It was no easy task putting together the cast for 2000’s X-Men, and as we learned a few weeks ago, there were a lot of big names who fancied joining the Marvel Universe when the hunt for characters like Professor X and Wolverine was taking place in 1999. It was in the spring of that year The Hollywood Reporter reveals that singer Michael Jackson met with producers.
He reportedly walked into Fox’s offices wearing sunglasses and refusing to shake any hands, but was keen to be given the opportunity to take on the role of Charles Xavier on the big screen.
“I said to him, ‘Do you know Xavier is an older white guy?'” X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner remembers. “And Michael said, ‘Oh yeah. You know, I can wear makeup.'”
What followed was an elaborate presentation from Jackson which included the short film Ghosts (that saw him don prosthetics to play a white Mayor in his 60s). X-Men director Bryan Singer was also in the meeting, but no one ever really gave Jackson any sort of serious consideration for the role.
As one unnamed executive tells the trade, “Michael was already in the thick of all his allegations by X-Men.”
With that in mind, going into business with the singer wouldn’t have been a smart idea, but it certainly would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall during what sounds like an insane meeting.