- Michael Jackson expressed interest in playing the telepathic mutant Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer's X-Men film.
- Jackson's love for the arts and movies was evident from a young age, and he had previous acting experience in films like The Wiz.
- He was also linked to other film projects, such as Steven Spielberg's Hook, where he wanted to play Peter Pan.
Strange as it may appear, Michael Jackson is a fan of comic books and wanted to play the telepathic mutant Charles Xavier in Bryan Singer’s X-Men.
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Michael Jackson: Actor and Performer
Most casual observers only see Michael Jackson as a singer on pop hits like Beat It, Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal. While undoubtedly one of the greatest singers of all time, the King of Pop was also a consummate all-round performer. His music videos for songs such as Bad and Smooth Criminal were mini-movies highlighting the icon’s versatility as a singer, dancer and actor.
Jackson’s love of the arts and movies became apparent from a young age. He eventually landed his first feature role in the 1978 musical The Wiz, a film adaptation of the stage musical based on The Wizard of Oz. Michael starred as Scarecrow alongside his longtime friend Diana Ross, who appeared as Dorothy, and Richard Prior starred as the Wiz. Veteran musical producer Quincy Jones was the film’s musical director, and he and Michael became acquainted on the set of The Wiz, resulting in their future musical collaborations on legendary and award-winning albums like Off The Wall and Thriller.
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Michael Jackson loved movies and acting. The musical sensation was linked to many film projects like Steven Spielberg’s Hook. Michael was set to appear in the film during the late 80s. Hook is a tale inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan novel. Michael was a massive fan of Peter Pan and was desperate to appear in Spielberg’s film.
Spielberg left the project eventually but returned years later for Hook. Unfortunately, by this point, the script had changed significantly from the original, and Spielberg was forced to tell Michael that he would no longer be considered for the role of Peter Pan.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Spielberg said, “Michael had always wanted to play Peter Pan, but I called Michael, and I said,” This is about a lawyer that is brought back to save his kids and discovers that he was once when he was younger, Peter Pan.” So Michael understood at that point it wasn’t the same Peter Pan he wanted to make.”
Michael’s Love of Comics
Micahel was an avid comic book geek, and in particular, he was a huge Spider-Man fan. Michael was so invested in the world of comics that, according to his nephew Taj Jackson, he was determined to buy Marvel Comics. The UK tabloid Express quoted Taj when he appeared on the YouTube channel Popcorn Planet. Taj recalls Jackson’s attempts to buy Marvel,
“It was Marvel and I remember that. I remember being with my brothers and him talking about purchasing Marvel. He wanted to do that with Stan Lee.” Taj continued, “They had been talking and discussing that. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. I think they were shut down from doing that. I don’t know the reasons why but they were adamantly in the process of doing that.”
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Michael Jackson as Professor Charles Xavier
In 1999, Michael was interested in joining the cast of Bryan Singer’s first X-Men film and suggested to the producers that he wanted to portray Professor Xavier. In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner recounted her conversation with Michael about the role, “I said to him, ‘Do you know Xavier is an old white guy?’, And Michael said, ‘Oh yeah. You know, I can wear makeup.'”
Singer and the producers rejected Michael’s request, and Patrick Steward was cast instead. It seems odd that Michael wanted to star in X-Men, but considering the star’s love of acting, performance, and comic books, Michael’s desire to play Professor Xavier doesn’t seem that uncanny.
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What do you think about Michael Jackson as Professor Xavier? Could it have worked?