If the King of Pop had things his way, the “X-Men” movies would have looked a lot different.
In a new interview with The Observer to celebrate 20 years since the first film hit theatres, the “X-Men” filmmakers revealed some inside secrets from casting.
According to screenwriter David Hayter, Patrick Stewart was very reluctant to take on the role of Professor X and Michael Jackson was willing to take the job.
Insiders say that Jackson was one of many random stars who’d regularly show up to Fox studios eager to appear in the film. Mariah Carey allegedly also showed up and begged to play Storm.
“Patrick Stewart didn’t want to [play Charles Xavier]. It took a long time to convince him,” Hayter said. “Terence Stamp told me, ‘You know why Patrick doesn’t want to do it? Because of the chair. He doesn’t want to be stuck in the chair. But I don’t mind. In fact, I also look excellent bald.’”
He added, “Everyday I was surprised by the faces coming in. Like, I’d find Mariah Carey sitting in my office wanting to go talk to Bryan about being Storm or something. So that’s always shocking.”
Executive producer Ralph Winter added, “Michael Jackson was a big comic fan and wanted to play Charles Xavier. Shaquille O’Neal showed up at the offices and wanted to play Forge, who wasn’t in the movie.”
Stewart ultimately took on Professor X and Halle Berry nabbed Storm.