Michael Jackson Went to Extreme Lengths to Play a Marvel Hero Who Made MCU Debut Just a Year Ago

Michael Jackson actively lobbied to secure the role of The Riddler in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever

Michael Jackson Went to Extreme Lengths to Play a Marvel Hero Who Made MCU Debut Just a Year Ago

SUMMARY

  • Michael Jackson wanted to play the role of Charles Xavier in the X-Men movie.
  • The pop singer actively lobbied for the role of The Riddler that went to Jim Carrey instead.
  • He also met with Stan Lee for a role, which is speculated to be Spider-Man.
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Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, had limited acting credits to his name, debuting with his performance as Scarecrow in the movie, The Wiz. Throughout his career, Jackson made multiple attempts to secure high-profile roles, particularly in superhero films. In 1999, the Thriller artist approached Bryan Singer for the role of Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, in the first X-Men movie. It

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Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson

This came after his previous failed attempts to play the Marvel hero Spider-Man as well as the DC villain, The Riddler, in the 1995 film, Batman Forever. However, 20th Century Fox Studio did not even consider Jackson for the role.

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Michael Jackson Wanted The X-Men Role So Badly

Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X

Michael Jackson had grand plans to buy Marvel, which was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time, in order to play Spider-Man. That was not the only time Jackson went to extreme lengths to try and secure a role. When Jackson visited Fox studio to meet Bryan Singer, he was made aware of the challenges of playing the character he wanted.

X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner recalled telling Jackson that he wasn’t the right fit for the role of Xavier. The eponymous character in the $296.3 million-grossing film was eventually played by Patrick Stewart, who was primarily known for his Star Trek role. Donner told The Hollywood Reporter:

“I said to him, ‘Do you know Xavier is an older white guy?’ And Michael said, ‘Oh yeah. You know, I can wear makeup.’”

Jackson even came prepared for the meeting. He presented one of his roles in a short film, Ghosts, where he played an older white mayor. Despite Jackson’s pitch, the studio wanted to cast an actor who could authentically play the character. The Smooth Criminal artist was also embroiled in several allegations, as one studio executive recalled.

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In the late 1980s, Jackson became a controversial figure due to his relationships, behavior, and the allegations leveled against him. The Bad artist was alleged to s*xually abusing multiple children and faced several lawsuits related to these charges.

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Michael Jackson Also Wanted To Play Several Other High-Profile Roles

A still from Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Michael Jackson wanted to play Spider-Man in the early 1990s

As mentioned earlier, Michael Jackson actively lobbied for the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever. He reached out to the director of the film, Joel Schumacher, regarding the role. Schumacher was earlier approached to direct the video for Jackson’s number, Scream. However, Schumacher believed that Jackson didn’t fit his vision for the role, and it went to Jim Carrey instead.

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Before calling Schumacher, Jackson had also approached earlier Batman director, Tim Burton, for the lead role in his movie, Edward Scissorhands. In the early 1990s, the Beat It artist also had talks with Marvel creator Stan Lee. Although Jackson did not specify the particular role he wanted to play, Stan Lee felt that he was more interested in playing Spider-Man.

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It almost appeared as if Jackson was trying to rebuild his tarnished image with these high-profile roles. Notably, Patrick Stewart reprised his Professor X role for the first time in the $29.6 billion MCU, in the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1272

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.