Thanks to his physical stature and acting talents, comic book fans often throw Mad Men star Jon Hamm's name into the mix when it comes to casting iconic characters, with one of the closest times the actor has come to actually taking such a role being as Mister Sinister in a planned cameo for The New Mutants. Reports have circled for years about how close this opportunity actually came to being a reality, though Hamm himself recently shot down the idea that any footage was actually shot for such a scene, as the sequence never evolved past the discussion stage.
"I never shot anything," Hamm shared with Yahoo! Entertainment. "I remember having a conversation with people: I'm a huge comic book fan, especially of the X-Men and The New Mutants, so I was excited to be considered. But these conversations happen and then life intervenes."
Back in 2000, the first X-Men helped show movie fans that the genre didn't have to be limited to icons like Batman and Superman, which would also help set the stage for 2002's Spider-Man to bust the genre wide open and solidify superheroes as a dominating force at the box office over the past two decades. Despite the success of that debut film, the X-Men franchise would go on to suffer a number of successes and shortcomings as it attempted to serve as its own compelling series while the Marvel Cinematic Universe grew more ambitious every passing year.
The 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class was meant to reignite the franchise by serving as an origin story, which earned positive critical and financial reactions. That film's antagonist was Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw, who served as a surrogate for Mister Sinister.
First Class writer Zack Stentz previously explained how Sinister evolved into Shaw.
"There were scenes and pages from that original Magneto script that were folded into the finished production," Stentz explained on the Fanboy Podcast in 2019. "The opening in Auschwitz -- and then with Sebastian Shaw -- [was] right out of that original script, except that it was originally Mister Sinister, which is why Sebastian Shaw actually has powers more like Mister Sinister's than his own."
By the time The New Mutants came around, it had to follow two disappointing films in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, with the spinoff reportedly undergoing a number of different reshoots in hopes of being able to honor its predecessors while also standing on its own. Amid a variety of release date delays, 20th Century Fox was acquired by The Walt Disney Company, causing further delays, while the coronavirus pandemic also resulted in a complicated release.
Sadly, The New Mutants' ultimate debut came with a resounding whimper, which likely wouldn't have been aided by a cameo from Hamm as Mister sinister.
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