In the 1990s, MICHAEL JACKSON attempted to join the fledgling X-Men film franchise, but Fox was adamantly opposed. They were moving in a different direction, and at the time, the King of Pop was accused of child molestation. Michael Jackson was an avid cinephile. For a very long time, he desired to participate in various Hollywood projects. Three of his own music video films, Bad, Thriller, and Ghosts, starred him. He even appeared as “Agent M” in the 2002 film Men In Black II. But Michael was also interested in another role. A leading role in the 2000 film X-Men, which was released on July 14 of this week. At the time, X-Men director Bryan Singer was coordinating auditions for the upcoming Marvel comic book film adaptation. This was one of the first comic book films with a substantial budget, so it was a big deal.
Michael walked into the office where Bryan and a group of X-Men producers were working on the upcoming film as he and they were greeted by Bryan. Ever the eccentric, he reportedly refused to shake hands with anyone he met. Then he presented his pitch to play Professor Charles Xavier, also known as Professor X, the leader of the X-Men. The X-Men leaders were stunned by Michael’s suggestion for several reasons. First of all, he had never worked on a Hollywood film with a significant budget, so he lacked experience. Professor X was, however, traditionally an elderly white man.
A leader of the X-Men, Lauren Shuler Donner, recalled: “I told him, ‘Do you know Xavier is an older white man?'” Michael responded simply: “Oh yeah. I can, in fact, wear makeup.” Michael then gave a “elaborate presentation” in an attempt to convince the producers to hire him as Professor X. The presentation included Michael’s short film Ghosts, in which he portrayed a white mayor in his sixties and a local magician. Michael was “never seriously considered” for the role, according to a report. One former executive recalled, “Michael was already embroiled in all of his X-Men allegations.” These allegations made against Michael in the 1990s were likely a factor in Fox’s decision not to cast him. In 1993, Michael was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy.
Suits were filed against the celebrity, but the allegations were settled out of court by the end of 1994. Sir Patrick Stewart was cast in the role after Michael’s audition for Professor X. Stewart played Professor X for decades until the 2017 film Logan, in which he portrayed the character for the final time. However, he made a cameo appearance in the most recent Doctor Strange film, The Multiverse of Madness. During the shocking scenes of the film, the Scarlet Witch, Wanda Maximoff, brutally murdered Xavier.