Michael Jackson Wanted to Play Professor Xavier in 'X-Men'

Lawrence Kim
August 2, 2020

X-Men released nearly 20 years ago and is still credited for paving the way for modern CGI-driven superhero films that led to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now I'm trying to imagine Michael Jackson in the part. Now, some involved in X-Men are telling a whole other kind of troubling story.

Infamous X-Men director Bryan Singer was confronted by the main cast in full costume after a fight broke out on the set between Singer and a producer.

The singer had a proposal for Singer.

'And Michael said, "Oh yeah".

X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner said: "Do you know Xavier is an older white guy?" Now, a report in The Hollywood Reporter has shed new light on the troubled production of the first-ever movie in the X-Men franchise.

Of course, Jackson wasn't the only famous face who wanted in on the film.

This is the story of one of the X-Men's most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX.

Jackson, it must be remembered, was no stranger to acting, having portrayed the Scarecrow in 1978's The Wiz. In 2002, he made a cameo appearance in Men In Black II.

The picture THR paints is one in which Singer's infamy is inexorably tied to the X-films' success, which gave him a significant degree of sway and influence in the industry over the years. Ultimately, Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart was chosen to play the character, appearing in seven films in the franchise, most recently in 2017's Logan. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that in the spring of that year, producers met with none other than Michael Jackson. Years later, and after years of rumours of Singer allegedly sexually abusing a number of young men, a damning Atlantic report was released in which four men detailed their personal experiences with the director. In 2003, he was charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy.

The producers behind X-Men and X2 were made aware of Singer's "erratic" and "destructive" behaviour while making the first two films, which really came to a head when producer Tom DeSanto visited the set of the sequel.

It's understandable MJ was keen on playing Charles Xavier, considering he was such a big Marvel fan. In a 2020 interview with PopcornedPlanet, Jackson's nephew Taj Jackson said his uncle was in talks (along with Stan Lee) to purchase the comics publisher, but that the deal fell through. And with the things he discussed with me, I felt he wanted to be Spider-Man.

How to get help: In the US, call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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