X-Men (film)


X-Men (film)

] Bryan Singer was looking to do a science fiction film after the release of "The Usual Suspects". Fox approached Singer for "Alien Resurrection", but producer Tom DeSanto felt "X-Men" would be a better opportunity as he was impressed with how Singer directed an ensemble cast in "The Usual Suspects" (1995). Singer turned down the offer, believing that comic books were unintelligent literature. By July 1996, Singer had further turned down the film another two times, and finally accepted after reading the comics and watching the animated series.Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Tom DeSanto, Avi Arad, The Secret Origin of The "X-Men", 2000, 20th Century Fox]

By December 1996, Singer was in the director's position, while Ed Solomon was hired to write the script in April 1997, and Singer went to film "Apt Pupil". Fox then announced a Christmas 1998 release date. [ cite news | author = Michael Fleming | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117434784 | title = A Mania For Marvel | work = Variety | date = 1997-04-14 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] [ cite news | author = Anita M. Busch | url = http://www.variety.com/vstory/VR1117466461.html | title = Singer set to direct Fox's "Men" | work = Variety | date = 1996-12-10 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] In late 1997, the budget was projected at $60 million. In late 1998, Singer and DeSanto sent a script to Fox, which they believed was "perfect". Fox, which now projected the budget at $75 million, rejected it as they estimated it would have cost $5 million more. Beast, Pyro and the Danger Room had to be deleted before Fox greenlighted "X-Men". [ cite news | author = Dan Cox | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117478916.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title = Col inks Solomon, Lynn | work = Variety | date = 1998-07-29 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] However, Singer and DeSanto brought Christopher McQuarrie from "The Usual Suspects", and together did another rewrite. [cite news | author = Ed Solomon, Chris McQuarrie, Tom DeSanto, and Bryan Singer | title = February 1999 X-Men script | publisher = Sci-Fi Scripts| date = 1999-02-24 | url =http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/xmenscript.txt | accessdate=2007-07-01] [ cite news | author = Chris Petrikin | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117490409.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 | title = Rice gets Fox promotion | work = Variety | date = 1999-01-20 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] David Hayter simultaneously rewrote the screenplay, receiving solo screenplay credit from the Writers Guild of America, while Singer and DeSanto were given story credit.

Casting

Russell Crowe was Singer's first choice to play Wolverine. After Crowe turned the role down, a number of actors offered their services for the role before Singer cast Dougray Scott. Part of Scott's contract included a sequel, but Scott backed out due to scheduling conflicts with "" in early October 1999. [ cite news | author = Michael Fleming | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117502566.html?categoryid=3&cs=1 | title = Wahlberg a headbanger?; "X-Men" gets man | work = Variety | date = 1999-05-27 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] [cite news | author = Michael Fleming | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117503085.html?categoryid=3&cs=1 | title = "X" marks the Scott for Singer-helmed Fox pic | work = Variety | date = 1999-06-15 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] [cite news | author = Michael Fleming | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117756399 | title = NL scores Demme's "Blow" | work = Variety | date = 1999-10-07 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] Hugh Jackman, who was an unknown actor at the time, was cast three weeks into filming. [cite news | author = Chris Petrikin | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117756476 | title = Aussie Jackman jumps into Singer's "X-Men" pic | work = Variety | date = 1999-10-11 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] Keanu Reeves also expressed interest in the role. [cite news | author = Liane Bornin | title = Comic Relief | work = Entertainment Weekly | date = 1999-03-25 | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,84258,00.html | accessdate=2007-09-23]

James Caviezel was originally cast as Cyclops, but backed out due to scheduling conflicts with "Frequency". [cite news | author = Jeff Otto | url = http://movies.ign.com/articles/556/556968p1.html | title = IGN Interviews Jim Caviezel | work = IGN | date = 2004-10-14 | accessdate = 2008-08-08]
James Marsden was unfamiliar with his character, but soon became accustomed after reading various comic books. Marsden modeled his performance similar to a Boy Scout. [cite news | author = Scott Holleran | url = http://boxofficemojo.com/features/?id=2082&p=.htm | title = Close-Up: "X-Men"’s James Marsden | work = Box Office Mojo | date = 2006-06-02 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] Eric Mabius expressed interest for the role of Cyclops. Angela Bassett was approached to portray Storm in late 1997. Anna Paquin dropped out of the lead role in "Tart" in favor of "X-Men". [cite news | author = Vanessa Torres | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117756727 | title = Swain signs to top "Tart" for Interlight | work = Variety | date = 1999-10-18 | accessdate = 2008-08-09]

Filming

The original start date was mid-1999, [ cite news | author = Chris Petrikin | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117491127.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title = Marvel, Fox pact for pix | work = Variety | date = 1999-02-09 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] with the release date set for Christmas 2000, but Fox moved "X-Men" to June. Steven Spielberg had been scheduled to film "Minority Report" for release in June 2000, but he had chosen to film "A.I. Artificial Intelligence", and Fox needed a film to fill the void. [ cite news | author = Chris Petrikin | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117750560.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title = Fox shifts actioner "X-Men" to June | work = Variety | date = 1999-08-19 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] This meant that Singer had to finish "X-Men" six months ahead of schedule, although filming had been pushed back. [cite news | author = Josh Walk | title = Getting the 'Shaft' | work = Entertainment Weekly | date = 1999-08-19 | url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,84602,00.html | accessdate=2007-05-22] The release date was then moved to July 14. [cite news | author = Chris Petrikin | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117755724 | title = Fox shuffles "X-Men" and "Anna" | work = Variety | date = 1999-09-16 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] Filming took place from September 22, 1999 to March 3, 2000 in Toronto and in Hamilton, Ontario. [cite web | author = Greg Dean Schmitz | title = Greg's Preview - X-Men | publisher = Yahoo! | url = http://web.archive.org/web/20070821124442/http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/preview/1808406650| accessdate=2008-08-09] cite web|url= http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/x/xmen.html | title= X-Men filming locations: Hamilton, Ontario|accessdate=2008-01-29|publisher=Movie Locations|accessdate = 2008-08-09]

Filming locations included Central Commerce Collegiate, Distillery District and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Casa Loma, Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall were used for X-Mansion interiors, while Parkwood Estate was chosen for exteriors. For the train station scenes, Toronto Union Station and Hamilton GO Centre were set. Spencer Smith Park doubled for Liberty Island. A scale model was used for the Statue of Liberty. [cite news | author = Scott Chitwood | url = http://movies.ign.com/articles/034/034940p1.html | title = X-Mens Sabretooth Scares Crap out of Kid, Toronto Set Visit, Wolvie Love Triangle, New Pics, & More | work = IGN | date = 2000-02-10 | accessdate = 2008-08-10]

Design and effects

The filmmakers decided not to replicate the X-Men costumes as seen in the comic book. Stan Lee and Chris Claremont supported this decision. Claremont joked, "you can do that on a drawing, but when you put it on people it's disturbing!" Producer/co-writer Tom DeSanto remarked, "They're just more realistic. They're not bright, primary colors, no. That just doesn't work." Despite receiving positive feedback from various associates at Marvel Comics for the costume design, fans on the internet still had negative emotions when "X-Men" was filming. [cite news | author = Scott Chitwood | url = http://movies.ign.com/articles/034/034827p1.html | title = DeSanto talks about X-Men costumes | work = IGN | date = 2000-02-10 | accessdate = 2008-08-10] Wolverine's claws required a full silicone cast of Hugh Jackman's arm, and 700 versions for Jackman and his stunt doubles. [cite web| author = Kris Abel | title = Making Wolverine's Claws| work = CTV| date = 2006-10-26| url = http://krisabel.ctv.ca/blog/_archives/2006/10/26/2450347.html| accessdate = 2006-10-26]

It took nine hours to apply Rebecca Romijn's prosthetic makeup. [cite news | author = Rob Worley | title = Bryan Singer's Mutant Agenda | publisher = Comic Book Resources | date = 2003-04-21 | url = http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=2135 | accessdate=2008-03-09] She could not drink wine, use skin creams, or fly the day before filming, because it could have caused her body chemistry to change slightly, causing the 110 prosthetics applied to her skin fall off. Between takes, the makeup department kept Romijn isolated in a windowless room to ensure secrecy. Romijn reflected, "I had almost no contact with the rest of the cast; it was like I was making a different movie from everyone else. It was hell."

In the late 1990s, computer-generated imagery was becoming more commonly used. Singer visited the sets of "" and "Titanic" to understand practical and digital effects. Filming had started without a special effects company hired. Digital Domain, Cinesite, Kleiser-Walczak Construction, Hammerhead Production, Matte World, CORE and POP were all hired in December 1999. [cite news | author = Marc Graser | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117758743 | title = Seven f/x houses will share "X-Men" duties | work = Variety | date = 1999-12-08 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] Visual effects supervisor Mike Fink admitted to have been dissatisfied with his work on "X-Men" in 2003, despite nearly being nominated with an Academy Award.F"X2" Visual Effects, 2003, 20th Century Fox]

Music

Singer approached John Williams to compose the film score, but Williams turned down the offer because of scheduling conflicts. [cite news | author = Bill Ramey | title = Superman-on-Film | publisher = Batman-on-Film | date = 2006-02-12 | url = http://www.batman-on-film.com/supermanonfilm/article_singer_routh_wondercon2006.html | accessdate=2007-05-22] John Ottman was originally set as composer. [ cite news | author = Marc Graser | url = http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117503313.html?categoryid=13&cs=1 | title = Ottman adds helming other duties | work = Variety | date = 1999-06-21 | accessdate = 2008-03-25] Michael Kamen was eventually hired.

Reaction

Release

On June 1, 2000, Marvel published a comic book prequel to "X-Men", entitled "X-Men: Beginnings", revealing the backstories of Magneto, Rogue and Wolverine. [cite web | title = X-Men: Beginnings (Paperback) | publisher = Amazon.com | url = http://www.amazon.com/X-Men-Beginnings-Marvel-Comics/dp/0785107509 | accessdate=2008-02-09] There was also a comic book adaptation based on the film. [cite web | title = X-Men: The Movie (Paperback) | publisher = Amazon.com | url = http://www.amazon.com/X-Men-Movie-Marvel-Comics/dp/0785107495/ref=pd_sim_b_title_2 | accessdate = 2008-02-09] Marvel Studios was depending on "X-Men"'s success to ignite other franchise properties ("Spider-Man", "Fantastic Four", "Hulk" and "Daredevil"). [cite news | author = Lew Irwin | url = http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0098691/ | title = Will The Movies Rescue "Spidey" Et Al? | work = Internet Movie Database | date = 2000-05-09 | accessdate = 2008-08-09] "X-Men" was released in 3,025 theaters in North America on July 14, 2000, earning $54,471,475 in its opening weekend. The film eventually grossed $157.3 million and made $138.95 million in other countries, coming to a worldwide total of $296.25 million. [cite web | url = http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=xmen.htm | title = X-Men | publisher = Box Office Mojo | accessdate = 2008-08-07] "X-Men" was the ninth highest-grossing film of 2000. [cite web | url = http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2000&p=.htm | title = 2000 Worldwide Grosses | publisher = Box Office Mojo | accessdate = 2008-08-07] The film made over $50 million in home video sales.cite web | url = http://www.comics2film.com/XMen.shtml | title = X-Men Archive | publisher = Comics2Film | accessdate = 2008-08-09] The success of "X-Men" (alongside "Blade") started a reemergencefor the comic book and superhero film genre. [cite news | author = Robert Levine | title =Does Whatever a Spider (and a C.E.O.) Can | work=The New York Times | publisher=The New York Times Company | date=2004-06-27 |accessdate = 2008-08-13]

Reviews

Based on 143 reviews collected by "Rotten Tomatoes", 80% of reviews were positive, with the consensus that the "story [is] faithful to the comic books and, while the movie may be too Wolverine-centered, it packs a freaky punch that is sure to excite the average summer moviegoer". [cite web | url = http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/xmen/ | title = X-Men | publisher = Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate = 2008-08-08] 60% of 30 selected popular reviewers gave it positive reviews. [cite web | url = http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/xmen/?critic=creamcrop | title = X-Men: Top Critics | publisher = Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate = 2008-08-08] By comparison "Metacritic" collected an average score of 64/100 from 33 reviews. [cite web | url = http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/xmen?q=X-Men | title = X-Men (2000): Reviews | publisher = Metacritic | accessdate = 2008-08-08]

Kenneth Turan found "so much is happening you feel the immediate need of a sequel just as a reward for absorbing it all. While "X-Men" doesn't take your breath away wire-to-wire the way "The Matrix" did, it's an accomplished piece of work with considerable pulp watchability to it." [cite news | author = Kenneth Turan | url = http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-movie000713-5,0,5945193.story | title = Gen-"X" | work = Los Angeles Times | date = 2000-07-14 | accessdate = 2008-08-08] James Berardinelli, an "X-Men" comic book fan, believed "the film is effectively paced with a good balance of exposition, character development, and special effects-enhanced action. Neither the plot nor the character relationships are difficult to follow, and the movie avoids the trap of spending too much time explaining things that don't need to be explained. X-Men fandom is likely to be divided over whether the picture is a success or a failure." [cite web | url = http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=760 | publisher = James Berardinelli | title = X-Men | accessdate = 2008-08-08] Desson Thomson commented "the movie's enjoyable on the surface, but I suspect many people, even die-hards, will be less enthusiastic about what lies, or doesn't, underneath". [cite news | author = Desson Thomson | url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/entertainment/movies/reviews/xmenhowe.htm | title ="X-Men": Tasty but Not Filling | work= The Washington Post | date = 2000-07-14 | accessdate = 2008-08-08]

Roger Ebert "started out liking this movie, while waiting for something really interesting to happen. When nothing did, I still didn't dislike it; I assume the X-Men will further develop their personalities if there is a sequel, and maybe find time to get involved in a story. No doubt fans of the comics will understand subtle allusions and fine points of behavior; they should linger in the lobby after each screening to answer questions." [cite web | publisher = Roger Ebert | url = http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20000714/REVIEWS/7140304/1023 | title = X-Men | accessdate = 2008-08-08] Peter Travers noted "Since it's Wolverine's movie, any X-Men or Women who don't hinge directly on his story get short shrift. As Storm, Halle Berry can do neat tricks with weather, but her role is gone with the wind. It sucks that Stewart and McKellen, two superb actors, are underused." [cite news | author = Peter Travers | url = http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5949101/review/5949102/xmen | title ="X-Men" | publisher = Rolling Stone | date = 2000-12-10 | accessdate = 2008-08-08]

Awards

The film was nominated the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but lost to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". [cite web | url = http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Hugo_Awards/2001 | title = Hugo Awards: 2001 | publisher = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2008-08-09] "X-Men" was successful at the Saturn Awards. It won categories for Best Science Fiction Film, direction (Singer), writing, costume design, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Supporting Actress (Rebecca Romijn). Nomination included Performance by a Younger Actor (Anna Paquin), Supporting Actor (Patrick Stewart), Special Effects and Make-up. [cite web | url = http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Academy_of_Science_Fiction_Fantasy_And_Horror_Films_USA/20011 | title = Saturn Awards: 2001 | publisher = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2008-08-09]

References

External links

*shh|id=x-men|title=X-Men Movies
*imdb title|id=0120903|title=X-Men
*rotten-tomatoes|id=xmen|title=X-Men
*" [http://www.metacritic.com/video/titles/xmen?q=X-Men X-Men] " at Metacritic
*mojo title|id=xmen|title=X-Men
* [http://marvel.com/movies/X-Men X-Men on Marvel.com] Box Office Leaders USA
before = Scary Movie
date = July 16
year = 2000
after = What Lies Beneath


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