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Read The Beast Solo Movie Script From Longtime X-Men Franchise Editor

Wolverine got a few, and so did Deadpool. As it turns out, Beast was meant to get one as well. 

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, longtime X-Men film franchise editor and composer John Ottman revealed that he and his former assistant Byron Burton, who is now an accomplished screenwriter and journalist, created a script for a solo movie all about Beast, the furry blue mutant played on screen by Nicholas Hoult. 

As Ottman tells it, Burton pitched the idea, and he challenged the aspiring scribe to complete an initial draft in just two weeks. Ottman believed there was a "95 percent chance no one [was] ever going to make this," but Burton proved him wrong. Reading Burton's script, Ottman realized that a standalone Beast would work and executives at the now-shuttered 20th Century Fox might actually be interested in getting it off the ground. Ottman quickly climbed aboard the project to edit the script, planning for it to be a spin-off with a budget of $90 million and a badass title – X-Men: Fear the Beast.

Set in the late 1980s, Burton and Ottman's script starts off on an eerie note in an environment evocative of John Carpenter's The Thing: a tall creature is sprinting through the woods outside a snowy Inuit village, creating chaos and terrorizing unsuspecting victims. Then, we meet Hank McCoy at the X-Mansion. He's monitoring his animalistic mutation using a serum seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past and is even trying to assist another mutant like him, Dr. Paul Cartier. However, Hank just can't seem to gain control over the darker aspects of his nature. 

Things go from bad to worse when, after receiving from Hank a vial of the anti-mutation serum, Dr. Cartier travels to the Inuit village and begins stalking and attacking innocent people. Hank is, naturally, horrified at the revelation.

Dr. Cartier keeps a log of his "life in isolation and the effectiveness of Dr. McCoy's mutation suppression serum," in which he sates that the formula "leads to bouts of depression and mood swings." Dr. Cartier then explains that he "reverse engineered a mutation inducing compound from Dr. McCoy's serum," and will study the effects it has on his alter ego. 

This builds up to a fight between Hank and Wolverine (intended to be played in X-Men: Fear the Beast by Hugh Jackman), whom Professor X (meant to be played by James McAvoy) tracked down, and Dr. Cartier. The intensity doesn't stop there, though, as X-Men: Fear the Beast wraps up by teasing the introduction of Mr. Sinister, who had watched everything that went on between the X-Men and Dr. Cartier. 

Burton explained, "The idea was we would have Sinister as this multi-film villain orchestrating things. We wrote a late-'80s outline of an Omega Red film where the idea is Sinister is testing the X-Men." 

So, what happened? Why was X-Men: Fear the Beast scrapped?

Ottman needed approval from Simon Kinberg, seasoned X-Men film series producer and architect. At the time, Kinberg was hard at work writing and directing Dark Phoenix, and told Ottman in the politest of ways that he couldn't read the script for X-Men: Fear the Beast because he didn't want to be influenced by its story. Kinberg was apparently toying with the idea of bringing Wolverine back into the X-Men franchise, but didn't want Hugh Jackman, who ended his run as the mutant in 2017's Logan, to return. He apparently worried that even scanning the script for Fear the Beast would mess with the Dark Phoenix story and cause him to rethink what he had already written. 

Sadly, X-Men: Fear the Beast probably won't ever get made. The Walt Disney Company now owns the film rights to the characters, who are housed at Marvel Studios, and the movie series as we know it officially ended when Dark Phoenix opened in theaters on June 7. There's no guessing exactly what Marvel has planned for the X-Men franchise, though it's been said that studio president Kevin Feige wants to recast Wolverine with a younger actor. Should that actually end up playing out, perhaps Feige will turn to Fear the Beast for some inspiration on how to make a Wolverine resurgence happen. If not, well, at least we have an awesome script to dig into. Before you start reading, though, Ottman and Burton ask you to remember one thing: the script isn't what would have been the final product.

Like Ottman said, "The fact we got the script we got in a few weeks is a testament to Byron, but at the same time every script is ever changing. As perfect as you think a script is, it will always dawn on you something is illogical or has to be redone."