Nicholas Hoult’s Beast almost got his own X-Men spinoff movie, and you can read an early script for it right now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, editor and composer John Ottman was working on Apocalypse when his assistant, Byron Burton, talked with him about a potential screenplay centered on Nicholas Hoult’s Beast. Ottman wasn’t initially convinced. Despite being cautioned that his script was unlikely to be made, Burton ended up penning a draft Ottman thought might work. Ottman then began to tweak the script.
Ottman made tweaks to the script and envisioned the film as a $90 million production that would pick up after the events of Days of Future Past. However, the movie never made it past this early concept phase, as franchise writer/producer Simon Kinberg declined to read it. But, thanks to Ottman, Burton, and THR, you can now read the full rough draft of the script for free.
The script began with a mysterious creature stalking and terrorizing an Inuit village. “We wanted to have the tenor of John Carpenter’s The Thing where you are in this inhospitable environment,” Ottman explained.
The movie then focuses on Beast, who is struggling to keep his mutation and beastly urges in check, at the X-Mansion. He eventually discovers that a man he helped with a mutation similar to his own is behind the attacks at the aforementioned Inuit village. As the movie progresses, Beast gets help from Professor Xavier and faces off against Wolverine, who would have had to have been recast due to Hugh Jackman’s departure from the role following 2017’s Logan.
“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,” Ottman said. “As perfect as you think a script is, it will always dawn on you something is illogical or has to be redone.”
Directed and written by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain. The film is in theaters now.