Marvel: Michael Jackson Wanted to Play An Iconic ‘X-Men’ Character

The King of Pop needs little introduction as Michael Jackson was, before his death in 2009, one of the most recognizable faces and voices in the world.

Although his later life was marred by controversy, at his peak, he was a global sensation. He made hit after hit and it’s next to impossible to talk about what his best songs were since everybody has their own opinion. In any case, while he was undoubtedly the King of Pop, he also had other hobbies and interests outside of music.

One of those was for comic books, and in fact, Michael Jackson actually wanted to play the famous X-Men, Professor X. 

Who is Professor X?

Michael Jackson performs onstage
Michael Jackson | Phil Walter/Getty Images

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X-Men as a franchise definitely has an ensemble cast of characters, but Professor X is arguably the main character. His real name is Charles Xavier, and he’s been played by two British actors so far. First he was played by Patrick Stewart and then, he was played by James McAvoy.

Professor X runs a school for mutants, which is where the X-Men get their name from. Not only is Professor X a teacher to his students, but he’s also a recruiter for the school. He uses his telepathic abilities to find mutants and then, he’ll try to convince them to enroll in his school for mutants. 

More importantly though, Professor X represents one side of the equation, and his frenemy, Magneto, represents the other. They’re both mutants who are fighting for equality, however, they both have different ways of achieving that goal. 

That time Michael Jackson auditioned for Professor X

It was the late 90s, and the first X-Men movie was just starting out. According to Comicbook, many A-Listers who wouldn’t come off as comic book fans auditioned for roles in the movie. For example, Shaquille O’Neal auditioned for the role of Bishop, Mariah Carey auditioned for the role of Storm, and of course, the King of Pop himself auditioned for the role of Professor X.

On top of that, his sister, Janet Jackson, also auditioned for the role of Storm in the movie. However, while these auditions ultimately seem like cool ideas, none of them worked out for one reason or another. Comicbook doesn’t say why Jackson didn’t get the role, but it could simply be because Stewart is a better actor than he is, since he isn’t a great actor or a movie star to begin with. 

Michael Jackson didn’t stop there

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The reason why the King of Pop auditioned for the role was probably because he’s simply a massive comic book fan, according to Comicbook. In fact, before Marvel movies were the biggest movies in the world, Marvel, as a company, was struggling. Jackson wasn’t struggling financially, and he almost bought Marvel, as a company, for himself.

One of the reasons why he wanted to do that was because he loved Spider-Man, and he wanted to create a Spider-Man movie while possibly playing the role of Peter Parker. Of course, this didn’t happen, but Jackson showed off how much he loved comic books in other ways, too. 

For example, Comicbook wrote that he really enjoyed taking his kids to comic book shops and buying whatever was on the shelves. He also hired Lou Ferrigno, the original Hulk, to be his personal trainer. And, Comicbook said that he also had a statue made of himself with him looking like Batman. 

While the idea of him being in a MCU movie sounds strange today, it actually may have been possible if he didn’t pass away in 2009. Jackson has worked with Disney before on the theme park ride, Captain EO, so Disney could’ve given him a small role in a MCU movie due to how big of a fan he was.