-piece to wade through. On top of trying to navigate a story with the likes of Mister Sinister, a more than 100-year-old, puppet master with comic book ties to Apocalypse and Celestial technology (both aspects were warped horrendously in X-Men: Apocalypse), and reintroducing Wolverine- the production team would have to make use of and respect a late ‘80s world. I admit, if they could have pulled this off, perhaps a Beast movie would have been a big surprise. However, if this idea was born anytime during the last year or so, what could they have been thinking? Disney was not going to greenlight another X-Men movie before they could re-work them for the MCU. For goodness sake, Dark Phoenix barely made it out alive and New Mutants is on life support- and they were done before the purchase went through.
The intention was to treat Mister Sinister similarly to how the MCU utilized Thanos. He’d appear in multiple movies or be retconned as the guy behind the curtain of several that had already occurred. The former would assume that they indeed had plans even beyond the moonshot of getting “The Beast” (my working title) off of the ground. The latter means a messy retcon that would have possibly furthered the chances of tanking this movie by weighing it down with the stink of X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix.
Sometimes, it’s best to let our loved ones die with dignity. The X-Men franchise should have closed its doors with Logan the moment they pitched Dark Phoenix.
To be honest, the only abandoned script I’m interested in reading is from the Gambit movie project. Can someone get their hands on that, please?