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X-Men (2000) Poster

(2000)

Trivia

Neither Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen knew how to play chess during filming.
Jump to: Cameo (3) | Spoilers (4)
Hugh Jackman took ice cold showers every morning of filming in order to help get into character. This tradition started when jumping into the shower at 5 AM before realizing there was no hot water. Shocked awake but not wanting to wake his sleeping wife, he grit teeth and bore it, before realizing that this mindset - wanting to scream and lash out at something but having to hold it in - was the mentality that Wolverine is in constantly. He's taken cold showers for every Wolverine film ever since.
To celebrate her last day on set, Rebecca Romijn brought in a bottle of tequila, which she gave to her fellow cast/crew during a break in filming. Unfortunately, that day she happened to be filming the Wolverine/Mystique fight scene, and she threw up blue-colored vomit (from the chemicals in her make-up) all over Hugh Jackman.
Hugh Jackman got his testicles caught in his harness after a 6 foot jump off the set's Statue of Liberty.
This is the only film so far in the X-Men series to be an original story; all the other films were based on one of the stories from the comic.
Rebecca Romijn's make-up as Mystique consisted of 110 custom-designed prostheses, which covered 60% of her body and took nine hours to apply. 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 prosthetics to fall off.
Shortly after accepting the role of Magneto, Ian McKellen was offered the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, which originally he had to decline. He spoke to Bryan Singer about his interest in making Lord of the Rings, and Singer agreed to rearrange the film's shooting schedule so that McKellen would finish his scenes by the end of 1999, freeing him up to travel to New Zealand in January 2000, where Lord of the Rings had been in production since October 1999.
In the comics the X-Men wore a distinctive blue-gold uniform, but the filmmakers revised the uniform to black leather suits. Tom DeSanto explained that test designs of the X-Men in their blue-gold outfits were unsuccessful, and Bryan Singer noted that durable black leather made more sense for the X-Men to wear as protective clothing. Despite support from Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, many fans were upset about the change in costumes, so Bryan Singer added dialogue referring to the issue - when Wolverine complains about the uniforms, Cyclops replies "What would you prefer, yellow spandex?" The blue-gold uniforms would appear in the prequel X-Men: First Class (2011).
In 2013, when Patrick Stewart (Professor Charles Xavier) married singer/songwriter Sunny Ozell, it was Sir Ian McKellen (Eric Lensherr/Magneto) who they asked to officiate the ceremony.
The scene in the train station where a young boy smiles at Cyclops and he smiles back was unplanned. The boy was a huge X-Men fan, and Cyclops was his favorite. The scene originally called for Cyclops to look at the train schedule, but according to Bryan Singer the boy could not stop smiling at James Marsden. Finally, during one shot, Marsden just looked back at him and smiled, much to the boy's delight. Bryan Singer liked the idea so much, he kept it in the film, and told the actress playing the boy's mother to react the way she did.
A full silicone cast of Hugh Jackman's arm was taken in order to appropriately design Wolverine's claws.
Most of the eye effects were achieved by the actors wearing special contact lenses. However, the cast found these lenses uncomfortable and dangerous to wear: Rebecca Romijn could only wear her Mystique lenses for one hour at a time, and had only 10% vision; Tyler Mane kept his Sabretooth lenses in for too long, and ended up getting blinded for a day; and Halle Berry wore her opaque white Storm lenses only once, found them unbearable, and insisted she have CGI for her eyes.
Bryan Singer made Rogue a pivotal character in the film because her ability to drain people and nearly kill them was the most symbolic of alienation.
James Marsden, despite being nearly six feet tall, had to wear platform shoes to appear taller than Hugh Jackman, who was six feet two inches; these platform shoes can be clearly seen as Cyclops scales the wall at Liberty Island. He also had to stand on an apple box to appear taller next to one of the boys at the train station; as a prank, Tyler Mane set up an apple box in Marsden's trailer bathroom with a note: "This is so you can reach your sink."
Wolverine's line, "What do they call you, 'Wheels?'" was an ad-lib by Hugh Jackman (the scripted line was, "What do they call you, Baldie?").
Toad complains upon seeing Storm return, "Don't you people ever die?" In the "X-Men" comics, almost all of the characters featured have died and resurrected at least once.
Rogue has never had a name in the comics since her debut in 1981, but in this film she gets the human name of Marie. In X-Men 2 (2003) her full name is revealed as Marie D'Ancato.
Patrick Stewart was the first actor to be cast as a mutant, and in fact had been a fan-favorite for the role of Professor X since the 1990s.
In order to keep her look a secret, Rebecca Romijn had to sit in an isolated, windowless room when not required for shooting: "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."
This is the only film where Storm has her African accent from the comics.
Bryan Singer's first choice to play Wolverine was Russell Crowe, but he turned it down when he was denied a higher fee. Aaron Eckhart, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Viggo Mortensen and Edward Norton were considered for the role (Eckhart and Norton would appear in 2008 unrelated superhero films). Keanu Reeves and Gary Sinise were the studio's preferred choices for the role. Dougray Scott was cast, but he had to drop out due to schedule conflicts with Mission: Impossible II (2000). Finally a relatively unknown actor, Hugh Jackman, was cast as Wolverine.
There were three types of Wolverine claws - plastic, wood, and steel - and more than 700 individual claw blades were used by Hugh Jackman and his four stunt doubles.
Ian McKellen was initially reluctant to accept the role of Magneto, but was convinced to accept it when he saw Magneto's costume.
Bryan Singer had one of his stunt men, Scott Leva, dress in a Spider-Man suit and confront actors James Marsden (Cyclops), Famke Janssen (Jean Grey), and Halle Berry (Storm) on set one day as a joke. Leva had actually dressed up in an identical Spider-Man costume once before for Marvel Comics in 1985 for the cover of "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic book, issue #262. In the outtake, Spider-Man realizes that he's in the wrong movie, backs off and runs away, with Cyclops chasing after him shortly after. This can be seen as an "Easter Egg" on the first DVD edition of the movie, but not the "X-Men 1.5" DVD.
The Mansion used as the Xavier school, is the same one Billy and his family lived in in Billy Madison (1995) and as the Luthor Mansion in Smallville (2001)
Similar to Magneto's and Rogue's background segments, scenes explaining Storm's and Cyclops' backgrounds were scripted and storyboarded, but never shot. Storm's background segment involved her changing the weather drastically in her home country in Africa and causing vast damage; Cyclops' story would show him manifesting his mutant power at school as a teenager, causing him to accidentally destroy a school bathroom. There was a brief talk of shooting these scenes while shooting X-Men 2 (2003) in order to insert them into the X-Men Special Edition DVD, but the idea was later scrapped. However, the bathroom set (which had actually been built) was used for the scene in X2 where Mystique drugs Magneto's guard with a metal solution. Scenes of Storm and Cyclops as children were eventually filmed for X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) (although Storm's were deleted from the final print), as well as short clips for X-Men: First Class (2011).
This is the first film based on a marvel comic that Stan Lee provides a cameo for.
Most of the cast, especially James Marsden and Sir Patrick Stewart, prepared for their roles by reading the "X-Men" comics.
Senator Kelly calls his aide "Henry" several times and when he asks Magneto what he's done with Henry Magneto replies "Mr. Gyrich has been dead for some time." In the comics, Henry Gyrich was a member of several United States national security agencies, and was responsible for quite a bit of misery in the X-Men's lives.
Rebecca Romijn's make-up process involved putting on more than 60 self-adhesive prosthetics developed specifically for the movie, followed by air-brushing the blue paint. The make-up team was reluctant in using food coloring for her make-up because of its difficulty to remove, but used it after discovering a new chemical that could very quickly and easily remove food coloring.
The popular mutant Gambit was originally going to make a cameo appearance in the film, as a student playing with a basketball and then blowing it up (Gambit's power was to charge an object with kinetic energy, forcing it to explode). Bryan Singer rejected the cameo, thinking the audience wouldn't understand it: "People would be like, what's wrong with those basketballs?" Gambit eventually appeared in the prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
Many of the X-Men from the comics who don't have major roles in the film appear as minor characters in the school. Among them are: Jubilee, the Asian-American girl wearing a yellow jacket, hoop earrings with sunglasses above her forehead; Shadowcat, also known as Kitty Pryde; Colossus; Iceman, aka Bobby Drake, and Pyro. Kitty, Iceman and Pyro have major roles in the sequels.
Originally Beast (Dr Hank McCoy) was going to be in the final film, but he was cut out for the sequels; elements of Beast, however, were incorporated into Jean Gray (she serves as a medical doctor, as well as a political supporter of mutant rights).
According to the official profile by Marvel, Wolverine is a very short character at 5' 3" tall. Hugh Jackman is nearly a foot taller at 6' 2".
The bar scenes were shot in the same brewery as the concentration camp scenes.
Bryan Singer turned down the film three times, believing that comic books were unintelligent literature. However, after reading the "X-Men" comics and watching X-Men (1992), he found the story's themes of prejudice and discrimination compelling and finally agreed to do a live-action movie.
Joss Whedon wrote a draft of the script, but it got rejected because according to Whedon it had a "quick-witted, pop-culture referencing tone" which didn't fit the X-Men. Only two lines of dialogue from his script were used in the final film: the exchange between Cyclops and Wolverine when Cyclops suspects he is Mystique; and Storm's statement about "what happens to a toad when it is struck by lightning." Ironically, Whedon's "X-Men" comic 'Gifted' would be a major inspiration for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); furthermore Whedon himself would go on to direct The Avengers (2012), another superhero team.
In the Hamilton location (the train station scenes), the director, Bryan Singer, was mistaken for an onlooker, and was harassed by a policeman, not letting him join the production team for some moments.
Toad was originally a hunchback, but that was changed so as not to interfere with Ray Park's martial arts abilities.
The sunglasses Cyclops wears are known as Oakley "X-Metals" ("Juliet") with Ruby lenses. This is a homage to the comics, where Cyclops can only wear sunglasses/visors with ruby/quartz lenses to stabilize/absorb the energy from his eyes.
In the comics there is a mutant named Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), who was named after a former classmate of "X-Men" writer John Byrne. When this film released, reporters tracked down Pryde in Calgary to interview her about the film (she has now changed her name to K.D. Pryde, and states that she appreciates the comics, but wishes to be known as more than just a heroine's namesake). The comic-book Pryde appears in all three X-Films, but is played by different actresses (Sumela Kay, Katie Stuart, Ellen Page) and only has a major role in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
A scene appears in a TV spot for the film, but does not appear in the movie, of an extended talk between Scott Summers (James Marsden) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) regarding Logan's stay at the mansion. Scott tells the Professor "He's not one of us. There's no way he's going to take orders." Xavier politely replies, "Give him an order worth following. He'll take it." More of this extended scene appears in the official movie adaptation novels and books, but it was cut out of the final film to meet the allowed running time.
In 1997, Angela Bassett and Janet Jackson were approached to play Storm, and later Jada Pinkett Smith was in consideration for the role. Bassett would later go on to play Amanda Waller in Green Lantern (2011).
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christina Ricci were considered for the role of Rogue. Natalie Portman turned down the role (she would go on to star as Jane Foster in Thor (2011)).
In the bar scene, after the fight where Wolverine gains some money, the guy behind the man that accuses Wolverine of cheating is Malcolm Nefsky, the film's best boy grip. Because of the way the scene was filmed, someone was needed to deliver the line, and he was called because no certified "extra" was nearby.
The last scenes to be shot were the ones where Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) emerges from water (in Santa Monica, California). They were shot in early May, and the film was released on the last days of July.
Wary of the risk of starting an expensive franchise that could have died after just one film, Fox's studio executives assigned the film a budget of only $75 million, quite low for a big summer tent-pole release, when the average summer blockbuster budget at the time was upwards of $100 million.
Tom DeSanto chose Bryan Singer as director after watching The Usual Suspects (1995), impressed with how Singer handled an ensemble cast in that film.
Hugh Jackman had to undergo training from a hand-to-hand combat specialist to learn how to handle the Wolverine claws.
Terence Stamp, David Hemblen and Sir Christopher Lee were considered for the role of Magneto. Ultimately Bryan Singer chose Sir Ian McKellen for the role, who had acted in Singer's previous film Apt Pupil (1998) and as an activist for gay rights understood the role well: "Ian responded to the allegory of mutants as outsiders, disenfranchised and alone and coming to all that at puberty when their differences manifest."
It's ironic that Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the Jewish character Magneto, had earlier played a Nazi in Apt Pupil (1998). Michael Fassbender, who would play Magneto in this prequel X-Men: First Class (2011), had earlier played Allied Forces soldiers in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Band of Brothers (2001) (thus going the other way from McKellen).
28 drafts of the screenplay were written by several different writers. While David Hayter received sole credit, the other writers who contributed to the screenplay and went uncredited are Ed Solomon, Christopher McQuarrie, Joss Whedon, James Schamus & John Logan.
In 1998 a licensed novel called "Planet X" brought together the characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and the X-Men, and notes the physical similarities of Professor Charles Xavier and Starship Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Sir Patrick Stewart had played Picard, and went on to play Xavier.
Hugh Jackman's physique looks slightly different in different scenes because he was cast 1.5 months after principal photography had started and kept working out extensively while shooting continued.
Ten Wolverine costumes were built out of thick leather and PVC, and were designed to take a beating. All of them were destroyed to some extent during filming.
In 1996, Michael Chabon wrote a draft of the script: the X-Men (Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Gray, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Nightcrawler and new members Wolverine and Jubilee) would face off against a phantom menace (the Brotherhood, who wouldn't reveal themselves until the sequel), with major focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Jubilee.
The Danger Room, a training facility at the X-Mansion, was going to be in the film. However the filmmakers, after a lot of debate, cut it out of the script to make the film move faster. The Danger Room was slated to appear for X-Men 2 (2003), but again was cut out due to budget restrictions. It would finally appear in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
The control stick that Cyclops uses to pilot the X-Men jet is a CH brand "Flightstick Pro" computer joystick.
After the film was completed, the wheelchair that the character Professor Xavier used was sold in an auction to Patrick Stewart's attorney, and then rented back by the production company for X-Men 2 (2003).
The opening caption notes that this film, released in the year 2000, in its main action takes place in "the near future". However, in a giveaway prequel comic book involving the Silver Samurai and Wolverine, set just before the main action of this film, that story gave the year as 2000.
VFX director Sean C. Cunningham and compositor Claas Henke morphed Bruce Davison into a liquid figure for Senator Kelly's mutation/mutant scenes. Cunningham said it was an arduous job back then that took 39 hours per frame: "There were many digital layers: water without refraction, water with murkiness, skin with/without highlights, skin with goo in it." They considered showing Kelly's internal organs during the transformation, but Cunningham thought that seemed too gruesome.
As huge fan of the various "Star Trek" films and television shows, Patrick Stewart was Bryan Singer's only choice for the role of Professor X. Though other, more "bankable" actors lobbied for the role, Singer always felt only Stewart could play the part.
George Buza, the trucker, portrayed the voice of Beast in the X-Men (1992) animated series.
The police officer stabbed by Sabertooth in front of the Statue of Liberty was played by D.B. Sweeney, who is a fan of the X-Men and had tried out for the part of Cyclops.
Wolverine's dog tags are the standard type issued by the Canadian military.
The last scene shot in Canada as part of principal photography was the first scene in the movie - that of rain falling on mud in the concentration camp.
The very first scene shot for the movie was the World Summit scene on Liberty Island where representatives from each country are greeted. Two of the guests (identified by Bryan Singer as king and queen of Poland) are played by Bryan Singer's father and stepmother.
Veteran actor David Hemblen, who voiced Magneto in X-Men (1992), was considered to reprise his role in live-action. It appealed to him, but he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.
WWE wrestler Kevin Nash was offered the role of Sabretooth, but he turned it down due to schedule conflicts.
This was Bryan Singer's first sci-film, so to gain a better understanding of practical and digital VFX he visited the production sets of Titanic (1997) and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
In 1996, Brett Ratner was considered to direct this film. Ten years later he would direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
Edward Burns was considered for the part of Cyclops. D.B. Sweeney auditioned for the role (he has a cameo in the film as a police officer). Thomas Jane turned down the role (Jane went on to play The Punisher (2004) alongside Rebecca Romijn). Eric Mabius' and Vince Vaughn were interested in the role. Jim Caviezel was cast as Cyclops, but he had to drop out due to schedule conflicts with Frequency (2000) and was finally replaced with James Marsden.
In 1994, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker wrote a draft of the script: the X-Men (Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Gray, Beast, Iceman, Angel and new member Wolverine) must stop the Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Sabretooth, Toad and new member the Blob) from conquering New York City, while at the same time are set upon by a triplet of Sentinels, robots created by anti-mutant government officials Peter Henry Gyrich and Boliver Trask. The script focused on the rivalry between Cyclops and Wolverine, and had Magneto the cause of the Chernobyl disaster; also included was the X-Copter and the Danger Room. The script was never used, but dialogue/plot elements were used in the film's official novel adaptation.
Robert Rodriguez and Tim Burton (who directed the 1989-1992 Batman films) were approached to direct the film, but turned it down in favor of other films. Richard Donner (producer Lauren Shuler Donner's husband, who directed Superman (1978)), Joel Schumacher (who directed the 1995-97 Batman films), Brett Ratner, John McTiernan, Danny Boyle, Stephen Hopkins, and Irvin Kershner were considered to direct the film before Bryan Singer was finally chosen. Ratner would later direct the film's threequel, X3: The Last Stand.
Bryan Singer cast Halle Berry as Storm after seeing her performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999).
According to Bryan Singer at Wondercon 2006, he initially approached John Williams to compose the score for the film, but Williams wasn't available at the time because he was scoring Saving Private Ryan (1998).
In the late 1980s, Carolco Pictures bought the film rights of X-Men from Marvel. James Cameron was set to produce, along with his production company Lightstorm Entertainment, which was in line to distribute. Well-known X-Men Comic book writer Chris Claremont was involved in meetings with X-Men creator Stan Lee, James Cameron, and executives at Carolco about the project. After James Cameron moved on to the Spider-Man (2002) project and Carolco went bankrupt, the rights became available and were purchased by 20th Century Fox.
Musician Glenn Danzig, whose muscular physique and height (5'4") almost perfectly matched the Wolverine character portrayed in the comic books, was interviewed for the role of Wolverine. A common myth has it that he was offered a part in the movie, but this confusion occurs largely because Danzig was actually offered the role some ten years earlier - when Carolco held the rights to an X-Men film and was considering a low-budget production. However, due to the high-budget and status of the 2000 production, as well as Danzig's age and relative lack of acting experience, and the requirement that the Wolverine actor be signed to a multi-picture deal spanning several years, it is highly unlikely that Danzig could have won the role in Bryan Singer's film. Regardless, a scheduling conflict prevented him from any subsequent pursuit of the role.
James Marsden turned down a role in Soul Survivors (2001), in order to take part in this movie.
Bruce Davison was the first actor to be cast.
Peta Wilson was offered the role of Jean Grey, but had to film the fourth season of "La Femme Nikita" (1997-2001) (TV) instead.
Jeri Ryan was in the running for Mystique.
VFX supervisor Mike Fink claims to be dissatisfied with his work on this film.
The song used for the teaser trailer is "Chinese Burn" by Curve.
Both Maria Bello and Lucy Lawless were considered for the role of Jean Grey.
Early posters for the film credited the screenplay to Christopher McQuarrie and 'Ed Solomon'.

Cameo 

Stan Lee:  X-Men creator and executive producer is a man near a hot dog stand on the beach when Senator Kelly comes out of the water.
David Hayter:  The writer appears as one of the cops near the end.
Gary Goddard:  The director of Masters of the Universe (1987) is one of the men watching Senator Kelly emerge from the ocean. Singer and Goddard are good friends, and before production, Singer sought out Goddard's advice on directing "a comic book movie."

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Near the end, during the Wolverine/Mystique fight scene, there is a moment where Mystique kicks Wolverine in the groin. At that moment, there is a metallic 'ping' (similar to the one in the beginning when the man in the cage match punches Wolverine's fist), which is probably an 'in-joke' to Wolverine having 'balls of steel' (or in this case, adamantium).
When Mystique impersonates Iceman (Bobby Drake) to make Rogue leave the school, it is possible to see Bobby's breath even though the film appears to be set in midsummer. This trait, an after-effect of Bobby's ability, was widely appreciated by fans and seen as Bryan Singer's dedication to the "X-Men" saga. However, it is now more accepted as an error since it was Mystique's impersonation. The effect was however intentionally added into X-Men 2 (2003) when Iceman and Rogue share a kiss.
Rogue's portrayal in the film contains elements from Jubilee (a close bond with Wolverine) and Kitty Pryde (being targeted by the Brotherhood).
The filmmakers thought the treatment by Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer was perfect as it took seriously the social issues the "X-Men" comics were noted for reflecting:
  • Senator Kelly's proposal of a Mutant Registration act echoes the efforts of U.S. Congress's efforts to ban Communism in the States. Kelly brandishes a list of known mutants and exclaims "'We must know who these mutants are and what they can do!" an event copied from Senator Joseph McCarthy who claimed to have a list of known American Communists working in the government.
  • Kelly further questions whether mutants should be allowed to teach children in school, which mirrors the Section 28 issue (the banning of homosexual teachers in school, which Sir Ian McKellen was involved in).
  • a deleted scene has Storm teaching a historical lesson about how Constantine I's conversion to Christianity ended the persecution of early Christians in the Roman Empire, which foreshadows Magneto's plot to force world leaders to accept mutantkind by mutating them.
  • Magneto talks about the act having mutants "in chains, with a number burned into their forehead" - the situation he describes is similar to what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany (Magneto himself is a World War II survivor)
  • Magneto's last lines contain the phrase "By any means necessary." This phrase was coined by civil-rights revolutionary Malcolm X; the relationship between Magneto and Professor X has been compared, respectively, to that of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, both of whom held differing philosophical views.

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