10 Pieces Of Unused Concept Art Which Would Have Changed The X-MEN Universe Forever

10 Pieces Of Unused Concept Art Which Would Have Changed The X-MEN Universe Forever

Fox's X-Men Universe is dead, and it's now down to Marvel Studios to re-invent the characters. However, this concept art would have been a game-changer for that world before it ended with Dark Phoenix...

The X-Men Universe kicked off in 2000, and expanded from there in...well, a lot of very divisive ways. While there were some critically acclaimed movies along the way, most proved to be divisive, and as soon as the Marvel Cinematic Universe came along, fans became more disgruntled than ever with how these mutant characters were portrayed on the big screen. 

Now, we're taking a look back at some rarely seen concept art from movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool 2, Logan, and X-Men: Apocalypse to reveal just how different this world might have been. Some are cosmetic alterations, while others would have drastically changed the story that played out (like a Fantastic Four appearance and some unexpected returns).

The X-Men Universe is no more, but it's still fascinating to see what might have been, and any one of these alterations would have no doubt been a game-changer for the "shared" universe. 

Check out this gallery of alternate designs and moments by hitting the "Next" button below!
 

10. Colourful Costumes For The X-Men

X-Men

Wait, non-black, leather costumes for the X-Men in a Bryan Singer film? It might be hard to imagine, but it almost happened, as is evident from this concept art by prolific artist Tim Flattery. These suits aren't exactly comic accurate, though they do still pay homage to the source material. 

Wolverine has no mask, but can be seen rocking the traditional yellow and brown outfit he's often worn in the comics, while the use of blue and red for Cyclops and Jean Grey works nicely. 

Mystique, on the other hand, has received a complete re-design. She now looks like a snake-like creature, but that could have worked in a live-action setting, and she still looks pretty badass.
 

9. A Very Different Take On Deadpool

Pool

Ryan Reynolds made his big screen debut as Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and as a pre-Deadpool version of the character, he was really very good. Unfortunately, it all went to sh*t in that final act, and the less said about "Barakapool," the better at this stage.

However, whereas Wade Wilson just looked like a regular guy in clothing which paid homage to his comic book counterpart's appearance, there were once plans to lean more into the source material.

As you can see with this unusual artwork, Wade is wearing a hood which gives the appearance of a mask and warpaint which pays homage to that. He's even rocking a familiar logo on his belt, and it's hard not to wonder a) whether the response to Deadpool would have differed had he worn this, and b) if it might have changed how he looked during the weird final battle. 
 

8. X-23 As A Teenager

X23

Logan served as quite the finale for Wolverine in the X-Men Universe, and much of the acclaim the movie received was down to 11-year-old actress Dafne Keen. As X-23, she delivered a show stealing performance, but an older version of Laura was also considered for the R-Rated movie.

As you can see, Aaron Sims has shared his take on a teenage X-23 who, well, looks pretty much exactly like you would expect. Seeing Wolverine butt heads with a teenager could have been really fun, but there's also a chance it might have felt too similar to The Wolverine as well. 

Regardless, director James Mangold has said in interviews that he made Laura younger to avoid Logan feeling like a TV show on The CW, and it really is hard to fault the work we saw from Keen.
 

7. Jean Grey Gets A Full-Blown Superhero Costume

Jean

At the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, the X-Men finally got colourful costumes which paid homage to their comic book roots. Unfortunately, by the time Dark Phoenix rolled around, those were M.I.A., but there's no denying how cool Sophie Turner might have looked decked out in this. 

Artist Allen J. Villanueva collaborated with longtime franchise costume designer Louise Mingenbach to create this suit for Jean Grey and, as you can see, it's worn by Elle Fanning! 

Clearly, she was considered for the role before Turner, and that alone would have changed what we saw on screen. However, a costume like this making it into a movie like X-Men: Apocalypse might have been the step in the right direction for a franchise already struggling at that point.
 

6. Hellfire Club In Dark Phoenix


Dark Phoenix was a total mess, but when it was still going to be a two-parter, it sounds like there were plans to incorporate the comics to a larger degree than what ended up on screen. 

For example, the Hellfire Club were set to factor into proceedings, with artwork created featuring characters like the returning January Jones as Emma Frost, Harry Leland, Shinobi Shaw, Freidich Von Roehm, the Red Lotus Gang, and even the Von Strucker twins (something we're sure fans of The Gifted would appreciate).

Ultimately, the villainous faction fell by the wayside, but it might have been fun seeing how they had evolved since Sebastian Shaw was calling the shots way back in X-Men: First Class.
 

5. A Comic Accurate Apocalypse

poclayp

When our first look at Apocalypse was revealed courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, the response was...well, it was terrible. Fans ridiculed the make-up effects which covered actor Oscar Isaacs, and it was clear from the start that Bryan Singer had made a massive mistake with the villain. 

Ultimately, common sense says he should have been a fully CGI creation, but this concept art reveals a more grounded, comic accurate take on En Sabah Nur fans would've appreciated more. 

Jerad S. Marantz is responsible for this piece of artwork, and it's frustrating that something like this didn't end up making it into X-Men: Apocalypse. Singer just couldn't handle those comic book visuals!
 

4. The Thing In Deadpool 2

Thing

In Tim Miller's version of Deadpool 2, Colossus wasn't set to face The Juggernaut; instead, Fantastic Four hero The Thing was going to make a surprise appearance in the Merc with the Mouth's franchise!

Played by Jamie Bell, you have to believe that Wade Wilson would have had plenty to say about the failings of the 2015 reboot, and Miller even confirmed that Fox agreed to this cameo appearance (making it the first X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover to ever grace the big screen in live-action).

It didn't happen, but this take on The Thing was undeniably cool if you're a fan of the character. 
 

3. Bolivar Trask Returns

Trask

Bryan Singer failed to really take advantage of Peter Dinklage in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but his Bolivar Trask was once set to make his return in X-Men: Apocalypse. We don't have a lot of details on that, but as you can see in this artwork by Bartol Rendulic, he was going to once again come face to face with Mystique (who is aiming a gun at him in this atmospheric shot). 

What we do know is that this was at Stryker's base, so chances are the man behind the Sentinels was also going to have some involvement in Weapon X as well. 

Interestingly, there's even artwork of Beast in a pilot's uniform where he's described as Trask's pilot, so perhaps the villain was going to find a way of controlling him, and that's why Mystique can be seen threatening him here. We'll never know, but he could have had a really fun role here.
 

2. A Different Take On The Sentinels

Sentinels

Unfortunately, the Sentinels in X-Men: Days of Future Past didn't really look much like the iconic robots from the comic books. They were still suitably terrifying, of course, and easily killed many of the X-Men in that desolate future. However, they could have boasted a totally different look. 

Created by artist Maciej Kuciara, this piece is likely from Matthew Vaughn's version of the sequel, and those scales are a reference to the fact they have access to Mystique's powers. 

That was still the case in Bryan Singer's movie, of course, but there's something a tad more impressive with this take on the Sentinels, and a resemblance of sorts to the powerful Nimrod.
 

1. Skrulls In Dark Phoenix

SKrulls

Not only were the Hellfire Club once set to appear, but Dark Phoenix was also set to introduce us to the Skrulls. There are conflicting reports about why that didn't happen, but Simon Kinberg's movie underwent significant reshoots, and lost a lot of its cosmic elements in the process. 

As you can see from this artwork, the shape-shifting aliens - who Jessica Chastain's character was set to be the leader of - weren't exactly comic accurate, but they do look...okay? 

There are lots of alternate versions out there, but there are arguably the best, and having them make their presence felt in this adventure would have resulted in a very, very different film.
 

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