Lots of coverage today on the announcement that hack artist A-list writer/director David S. Goyer will be heading up the production of another X-Men spinoff, this one focusing on bad-guy Magneto. Goyer didn't get any action for Wolverine, and I wonder if he had a choice, that maybe he made a mistake here. I don't know too much about the comics, but in the X-Men features I've seen so far, Magneto's character hasn't exactly been very redeemable.
You generally can't base a film on a bad guy unless he has a couple of redeeming qualities, like a 180-degree turn at the "moment of truth", or someone who is evil, but doesn't necessairly hate or kill anyone. A sense of humor helps, too. You need that kind of universal appeal to for a film to be successful, because broad appeal is how you get people into the seats. Without it, all you'll get are X-Men fans, and you'll crash and burn.
I won't link you to IGN's coverage, since all I got was a fullpage "please wait" advertisment when I tried to look it up. Instead there is this from The Hollywood Reporter.
The project, which is in the early stages of development, focuses on a young Magneto, the villain of the "X-Men" movies, and his friendship with a young Professor X, and how the two eventually became mortal enemies. The characters would not be played by Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, who originated them in the series, but by actors in their 20s.
The film will be an origin story that was mentioned in the first X-Men film regarding Magneto coming to grips with his mutant ability to manipulate metal objects as he and his parents try to survive in Auschwitz; the first scene in the first X-Men film featured this when he was a young kid.
Makes me wonder if this is just an idea of where they want to go, or if Goyer already has his hands the script, because this sounds an awful lot like a Batman Begins clone, doesn't it? Young guy, struggling with his personal demons and all that. The Blade trilogy was fun, but it didn't get any better with its sequels and it looks like that's because Goyer only has enough creativity in him to tell one story in the genre, then get out.
As late as this is getting going, something else that should be taken into consideration is that Wolverine is going to hit the theaters first, and if it bombs, it could have a negative impact on Magneto, regardless of its quality.
Scifiwire is usually good for an original quote or two, but not this time. Instead I've just found that Goyer in fact isn't writing the script (it was already written by Sheldon Turner,) but you can bet he'll do some rewrites eventually.
As for Turner, he only has two produced screenplays under his belt, The Longest Yard and a story credit for the most recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre stinker. Somehow that gets you seven pending credits, and I can't help but wonder if someone isn't inflating their resume with spec scripts. Irregardless, I see nothing in Turners past that makes me think this script will be anything other than mediocre.
In other words, don't hold your breath. Bryan Singer -- these guys ain't.