Coming Early April across multiple streaming platforms.
The Cyclops Chronicles: The Story of Scott Summers is a passion project for Keith Sutliff. He’s an actor and filmmaker who loves the X-Men universe that currently has nothing live-action in development. This particular IP is vast, and his plan with this character is to explore what motivates this leader in new ways that respects the lore and also be original at the same time.
He started up his own company, KS Pictures LLC in 2016, and was quick to establish himself in Hollywood, appearing in works from the Lifetime Channel when not producing or acting in independent works himself. Some of his past works include The Mason Brothers (2017). From the Internet Movie Database, The Hollywood Weekly Magazine recognized him as an emerging talent, and his next work, The Refuge (2019), showed where he wanted to go in this career as an entertainer. Coming this Summer is Suitcase City for sci-fi fans, but for comic book readers, he’s hoping his take on the leader of the X-Men will be one to talk about.
Sutliff acknowledges what he’s producing, starring in and directing is a fan film. He said, “The number one thing going into the film business and in Hollywood is you have to entertain.” The gamble with his work is in him making it free to view on YouTube. He’s not sure how many episodes will be made, but has a game plan should it go beyond three.
As for keeping up with how the X-Men evolved throughout the decades, from Uncanny to X-Treme to Astonishing to ResurrXion, it’s just become impossible since they’re not meant to overlap. Ask anyone if they’ve kept up. Most will say no, including Sutliff.
To get caught up (after taking a long break), he visited a local comic book store to learn about Cyclop’s latest exploits. To revisit any shop brought back a lot of memories. He started reading comics at seven and admits he was more of a Dark Horse Comics fan than Marvel at the time. He loved what they produced for the Aliens and Predator franchise, and also grew up watching the 90s animated X-Men series.
The idea of making this web series happened during the pandemic. He chatted with his team about what they could do during lockdown? They noticed a lot of popular characters from the world of pop culture were getting reinvented on YouTube. “We’re seeing all these different projects that were about Darth Maul, Princess Leia and things like that. They had millions of views and were getting a lot more attention than TV. There’s origin stories of Gambit, Wolverine and other characters, but there’s never been one of Cyclops. We saw the Fox movies were overshadowed by Wolverine–he got a lot of screen time. So we came up with the idea of telling Scott Summers’ backstory as we saw it,” said Sutliff.
“He’s a strong guy, and he really runs the show. I have dozens of comic books and specific ones, like Cyclops Origins and Ultimate Marvel, to look at.
“You’ll see in the first episode about him talking about the Banshee drug, which enables the X-Men to control / enhance their power. It’s about his life, before and after…
“We’re trying to make it as modern as possible. I don’t wanna compare it to The Joker (2019) starring Joaquin Phoenix––I’m trying to give realism to the world, kinda like Chris Nolan’s Batman. People go to see movies to see characters relatable to their everyday life.”
Other questions I asked included:
Can you talk more about the slave camp that’s been said in t he trailer?
There’s a war going on between mutants and there’s also this fight for peace between the humans and mutants. So in this world, the humans are throwing mutants into slave camps. Cyclops/Scott Summers is to restore peace.
Will there be any familiar faces or places from the comic book universe?
Yes, absolutely. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’ll definitely be more in the second episode. There’ll be other cool things. You’re not gonna see Xavier’s School for Mutants, and stuff like that. It’s really a story about him rather than the places.
And you don’t know too much until the DeLorean comes into the picture…
What can we expect for how many episodes are made and length?
This first one is pretty short. I want to wait to see what the reaction is before committing to more. These next ones coming up will not be longer than about 15 minutes.
What do you think the risks are for releasing it for free on YouTube?
Well, we did a lot of research. That was a concern of mine. As long as it’s not for profit, the studios and different companies involved are pretty cool with it. I want as wide an audience as possible to see my work and treat long-time fans.
If it was possible to, would you show it at San Diego Comic Con?
A buddy brought that idea up and the answer is yes. I’ll have to look into how to get into that, and It’d be great to be there in character, all dressed up like Scott Summers, in the jacket and sunglasses.
Is your take based on the latest iteration of the IP?
It’s mostly modern material but I am throwing some Easter eggs I think people will like–in particular with some of these characters from the comic books. Some major roles will be thrown in…
In closing, is there anything you’d like to say?
I hope you’ll enjoy it. This series is a treat from me to those fans of X-Men, the DeLorean community and car lovers. Please comment, subscribe, and share.