In Hollywood, major projects can sometimes go through multiple rounds of development. A movie like X-Men: First Class, for example, didn’t begin and end with filmmaker Matthew Vaughn. Its origins date back to a Magneto prequel movie that was in development, whose script was then mashed together with an early draft for a First Class movie by Josh Schwartz, and then the film ultimately went through even more evolution once Vaughn signed on.
This is kind of par for the course, especially when it comes to big IP, and that’s certainly the case with the X-Men spinoff X-Force. Based on the comics of the same name, an X-Force movie has been in development at 20th Century Fox for quite some time, and while The Cabin in the Woods filmmaker Drew Goddard is currently attached to write and direct, the project went through some iterations a few years ago with filmmaker Jeff Wadlow.
Collider’s own Christina Radish recently spoke with Wadlow about his new Blumhouse horror movie Truth or Dare, and during the course of their conversation Wadlow revealed what he had planned for his take on X-Force and what ultimately happened to the film. Wadlow signed on to write X-Force back in 2013, coming off his directorial work on Kick-Ass 2. The filmmaker says while the studio ultimately liked his take on the script, they decided to lead with Deadpool first and put X-Force on the backburner:
“I wrote a draft and they really liked it. They just reached a critical moment, where they were deciding whether they were going to make Deadpool or X-Force. I’ve always loved Deadpool and I tried to rehabilitate him in my X-Force movie because, like the rest of the fans, I felt like they totally screwed it up in X-Men: Origins. I had actually been talking to Ryan Reynolds about playing him in my X-Force movie, but my X-Force movie was much more focused on Cable and the New Mutants becoming this paramilitary unit. So, Fox was trying to decide whether they going to do the Deadpool solo movie or my X-Force movie. Fortunately, they picked the Deadpool solo movie because it’s great. Fortunately for the world, I should say, but unfortunately for me. But, I have no complaints about the process. I’m a huge fan of Ryan’s and I loved the Deadpool solo movie. I’m super excited for Deadpool 2. It’s a little bit of a bummer, but that’s life in the big leagues.”
Wadlow says his take on X-Force would have shed light on mutants from a different class than those in the traditional X-Men movies:
“When I pitched for it, I said, ‘If X-Men is about the mutants that get to go to private school, I want to make a movie about the mutants that go to public school. They’re the kids that don’t have a jet swooping down to help them, with Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. What’s it like when you don’t have those guys helping you out and you’re forced to figure out who you are in this world?’”
That actually sounds a lot like the direction Fox is going with The New Mutants, which is scheduled to hit theaters next year. And while it’s a bummer for Wadlow that his X-Force didn’t get off the ground, Fox made the right call in leading with Deadpool and then eventually getting around to X-Force as opposed to trying to rush the team-up movie first. In the wake of The Avengers every studio in town was trying to force a cinematic universe, but Fox really made the right call here.