Michael Chabon’s X-Men
So I was doing some research on Michael Chabon for some academic writing today, and in looking for something else he had written in Harper’s, I stumbled upon something else quite interesting. Harper’s has this amazing feature on its website where everything is scanned and available to subscribers online.
I remember reading on wikipedia that Chabon pitched a story for the X-Men movie, but Fox passed over it in favor of the version that eventually became “X-Men.” However, Harpers published an excerpt from Chabon’s treatment and you can read it here in PDF form. I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but here in DC we had the first snow of the season, and I thought it was appropriate for Wolverine’s breakout.
Chabon is my favorite writer, and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” is my favorite book. This pitch is really interesting to read. While certain dynamics do show up throughout the three movies, which I enjoyed overall, Chabon’s story is so different. I think it’s especially interesting to substitute g-men wearing jackets with Bodoni typeface for Magneto as the villain. (Why Bodoni, is it Facist because it’s Italian?) In terms of why the studio didn’t go for it, I think it might have been too far out of the comics universe for many fans. If you take a little bit of the macho out of Wolverine it makes him a more interesting character, but then you run the risk of taking the “x” out of x-men.
the above image is taken from Ultimate X-men #2, which has its own version of Wolverine’s escape.