X-Men is a 2000 American action film, featuring a group of comic book superheroes called the X-Men. It formed a major part of the current revival in comic-book adaptation movies. The film is about mutants who are the next evolutionary step in the chain of humanity, with special powers that manifest at puberty. These mutants are almost universally feared and loathed by the rest of humanity.
Professor Charles Xavier (the world's most powerful telepath) takes gifted individuals and teaches them to control their powers for the good of mankind in Xavier's Academy for Gifted Youngsters, his school for gifted youngsters. Opposition to them includes United States Senator Robert Kelly (Bruce Davison), a McCarthyesque politician trying to pass legislation crafted to expose the dangers of mutants, and Erik Lehnsherr (also known as Magneto), a mutant who blames humanity for the death of his family during the Holocaust. Believing that humans and mutants can never co-exist peacefully, he builds and tests a machine that develops humans into mutants.
The movie was directed by Bryan Singer and explores the ideas of prejudice and discrimination in the United States. The screenplay was written by David Hayter (who has a cameo appearance in the film as a police officer in the Statue of Liberty area). A sequel, X2: X-Men United, was released in 2003 and a third film, X-Men: The Last Stand, was released in 2006. The film franchise also brought up interest in a Wolverine-centered film and a Magneto-centered film.
MSN movies ranks X-Men as the greatest superhero movie to date.
In a Polish Nazi concentration camp in 1944, a young boy is horrified as his parents are taken away and his powers bend a metal gate; revealing that he will one day become the man known as Magneto. In Meridian, Mississippi, a young girl named Marie D'Ancanto, kisses a boy and learns she is a mutant, as the boy goes into a coma. As the certain senators attempt to pass a "Mutant Registration Act", Magneto begins his plans to level the playing field between mutants and humans. Marie, now calling herself Rogue, is on the run from her home and heads to a small town in Canada, where she meets a cage fighter named Wolverine. As the two head off down the road, they are attacked by Sabertooth, an associate of Magneto. Cyclops and Storm arrive and save Wolverine and Rogue. When Wolverine regains consciousness, Professor Xavier explains that Cyclops and Storm are part of a group of mutants who are trying to seek peace with the human race, and also stop Magneto from starting a war. Professor X promises to help Wolverine discover his lost past, as well as determine why Magneto is after him.
Meanwhile, Senator Kelly, a very outspoken senator for the registration of mutants, is abducted by Mystique and Toad, and brought to Magneto. Magneto uses a powerful machine on Kelly to turn him into a mutant. Kelly, thanks to his new abilities, manages to escape imprisonment, and he eventually washes up on a beach. After an accident causes her to use her powers on Wolverine, Rogue is persuaded by Mystique, disguised as a boy at the school, to flee, supposedly because Professor Xavier is angry with her. Professor Xavier, using Cerebro, locates her at a train station and sends Cyclops and Storm after her. Mystique, still disguised as the boy, infiltrates Cerebro and sabotoges the machine in order to kill Professor Xavier when he next uses it. Wolverine arrives at the station ahead of the other two and convinces Rogue to stay with Professor Xavier. While Sabertooth and Toad are keeping Cyclops and Storm busy inside the train station, Magneto reveals who he was truly after by kidnapping Rogue. Xavier confronts Magneto during his escape, but allows him after Magneto threatens to kills the police that have surrounded the building with their own guns. Senator Kelly arrives at the school, in a rapidly deteriorating condition. Professor Xavier reads his mind and learns of Magneto's new machine. Xavier realizes that Magneto plans to use Rogue's ability to absorb other mutant's abilities on himself, this way Rogue can power his machine and turn all the world leaders on Ellis Island into mutants. Kelly's body is rejecting the mutation and he soon dies. Knowing he must prevent this from happening to anyone else, Xavier attempts to use Cerebro to locate Magneto's machine. The poison in the machine causes Professor X to fall into a coma. Jean fixes Cerebro and then attempts to use it herself. She discovers that the machine is on Liberty Island.
As Magneto sets up his machine atop the flame of the Statue of Liberty, the X-Men arrive to stop him. They are immediately confronted by Mystique and Toad. Mystique and Wolverine become separated from the others while doing battle, as Toad takes on Storm, Cyclops and Jean. Mystique attempts to confuse Wolverine by morphing into a teammate, but Wolverine stabs her when he sniffs out her scent. Storm eventually over comes Toad, and electrocutes him with a bolt of lightning. Just as the group arrives at the top of the statue, Magneto and Sabertooth incapacitate the group and continue with their plans. Magneto transfers his powers to Rogue who is forced to use them to start the machine. Wolverine breaks free and initiates a fight with Sabertooth. Wolverine is thrown over the side of the statue and Sabertooth redirects himself to the group to finish them off. Wolverine returns, and Cyclops, with Jean's help, blasts Sabertooth out of the statue. With Jean stabilizing him, Storm uses her abilities to send Wolverine to the top of Magneto's machine. With time running out, Wolverine attempts to stop the machine and save Rogue, but Magneto, now having regained some of his strength, halts Wolverine's claws. Cyclops manages to find a clean shot, wounding Magneto and allowing Wolverine to destroy the machine. Placing her hand to his face, Wolverine succeeds in transferring his regenerative abilities to Rogue. Professor Xavier recovers from his coma, and the group learns that Mystique is still alive when they see her impersonating Senator Kelly on a news broadcast. Xavier visits Magneto in his plastic prison cell, and the two play chess. Magneto warns his friend that he will continue his fight, to which Xavier promises to always be there to stop him.
In 1994, 20th Century Fox and producer Lauren Shuler-Donner bought the film rights to the X-Men, and the following year Tom DeSanto began to convince Bryan Singer to direct, and he accepted in 1996.
According to Joss Whedon, who made an early draft of the screenplay, only two parts of his draft made it into the final film. The first is the exchange between Wolverine and Cyclops ("It's me." "Prove it!" "You're a dick."); the other is Storm's, "Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." Whedon was disappointed with Halle Berry's over-dramatic delivery of the latter line, which he imagined as an offhand, casual comment.
Filming took place from September 22, 1999 to March 3, 2000 in Toronto.
Wolverine's claws required a full silicone cast of Hugh Jackman's arm, and 700 versions for Jackman and his stunt doubles.
Bryan Singer originally approached composer John Williams to compose the score for X-Men, but Williams was too busy composing the score for Saving Private Ryan (1998).
The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2000, taking in more than $296 million worldwide and becoming the 8th highest grossing film, domestically, of that year. The film is also widely credited as being the patriarch of the current "Comic Book Movie Age" that Hollywood is currently experiencing with releases such as, Spider-Man 1, 2, and 3, Daredevil, Elektra , Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, The Punisher 1 and 2, Constantine, Sin City 1, 2, and 3, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, V for Vendetta, The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk, Superman Returns and Superman: The Man of Steel, Ghost Rider, and X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Some fans were not entirely pleased with the first large scale adaptation of the X-Men. Many fans complained about the change in costumes and the overall depiction of Rogue as frightened, naive, and defenseless - even with her powers. Another overall complaint was that the other X-Men, featured so prominently in the comic books, were relegated to playing second fiddle against Wolverine. Many fans felt that Cyclops in particular, the field leader of the X-Men, and his long-term romance with Jean Grey were minimalized to emphasize Wolverine's role in the group, and Wolverine's infatuation with Jean.
There are two prequels in the planning stages: Wolverine and Magneto.
Comparisons have been made between the mutants' situation, including the concealment of their powers and the age they realize these powers, and homosexuality. Several scenes in the X-Men films, two of which were directed by openly gay director Bryan Singer, illustrate this theme. The first film featured a scene in which Senator Robert Kelly questioned whether mutants should be allowed to teach children in school, mirroring such debates as that over Section 28, in which Sir Ian McKellen (who played Magneto in the film, and who is also openly gay) was involved. Bobby Drake "comes out" as a mutant to his parents in X2. In response, Bobby's mother asks him, "Have you tried not being a mutant?", referencing a popular belief that homosexuality is not inherent, but rather a "lifestyle choice". Also in X2, Nightcrawler has a conversation with Mystique in which he asks her why she doesn't use her shape shifting ability to blend in among non-mutant humans all the time (an option Nightcrawler evidently wishes he had). Mystique replies simply, "Because we shouldn't have to". In the third film, Storm's comment, "There's nothing to cure; nothing's wrong with you or any of us for that matter" could be interpreted as an argument against the idea that homosexuality is a disease or disorder that must be treated. In the comics series, gay and bisexual characters include Mystique, Destiny, Northstar, Karma, a minor student character known as Anole, and the Ultimate version of Colossus. During Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men, Beast confessed to ex-girlfriend Trish Trilby that he is gay, and even has an assortment of public interviews furthering the claim. However, it was later revealed by Emma Frost that this was a lie Hank told to get back at Trish, who broke up with him after his latest mutation. The comic books delved into the AIDS epidemic during the early 1990s with a long-running plotline about the Legacy Virus, a seemingly incurable disease similarly thought at first to attack only mutants. A similar storyline appeared in the X-Men animated series that aired in the 1990s.
Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier: Head and founder of the X-Men and the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, Prof. X is famous for his dream of peaceful coexistence between mutantkind and mankind. Although he is restricted to a wheelchair it does not stop him from being a very powerful mutant. Along with Magneto, he is the inventor of the Cerebro supercomputer, which further amplifies his abilities.
Powers: Very powerful psychic abilities. He can even "freeze" a great number of people.
Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine: Wolverine is a loner and makes a living by winning bar scraps. He had been indoctrinated into a living weapon program. He has a tough personality. His cover as a mutant is blown when his beaten contestant is about to jump him and Logan reacts by nearly cutting his throat with his claws; he is barred and drives away (with Rogue in the back). He takes Rogue away from the city and finds out they are both mutants. There he falls in love with Jean Grey, making Cyclops his rival.
Powers: Wolverine heals at an exceptionally rapid rate, curing most wounds in a matter of seconds. He also has enhanced strength, stamina and sensory acuity. As part of the living weapon program, he was implanted with retractable metal "claws" which sheath in his forearms and an indestructible metal skeleton composed of hardened adamantium.
James Marsden as Scott Summers / Cyclops: First seen saving Wolverine and Rogue from a truck explosion, taking them to safety to the X-Mansion where they live. He the second leader of the X-Men behind Xavier, and is the team's field leader when they are out on missions. He is in love with Jean Grey and has a relationship with her.
Powers: Constantly produces a strong red beam of force from his eyes, which is only held in check by specialized ruby-quartz goggles.
Famke Janssen as Jean Grey: In a relationship with Cyclops and works as the doctor of X-Mansion.
Powers: powers of telekinesis and mild telepathy
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe / Storm: Seen saving Wolverine and Rogue from a truck explosion and are taken to safety to X-Mansion where they live. She has become bitter with other people's despise for mutants, and says she hates humans sometimes.
Powers: Can control the weather.
Anna Paquin as Marie D'Ancanto / Rogue: A seventeen-year-old girl, forced to leave her family in Mississippi after putting her boyfriend in a coma by kissing him. She travels to a snow-filled city where she meets Wolverine.
Powers: If she has contact with another human or mutant she can absorb their powers for a time, if she holds on longer, she can take their life. These powers prevent Rogue and Iceman from having a more intimate relationship.
Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake / Iceman: Student at Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters, who takes a liking to Rogue.
Powers: Can change temperatures to subzero degrees and use the moisture in the air to create ice.
Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: The leader of the Brotherhood, Holocaust survivor, and primary user of the mutation-generating machine. He and Charles were allies onceÃ¢â‚¬â€he even helped build CerebroÃ¢â‚¬â€however, his belief that humans and mutants could never co-exist lead to their separation.
Powers: Can manipulate metal of any form due to being able to create and control magnetic fields.
Rebecca Romijn as Mystique: Magneto's loyal second-in-command, she is an agile fighter and expert with technology. She survived the attack at the Statue of Liberty, and subsequently infiltrated the White House as Senator Kelly.
Powers: Can shapeshift into any human, as well as imitate their voice accurately. She can take on other objects that have human forms, such as the Statue of Liberty replica.
Ray Park as Toad: A very agile fighter, with a menacing streak. He is first seen spray painting an unknown machine, possibly the mutator. It is unknown whether he survived Storm's lightning shock.
Powers: Increased jumping ability, comparable to that of a toad's, as well as a long, prehensile tongue.
Tyler Mane as Sabretooth: Attacked Wolverine and Rogue in Canada before being stopped by Storm and Cyclops.
Powers: Feline-like abilities, enhanced strength and agility, as well as claws extending past each finger.
Bruce Davison as Senator Kelly: Anti-mutant politician and main supporter of the Mutant Registration Act.
Powers: After becoming a mutant he can change form to a limited extent, as if he were made out of soft rubber.