X-Men franchise editor once pitched a solo Beast movie — read the script

Nick Romano
X-Men Beast movie for Nicholas Hoult once pitched by John Ottman

Imagine if Beast, played by Nicholas Hoult in the more recent X-Men movies, had been the next franchise character to get his own solo film after Wolverine and Deadpool.

John Ottman, a longtime composer and editor on the Fox superhero franchise, shared a script he co-wrote with screenwriter Byron Burton with The Hollywood Reporter, as well as details on why producer-director Simon Kinberg and the studio passed on the pitch.

The proposed Beast movie, titled X-Men: Fear the Beast and developed after Ottman’s work on X-Men: Apocalypse, would’ve featured Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) and Professor Xavier (played by James McAvoy). “We wanted to have the tenor of John Carpenter’s The Thing where you are in this inhospitable environment,” Ottman told the trade.

Burton’s story treatment envisioned Hank McCoy struggling to keep his beastly mutation under control at the X Mansion while working with another scientist grappling with a similar mutation, a man who’s been terrorizing an Inuit village. The film would have also set up comic character Mr. Sinister as “this multi-film villain orchestrating things,” Burton said.

The movie didn’t happen, according to Burton, because Fox needed the approval of Kinberg, one of the architects of the X-Men franchise. Since he was working to direct Dark Phoenix, Kinberg apparently politely declined to read the script to avoid any influence from the story.

Now that Disney merged with the Fox studio and owns the rights to the X-Men franchise, Burton and Ottman released the script as a fun “what if?” Read it in its entirety on The Hollywood Reporter.

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