X-Men: First Class Almost Featured Mister Sinister

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Now that Dark Phoenix is set to wrap up the 20-year X-Men movie franchise, it’s time to reflect on the “what ifs?” of Fox’s shared universe before Disney swoops in to reboot the Children of the Atom. One such juicy nugget that’s been uncovered concerns X-Men: First Class, the 2011 prequel that kicked off the current run of films starring James McAvoy as Professor X and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.

As is known, First Class started out as an X-Men Origins movie for Erik Lensherr. However, after the disappointment of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the project was taken in a new direction. In this earlier form, though, the main villain of the piece wouldn’t have been Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club, but none other than Mister Sinister.

Screenwriter Zack Stentz revealed this intriguing bit of trivia while talking with the Fanboy Podcast:

“There were scenes and pages from that original Magneto script that were folded into the finished production. 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.”

First Class is a favorite of the fandom and Kevin Bacon’s Shaw is a well-received villain, but it still hurts a little to know that we could’ve had Nathaniel Essex in the franchise instead. Especially as, after much teasing, Mister Sinister is doomed to never end up as part of the Fox X-Men universe.

2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse used its post-credits scene to show EssexCorp getting hold of Wolverine’s blood. There wasn’t any mention of Sinister in Logan, but we can presume the gene-splicing villain was behind the creation of X-23 and Alkali-Transigen’s evil plans to wipe out mutantkind. Deadpool 2 then further pressed that Essex is out there by featuring the “Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation” – a crooked orphanage for mutant kids.

Last but not least, reports claim Jon Hamm was primed to play Sinister in The New Mutants, but his role was cut and there’s little chance of him turning up in the film when it’s released in February 2020.

Marvel Studios, the chance to finally bring Mister Sinister to life’s in your court now. Make it happen.

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