Marvel writer thinks the X-Men need a Game of Thrones-style show

Hard as it is to believe, the X-Men were not an immediate hit when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby debuted them in comic book form in 1963. It wasn’t until writer Chris Claremont began working on the book in the ’70s that the dysfunctional superhero team really caught on. Claremont and company came up with stories like the Dark Phoenix saga and Days of Future Past, and Claremont came up with iconic characters like Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Mystique, Sabertooth, Gambit and more. Stan Lee may have invented the X-Men but Chris Claremont made them stars.

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So when Claremont sounds off on how the X-Men should be translated for the screen, it pays to listen. He talked a bit about it at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), according to SyFy Wire. “I appreciate the fact that Avengers got cut in half,” he said, referring to how Marvel released Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, “but if it were me, I would do the X-canon as Game of Thrones.”

If I were doing Dark Phoenix, I would do it as Game of Thrones, and start with Jean [Grey] arriving at the school: Spend the first season with everybody falling in love with her; Scott [Summers, aka Cyclops] falling in love with her. And then maybe at the end of the first season, we’d go up and she would become Phoenix. And then in the second season, she’d [go on to] do great things as Phoenix.

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Fox actually did adapt the famous Dark Phoenix storyline, wherein the telekinetic mutant Jean Grey gets access to tremendous amounts of power to the point where it corrupts her, as the movie Dark Phoenix, starring Game of Thrones Sophie Turner as Jean. But it wasn’t very successful, in part because the complex story was so compressed. The Dark Phoenix saga also popped up in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, where Jean was played by Famke Janssen, but that was also a disappointment.

Claremont wrote X-Men comics for 16 years, so it’s no surprise that he would want this story to take its time. “To me, that’s how you do it,” he said. “That’s how I would do it, to build a rising line of tension and suspense…You want everybody on the edge of their seat to come back and see what happens next. That [is something] the X-canon hasn’t done well in the movies.”

Will Disney make an X-Men show in the style of Game of Thrones?

If there’s any superhero team with the sprawl and complexity to get away with comparing itself to Game of Thrones, it’s the X-Men. There are a ton of characters with a ton of storylines all running parallel to each other.

Since Disney bought 20th Century Fox, they now have the right to do with the X-Men what they will. Will there be movies? Perhaps a Disney+ TV show? Probably both. Whatever Disney does, I hope they treat the property with care, and having Claremont on board as a consultant wouldn’t hurt.

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