Exclusive: Screenwriter Ed Solomon Talks His Involvement in X-Men
Tomorrow will be an interesting day for screenwriter Ed Solomon, as both Bill & Ted Face the Music and The New Mutants will be opening on the same day. Solomon and co-writer Chris Matheson created the Bill & Ted franchise over 30 years ago, and while he had no involvement with New Mutants he DID have a hand in writing the very first Fox X-Men movie in 2000. Now both franchises will be debuting their swan songs on the same day! A recent expose on X-Men‘s 20th anniversary had Solomon admit he and Christopher McQuarrie took their names off the film’s screenplay VOLUNTARILY, so during press for Bill & Ted ComingSoon.net asked the writer to clarify why he did that at the time.
“Well, Chris McQuarrie and I were originally given credit on the movie and we both believed David Hayter deserved credit as well,” Solomon told us. “Probably the appropriate credit would’ve been the three of us. I took my name off of it in an act of immature hubris because I had had an experience on ‘Super Mario Bros’ where I worked two weeks on it, and then another week or two on set. I was away when the arbitration happened. I didn’t deserve credit on that movie. I was seventh of nine writers. I was given credit probably because no one else wanted credit. 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. It taught me a lot about myself, and it actually changed my own relationship with my ego and with my work.”
Solomon also clarified what he specifically brought to the table for the first Bryan Singer entry in the mutant series, and it involves honing in on the characters’ abilities.
“In hindsight, was it stupid? Absolutely,” Solomon went on. “But what am I proud of? I got fired initially because I chose to write a superhero movie where their physical powers were external manifestations of their internal issues, and that they were written as real human beings. I’m still to this day really proud that I was the first person to do that.”
Fortunately the decision to abdicate his credit gave Solomon a different kind of spiritual benefit.
“I was an idiot for taking my name off it, not just financially, but it was just an immature act made by a young writer who needed to grow up,” Solomon admits. “It was just that there were other voices on it. I just thought it wasn’t appropriate. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was stupid. I am proud of it. I’m proud of having worked on it, I just feel… Look, how would my life be different had I not taken my name off it? Well, I’d have more money and I’d have that credit. But at the end of the day, would I be a happier person? No, because it forced me into a kind of self-analysis and retooling of my own inner experience of work that made me a healthier person and maybe a better person overall. So in hindsight, it probably wasn’t a bad decision, but only because I chose to turn it into something that would hopefully in the long run be healthier for me. If I were to do it all over again, of course, I wouldn’t take my name off it.”
Be sure to check back on ComingSoon.net this week for more of our interview with Ed Solomon for Bill & Ted Face the Music, which you can pre-order now on Premium VOD!