Original ‘X-Men’ writer says he lost £1.5 million taking his name off the film

Gregory Wakeman
·Contributor
·2-min read
Ed Solomon says his experiences on Super Mario Bros lead to him taking his name off of X-Men (Image by 20th Century Studios)
Ed Solomon says his experiences on Super Mario Bros lead to him taking his name off of X-Men (Image by 20th Century Studios)

Ed Solomon, the original writer of X-Men, has called the decision to take his name off the 2000 superhero adaptation a “dumb move”.

After the smash-hit success of 1997’s Men In Black, Solomon was hired to write X-Men. However, after plenty of behind the scenes drama, Solomon and Christopher McQuarrie, who was also hired to rewrite the script, decided to take their names off the film.

Instead, David Hayter, who was director Bryan Singer’s assistant, was given the sole credit for the screenplay.

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Twenty years after the release of X-Men, Solomon admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that this “was a dumb move”.

He added: “But I’m proud of being the first person to write a superhero movie with real people.”

That doesn’t disguise the fact that Solomon lost an awful lot of money by taking his name off X-Men though. But how much did Solomon actually give up in residuals and backend compensation?

“It was probably $2 million (£1.5 million),” he said. “Just saying that stings.”

Solomon, who is currently doing the rounds promoting Bill & Ted Face The Music, also opened up to Coming Soon about his experiences working on X-Men, saying that he believes the “appropriate credit would’ve been the three of” him, McQuarrie, and Hayter.

However, he’d already been hurt by his experiences writing 1993’s Super Mario Bros.

“I took my name off of it in an act of immature hubris because I had had an experience on Super Mario Bros… I was seventh of nine writers. I was given credit probably because no one else wanted credit.

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“And so, when X-Men came along, I thought, I don’t want my name on a movie that I wasn’t the sole writer or at least the last writer on. Where I was making these choices. So I took my name off it.

“That was immature. It was self-indulgent, immature hubris. It was stupid on a business level and it was stupid on a creative level. It was just juvenile, but it taught me a lot.”