Exclusive: X-Men's 'Terrible Decision'

Joss Whedon talks to Empire about script doctoring the upcoming X-Men movie

Being a writer in Hollywood is a thankless task as Buffy creator Joss Whedon understands. In a recent interview with Empire Online, Whedon gave us the lowdown on why he was brought on board the X-Men Movie and what happened to his version of the script. Q. How did you get involved in X-Men? A. 'They wanted me to punch up the last fight. I said, 'I think you've got a greater problem than that'. I didn't think the script was any good, so I did a major overhaul of the script. And yeah, I was the only real X-Men fan on the project that I know of. Q. So what happened? A. 'The director threw it out…they went back to another version. A teeny bit of what I had written got in and I heard that more of it got in after the read-through. I don't know, but basically I was treated incredibly shabbily. Not by the director - in movies that's his prerogative. But I was just staggered by what I thought was a terrible decision - I actually got a copy of the script later and found out that they had thrown out the entire re-write I had done.' Q. Why do writers get the raw end of the deal? 'People are morons. I don't have any other explanation. I really don't….well you can have more than one writer, but you can only have one star and only one director - by virtue of that the writer gets pissed on.' Q. Apart from The X-Men do you have any other examples? A. [Talking about a script that Whedon sold - Resurrected - about the brain of a scientist transplanted into the body of a serial killer leading to a schizophrenic fight between the two personalities] 'The day after the studio bought it they called me to tell me they'd attached Jean-Claude Van Damme to the role. I walked away from the project. Nothing against the muscles, but that's a part that Linda Hunt could play more believably.' Q. You were involved in Titan AE as well… A. 'I did a great thundering re-write on that, bigger than the one I did on X-Men and a lot more of that actually stayed in the film.' Q. Are you going to make a movie yourself? A. 'I'm dying to make a movie and direct it mself. I want to make something big.' Q. Will it be another Buffy movie? A. 'We talk about it and I'm interested, but not while it's on the small screen. I don't want the show to be taking second place to some thing. [With the X-Files] I thought both the show and the movie suffered. I don't want to make episodes as placeholders until something better comes along. When we've done with the show it would be fun to make a movie, assuming everyone is amenable.' Q. So after all that's happened, have you seen either X-Men or Titan? A. I've seen Titan, I haven't seen anything of X-Men - no-one is actually contractually or legally allowed to say the words X-Men to me in the workplace anymore.' Q. But are you going to see it? A. 'I've gotta see, I'm so curious to know. Every director has his vision, but I would not have given Halle Berry that hair.' Interview: Colin Kennedy The Buffy Season 2 Part 2 box set [Twentieth Century Home Entertainment] was released for sale on 24 April 2000.