Academy Award-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie, who both wrote and directed the Tom Cruise vehicle Jack Reacher out in theaters this week, is still thinking about the chance he missed to work with the X-Men characters when The Wolverine changed hands, according to a new interview with Screen Rant.
Jack Reacher is only the second film McQuarrie has directed (following 2000's Way of the Gun), but as a writer, McQuarrie is pretty accomplished; in addition to a credit on The Wolverine (when the project changed directors, McQuarrie was no longer a key player but elements of his script are still being used), he's worked with X-Men director Bryan Singer on Jack the Giant Slayer and The Usual Suspects, for which he won an Oscar. He's also talked with Singer about long-term plans for the X-Men universe, which he apparently pitched to Fox and which sound quite a bit like what they've got planned for Mark Millar's role at the studio.
From the interview, here's what McQuarrie had to say about it:
"You know, Bryan and I have talked about it a bunch of times – and in fact, right after I got back from shooting [Jack Reacher] I had a meeting with Tom Rothman – just a general meeting – and I said to Tom, ‘You know what I’d really love to do, is I’d really love to flesh out the X-Men Universe for you. You have this great wealth of these Marvel characters, and the X-Men franchise has only focused on a small handful of them – there’s many more.’
"And I thought that it’d be really cool to create a ‘bible’ – you know, a series of outlines of interlocking movies where you could do kind of what they did with ‘The Avengers,’ where you’re creating multiple movies that could come together as one movie here and there. And… you know… I never heard back [laughs].
"But that would kinda be fun – to do something like that – where you could kind of become the curator for something like that."
That sounds like a very succinct and intelligent way to describe the Marvel Cinematic Universe, doesn't it? Creating movies that could come together as one movie here and there? In the X-Men universe, of course, it's particularly promising because in the last twenty years, few families of comics have had as many characters popular enough to support a solo film; Deadpool and Magneto have been languishing in development hell forever, but things like X-Force, X-Factor and the New Mutants (not to mention an adaptation of something as self-contained and awesome as Peter David's Madrox miniseries) are just begging to be tackled. Even characters like Bishop, Cable and X-Man could come into play following the time-traveling shenanigans of Days of Future Past, which Singer is set to direct this year.
When Millar took his current executive role at Fox, it was reported that his job was to develop further Marvel properties as well as creating a cohesive relationship between the X-Men films and the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Given that the FF has very little in the way of ancillary characters, it was pretty clear even then that X-Men would be where he would be looking to develop more properties.