What If…? “X-Men: The Movie” Debuted in 1987?

Last week, Marvel unleashed the trailer for “X-Men ’97,” the sequel to the series from FOX Kids from the nineties that continues the saga of the 1990’s iteration of the X-Men.

It was a time when they were massively popular, one of the big moneymakers for Marvel, and were given a variety of excellent characters. The X-Men property has been around for decades, and around the nineties, Marvel began developing the ideal “X-Men” movie. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that we finally got the “X-Men” movie.

But I think “X-Men” would have also made a great eighties action film, so I went back and cast an “X-Men” movie if it were developed, and cast in 1987! What if…?

Scott Summers/Cyclops: Michael Biehn
This seems like the only natural choice, I mean come on. Biehn would headline this movie as the militant leader of the X-Men who is loyal to the professor to a fault. He’d be part Corporal Hicks, and part Richard Gere from Officer and a Gentleman. Biehn has always been my main pick for Cyclops and Scott Summers, and I think his scruffy appearance would lend Cyclops the edge he lacked in the Singer movies. Biehn rocked as Corporal Hicks and would have made a very entertaining Slim Summers.

Wolverine/Logan: Bob Hoskins
Hear me out. Chris Claremont always wanted Bob Hoskins to play Wolverine, and I can no longer think of anyone who could have played him in the eighties.  Said Claremont: “There was a film he did called Lassiter with Tom Selleck, and if you look at the two of them together, Tom Selleck is this 6-foot-plus powerful, handsome, glorious leading man and Hoskins is this little cop. In one scene, Selleck comes to the door of [Hoskin’s] house and Hoskins takes one look at him and hauls off and shoves Selleck back down the drive, yelling “You come to my house?” and just repeating it over and over as he shoves Selleck back down the path and through the fence out onto the street. And the expression on Selleck’s face is “Holy ****!” and I thought, bingo. That is Logan. That instant rage. ”

Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde: Courteney Cox
A young Courteney Cox as Kitty Pryde would give the X-Men the youthful angle with Cox portraying the every girl who is born with amazing but terrifying powers. Pryde would be something like Rogue from Singer’s first “X-Men” movie but… you know… not as whiny. Imagine her channeling her character from “Masters of the Universe,” with the charm from “Friends” and she’d make a pretty killer Kitty Pryde, overall. Plus for the eighties, the phasing through walls effect would be easy.

Jean Grey: Michelle Pfeiffer
I don’t know if Pfeiffer would go red, but Pfeiffer as Jean Grey would have been pretty stellar for an eighties X-Men movie. Pfeiffer can play almost anyone, and a young Pfeiffer would have been a mix of beautiful, sexy, and brainy. Working off of Biehn’s Cyclops while also battling rival mutants would have been pretty excellent to experience, and she’d be one of the big names for box office draw and appeal.

Storm/Ororo Munroe: Vanity
The popular choice for Storm was always Angela Bassett, but for the eighties, I definitely would have gone for Vanity. Vanity, of course, was a singer for Prince who was dreamy in “The Last Dragon,” and with white hair, she’d have been a pretty boss and punk rock Storm who could add some big appeal to music fans. Plus giving her the silver suit along with Storm’s signature cape would have added to the dazzle. I don’t know if I’d have given her the mohawk.

Professor Charles Xavier: David Ogden Stiers
Ogden Stiers would have been a great Professor X. Although he doesn’t entirely resemble the Professor, he’d have added a real class and pop to the character who spends most of his time in the wheel chair guiding the X-men and clashing with his students. Plus I’d have had at least one scene where Ogden Stiers and Hoskins would play off of one another in a heated confrontation involving screaming and whatnot.

Magneto: Rutger Hauer
I mean who else? Rutger Hauer is one of the ultimate movie villain actors and he would have been quite excellent as Magneto. Granted he’s not as old as Ogden Stiers, but that could be forgiven in some respects if their origins were retconned a bit. Heck, they were massively retconned in “First Class,” after all. In his prime, Hauer could play despicable monster or dashing villain, and as Magneto he would have been a prime candidate as this leader charging in to this war.

Toad: Joshua John Miller
Toad would have been a good supporting character and Joshua John Miller from “Class of 1999” and “Near Dark” would have lent the character some tragedy and complexity. I picture him as the weak link Magneto’s movement. Miller has a penchant for playing tragic characters after all.

Rogue: Sherilyn Fenn
Many forget that Rogue used to be a part of Magneto’s team before joining the X-Men and my X-Men movie from the eighties would have Rogue as a villain first, working to hurt the X-Men as much as possible. She’s someone who’d be a mean villain capable of eventually becoming the Southern Belle superhero we’d eventually love. Sherilyn Fenn could pull off the Southern Belle in her sleep, and as Rogue she could also be a great villain struggling with her loyalties.

Sabretooth: Brian Thompson
Who wouldn’t want the man from “Cobra” and “Death Warrant” to go toe to toe with Wolverine in the X-Men movie as Sabretooth? Thompson is a terrifying and imposing character actor who’d give Sabretooth a quality that we’d never seen in the comics. This character would be easy to put on screen and Thompson would be an opposing force in the role. With some hair attachments, fake fangs, and the proper make up, he’d make a great Sabretooth.