John Ottman, who served as film editor and composer on ‘X2: X-Men United’, and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, as well as ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (editor only), and as co-producer on ‘Days of Future Past’, reveals that at one time, he had bigger plans within Fox’s X-Verse– a solo movie starring ‘The Beast’ (Nicholas Hoult). Even though Ottman was skeptical, his one-time assistant, Byron Burton, insisted he had a great idea and delivered a script within two weeks, which won Ottman over.
However, Simon Kinberg declined to read it, because he didn’t want to be unintentionally influenced by it in his own writing for the franchise.
Now that there is no chance of it ever getting made, the script has been released online. What would it have been about?
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First of all, the working title was ‘Fear The Beast’ and it would have taken place in the late ’80s, between the events of ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Dark Phoenix’. There would have been cameos by Professor X and Wolverine. The film opens in a snowy, remote Inuit village. As Ottman explained:
“We wanted to have the tenor of John Carpenter’s The Thing where you are in this inhospitable environment.”
At the X-Mansion, Beast is treating himself with the serum introduced in ‘Days of Future Past’ to suppress his monstrous side, but during a training exercise in the Danger Room, in which the hate group the Friends of Humanity are simulated, Hank discovers that the serum isn’t working as well as he had hoped. It is also revealed that he is helping another scientist with a similar problem.
It later turns out that this other scientist has been terrorizing the village, and the final battle would have been between this other mutant and Beast and Wolverine.
At the end, it would have been teased that Mister Sinister had orchestrated the whole thing. As Ottman stated:
“The idea was we would have Sinister as this multi-film villain orchestrating things. We wrote a late-’80s outline of an Omega Red film where the idea is Sinister is testing the X-Men.”
With the Fox ‘X-Men’ going out on a soggy note with the lackluster ‘Dark Phoenix’, Ottman and Burton have shared the screenplay, but as Ottman notes:
“The fact we got the script we got in a few weeks is a testament to Byron, but at the same time every script is ever changing. As perfect as you think a script is, it will always dawn on you something is illogical or has to be redone.”
Keep that in mind when reading the VERY early draft of ‘Fear the Beast’.