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Why Wasn't Mr Sinister in the X-Men Movies?

One of the most famous X-Men characters we have yet to see

By Will JackPublished 10 months ago 3 min read

Mister Sinister has quite an intricate comic book history since his 1987 full debut, having been powered by Apocalypse, resurrected multiple times through the use of clones, and having interacted with the time-traveling Cyclops and Jean Grey many years before they were born. Nathaniel Essex was originally a Victorian-era scientist obsessed with the theory of evolution and genetic mutations. He predicted and studied the rise of mutant-kind before investigating the potential of young versions of prominent mutants such as Magneto, Wolverine, Juggernaut, Colossus, and Magik.

Fox's X-Men franchise first teased the existence of Mister Sinister in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse, where Wolverine's blood was collected and secured in an Essex Corp briefcase (which was originally supposed to play an important role in Logan). In Deadpool 2, it was revealed that Russell Collins and Domino were tortured at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, while Dr Reyes worked for the Essex Corporation in The New Mutants. Nathan Essex himself, however, never appeared onscreen.

Nathaniel Essex is a non-mutant who acquires his powers through artificial means.

When Simon Kinberg spoke to IGN during a watch party for X-Men: Days of Future Past he revealed that “we had a tease of it at the end of Apocalypse. The Essex Corp is something that you see in a tag at the end of Apocalypse. We had talked about doing something with him, and I won’t get into the specifics of it since it’s no longer a 20th Century Fox property and now it’s part of the MCU. I have no idea what the plan is. But Mister Sinister was going to be part of the Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum.”

Was he going to be the main villain of the film? No one can really say seeing that the Gambit movie never really got off the ground due to numerous issues, but it does appear that the studio did actually at one point have a plan for the character, but seeing as that film never came into fruition what happened next?

Turns out there was one more plan for the villain.

During an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment actor Jon Hamm famous for his starring role in Mad Men as well as appearances in films such as Top Gun: Maverick, Tag & Bridesmaids revealed that he was originally cast to play the Victorian-era geneticist.

Turns out Hamm’s live-action Mr Sinister was set to make his first on-screen appearance as a cameo in Josh Boone’s The New Mutants. But just like Gambit the production was plagued with one problem after another. The film being delayed multiple times as well as extensive reshoots was reportedly the main factor in Hamm’s role being cut from the film. Hamm states that there isn’t any footage of him in the role as they “never shot anything” he goes onto say “I remember having a conversation with people: I’m a huge comic book fan, especially of the X-Men and The New Mutants, so I was excited to be considered. But these conversations happen and then life intervenes. “

With Disney now having bought FOX Studios and with all of the current X-Men projects being shelved in place for incorporating them into the MCU it is unlikely we will ever see this version of the character.

However, all is potentially not lost. With Disney and Marvel once again owning the film rights to the X-Men franchise it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that we won’t see some version of the character at some point down the line, just chances are it won’t be the version FOX initially intended.


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