X-Men (2000) Poster



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." Hemblen voiced the character in the 90s X-Men cartoon.
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Shortly after accepting the role of Magneto, Sir 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 The 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 The Lord of the Rings had been in production since October 1999.
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 a.m., before realizing there was no hot water. Shocked awake, but not wanting to wake his sleeping wife, he gritted his 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 then made cold showers his Wolverine preparation routine for each film featuring the character.
(at around 26 mins) 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?").
(at around 52 mins) 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.
Neither Sir Patrick Stewart or Sir Ian McKellen knew how to play chess during filming. A chess master came in to teach them.
Rebecca Romijn' make-up, as Mystique, consisted of one hundred ten custom-designed prostheses, which covered sixty percent of her body, and took nine hours to apply. She could not drink wine, use skin creams, nor fly the day before filming, because it could have caused her body chemistry to change slightly, causing the prosthetics to fall off.
Sir 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.
The Mansion used as the Xavier School, served as the Madison Mansion in Billy Madison (1995), the Luthor Mansion in Smallville (2001), and the Queen Mansion in Arrow (2012).
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."
There were three types of Wolverine claws, plastic, rubber, and steel. More than seven hundred individual claw blades were used by Hugh Jackman and his four stunt doubles.
To celebrate her last day on-set, Rebecca Romijn brought in a bottle of tequila, which she gave to her fellow cast and crew during a break in filming. Unfortunately, that day she happened to be filming the Wolverine and Mystique fight scene, and she threw up blue-colored vomit (from the chemicals in her make-up) all over Hugh Jackman.
This is the only film where Storm has a Kenyan accent, indicating her nationality from the comics. For all other installments, Halle Berry used her own American accent.
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 ten percent 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.
Rogue has never had a non-mutant name in the comics, since her debut in 1981, but in this film, she gets the human name of Marie. In X2 (2003), her full name is revealed as Marie D'Ancato.
This is the only X-Men film, as of 2015, to be mostly an original story; all the other films were loosely based on specific stories from the comic books.
Hugh Jackman got his testicles caught in his harness after a six foot jump off the set's Statue of Liberty.
(at around 1h 9 mins) 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: First Class (2011), and more comic book-inspired costumes appear in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).
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".
Although Rogue had been a relatively minor character in X-Men lore, 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.
Hugh Jackman's physique looks slightly different in different scenes, because he was cast three weeks after principal photography had started, and kept working out extensively while shooting continued.
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.
Bryan Singer had one of his stuntmen, Scott Leva, dress in a Spider-Man suit and confront 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.
James Marsden (Cyclops) found his character to be particularly difficult, as his eyes were shielded throughout. Most actors find a great deal of their performance comes from the expressiveness of their eyes.
In an interview with MTV News' Josh Horowitz, Hugh Jackman admits that when he initially took on the role as Wolverine, he studied wolves to develop his character, since he thought that Wolverine must allude to wolves. Bryan Singer later explained to him that a wolverine is a different kind of animal. It is the largest species of badger, and is found in Northern Europe and some parts of North America.
As Singer is a huge fan of the various Star Trek films and television shows, Sir 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 (who had long been a fan favorite) could play the part.
Sir Ian McKellen was initially reluctant to accept the role of Magneto, but was convinced to accept it when he saw the costume.
Wolverine's dog tags are the standard type issued by the Canadian military.
Bryan Singer's first choice to play Wolverine was Russell Crowe, but he turned it down. Other actors considered for the role were Mel Gibson, Aaron Eckhart, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Viggo Mortensen, and Edward Norton. Keanu Reeves and Gary Sinise were the studio's preferred choices. Dougray Scott was cast, but he had to drop out due to schedule conflicts with Mission: Impossible II (2000) and was injured in a motorbike accident. Finally, Crowe suggested his friend, Hugh Jackman, to Bryan Singer, who was cast as Wolverine, shortly after filming began.
In the Hamilton location (the train station scenes), Bryan Singer was mistaken for an on-looker and was harassed by a policeman not letting him join the production team for some time.
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 hometown in Kenya 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 (which was later shot and used in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)). There was a brief talk of shooting these scenes while shooting X2 (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: X-Men United (2003), where Grace drugs the drunken guard. 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: First Class (2011).
The comic character Mortimer "Toad" Toynbee is a hunchback, but that was changed for the film when martial artist Ray Park was cast.
Hugh Jackman was cast three weeks into filming.
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, a.k.a. Bobby Drake, and Pyro. Kitty, Iceman, and Pyro have major roles in the sequels, although Kitty and Pyro both change actress and actor.
Hugh Jackman had to undergo training from a hand-to-hand combat specialist to learn how to handle the Wolverine claws.
The snow in the Canadian sequence where Wolverine and Rogue are accosted by Sabretooth was all fake, as it hadn't snowed in the area for some time.
(at around 1h 16 mins) Toad complains upon failing to kill Storm, "Don't you people ever die?" This is an allusion to the X-Men comics recurring gimmick, of having a character die, and then be brought back to life by supernatural or scientific means, which has been done for nearly every main character in the series.
In the comics, Rogue has Paragon abilities (Flight, Superstrength, Invulnerablity, Speed, and seven senses) from Ms. Marvel. However, Ms. Marvel's cinematic rights do not belong to 20th Century Fox, and therefore Rogue could not have any abilities or storyline related to her.
After the film was completed, the wheelchair that Professor Xavier used, was sold in an auction to Sir Patrick Stewart's attorney, and then rented back by the production company for X2 (2003).
(at around 53 mins) When Wolverine first confronts Magneto, the initial look of shock at Magneto's entrance, was a result of Hugh Jackman's fear of what was happening around him. He was told Magneto would tear open the train car. He thought this meant ripping off the door, not half of the train being literally pulled apart by hydraulics. He mentioned having to study that shot when doing the reaction shots, so he could reproduce all the various twitches and tics he went through.
Originally, Dr. Hank "Beast" McCoy was going to be in the final film, but was cut out to be saved for the sequels, and some of his professions were incorporated into Jean Grey: a medical doctor, and a political supporter of mutant rights. McCoy makes it into the franchise, in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
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 Marvel superhero team.
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).
A full silicone cast of Hugh Jackman's arm was taken in order to appropriately design Wolverine's claws.
Reports suggest that the actual script of the movie didn't have Wolverine saying "bub", but Hugh Jackman, as a fan of the character, threw it in. Some reports state that he actually "threw it in" many, many times. They just only kept some of them.
Most of the cast, especially James Marsden and Sir Patrick Stewart, prepared for their roles by reading the X-Men comics.
Wary of the risk of starting an expensive franchise, that could have died after just one film, 20th Century Fox's studio executives assigned the film a budget of only seventy-five million dollars, quite low for a big summer tent-pole release, when the average summer blockbuster budget at the time, was upwards of one hundred million dollars.
Rebecca Romijn' make-up process involved putting on one hundred ten 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 its difficult to remove, but used it after discovering a new chemical that could very quickly and easily remove food coloring.
The bar scenes were shot in the same brewery as the concentration camp scenes.
Kirsten Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Christina Ricci were considered for the role of Rogue. Natalie Portman turned down the role of Rogue.
The last scenes to be shot were the ones where Senator Kelly emerges from water (in Santa Monica, California). They were shot in early May, and the film was released on the last days of July.
A deleted scene appears in a television ad for the film, showing an extended talk between Scott Summers and Professor Xavier 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." The full scene appears in the official movie adaptation book forms.
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.
Oakley Glasses, who manufactured the custom specs Cyclops (James Marsden) wears in the film, gave Marsden a lifetime supply of sunglasses.
Hugh Jackman said that if he could have any of the mutants' abilities, he would choose Mystique's.
Bryan Singer banned comics on-set, not wanting them to influence the cast. They secretly read them anyway.
The sunglasses Cyclops wears are known as Oakley "X-Metals" ("Juliet") with Ruby lenses. This is an homage to the comics, where Cyclops can only wear sunglasses and visors with ruby or quartz lenses to stabilize and absorb the energy from his eyes.
At first, Sir Patrick Stewart hadn't heard of X-Men. He thought it was related to The X-Files (1993). The studio shipped him a crate of comics. Stewart called it "the most fun research I've ever had to do."
Originally slated for a Christmas 2000 release, the film was bumped up to June 2000 as 20th Century Fox had an unexpected hole in their schedule, as Steven Spielberg had opted not to make Minority Report (2002) at that time.
The Danger Room, a training facility at Xavier's 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 in X2 (2003), but again was cut out, due to budget restrictions. It would finally appear in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).
This is the only film in the franchise, in which the actress playing Mystique (Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence) never appears sans make-up as one of her own disguises. In all subsequent films, Romijn and Lawrence have made a "disguise" appearance, with both appearing as disguises of the same form of Mystique in X: First Class (2011).
James Marsden turned down a role in Soul Survivors (2001), in order to take part in this movie.
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 was 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 the X-Men franchise, 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) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
Ray Park's first speaking role without another actor dubbing his voice.
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 Xavier.
The ninth highest grossing film of 2000.
Bryan Singer read gossip sites during filming to see what rumors were circulating about the movie. One day he read that he had been fired. He called the executives in a panic, but it wasn't true.
Bryan Singer chose the Holocaust opening, to ground the movie in reality.
Executive Producer 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 did most of his own stunts. One day, he almost impaled a cameraman with his claws.
The 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 (jokingly identified by Bryan Singer as King and Queen of Poland, titles which have not legally existed since 1795) are played by Singer's father and stepmother.
The same kids were repeatedly used as extras, to make the school feel more like a real place.
The actors' leather costumes were so stiff, that for several takes, nobody could get over a two-foot wall in one scene. James Marsden quipped, "You couldn't feel less like a superhero in these costumes."
The opening Nazi concentration scene involved three hundred extras.
This was Bryan Singer's first science fiction film, so to gain a better understanding of practical and digital visual effects, he visited the production sets of Titanic (1997) and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
George Buza, the trucker, portrayed the voice of Beast in X-Men (1992).
Jim Caviezel turned down the role of Cyclops, in order to star in Frequency (2000).
Bryan Singer watched all seventy-six episodes of X-Men (1992) to decide which of the characters from the comics should be in the movie.
The love triangle between Jean, Wolverine, and Cyclops went through lots of changes during filming. Famke Janssen didn't know which relationship would be stronger, until she saw the movie.
In 1996, Brett Ratner was considered to direct this film. Ten years later, he directed X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
Twenty-eight 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 Laeta Kalogridis, Ed Solomon, Christopher McQuarrie, Joss Whedon, James Schamus, and John Logan.
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).
Famke Janssen and Halle Berry have been James Bond girls. Janssen in GoldenEye (1995), and Berry in Die Another Day (2002).
In 1997, Angela Bassett and Janet Jackson were approached to play Storm, and later Jada Pinkett Smith was in consideration for the role.
Cerebro is the Spanish word for "brain".
Hugh Jackman modeled Wolverine's fighting style on videos of boxer Mike Tyson.
In 2013, Hugh Jackman said that Wolverine was his favorite role: "He's eternally fascinating to me. He's incredibly human, and a great sort of anti-hero and tragic figure."
Maria Bello and Lucy Lawless were considered for the role of Jean Grey.
To get the charge in his hair, Tyler Mane was attached to a five-million volt electrostatic generator.
Bryan Singer found it hard to get the plot started with so many superheroes. "To keep the story going, you have to quickly establish all of their powers."
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.
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 Henry Peter 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 and plot elements were used in the film's official novel adaptation.
It's ironic that Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Magneto, who was imprisoned as a child by the Nazis, had earlier played a Nazi in Apt Pupil (1998). Michael Fassbender, who played Magneto in the prequel X: 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).
Christopher McQuarrie chose not to have his name on the credits, as he felt that the screenplay was mostly the vision of David Hayter.
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Ethan Hawke were considered to play Cyclops.
Mystique's morph-effects are made up of eight thousand scales animating in different directions.
This is the only X-Men film that ends with a fade-out. All of the other films have ended with a quick cut due to a reveal, or a twist, and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) ended with the Cerebro doors closing shut.
There is a mutant in the X-Men comics named Sauron, who named himself after the antagonist in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" novel. Sir Ian McKellen portrayed Gandalf in Peter Jackson's adaptation of the novel in-between portrayals of Magneto in the X-Men film franchise.
Bryan Singer's first choice to play Wolverine was Russell Crowe, but Crowe turned it down, because he didn't want to play another role similar to Maximus from Gladiator (2000). Crowe felt the characters were too similar, by having the same animal totem, the wolf, and thought the movie was a cartoon, which isn't his cup of tea. He would later go on to play Superman's father Jor-El in Man of Steel (2013).
(at around 4 mins) 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.
Anna Paquin said Rogue feels instantly connected to Wolverine, because they're so alike. Paquin said they're both "very lonely and very isolated and very hostile toward the world."
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 approximately 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 this film. Regardless, a scheduling conflict prevented him from any subsequent pursuit of the role.
Tyler Mane wasn't familiar with X-Men before he appeared in the movie. He prepped for the role with his son, who was a big fan of the comics.
Hugh Jackman said that Wolverine is hard for an actor to play, because there's so much pressure from the fans. "Wolverine is a hero to many people. I've heard of people with tattoos of him."
WWE wrestler Kevin Nash was offered the role of Sabretooth, but he turned it down due to schedule conflicts. He would later take on another Marvel villain role, as The Russian, in The Punisher (2004).
Bryan Singer cast Halle Berry as Storm, after seeing her performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999).
Peta Wilson was offered the role of Jean Grey, but had to film the fourth season of La Femme Nikita (1997) instead. Wilson later got into comic book movies as the star of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) and a cameo in Superman Returns (2006).
To prepare for the movie, Bryan Singer visited the sets of Titanic (1997) and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). He asked James Cameron and George Lucas for advice on making effects-heavy movies.
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The replica of Lady Liberty's head, is one and a half times the size of the real thing.
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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.
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 Statue of Liberty guard). 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).
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.
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Anna Paquin and Halle Berry; and three Oscar nominees: Hugh Jackman, Sir Ian McKellen, and Bruce Davison.
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According to Bryan Singer, Sir Ian McKellen was great at flying in the harness, especially landing, which is hard to do.
Bryan Singer was hired based on his work on The Usual Suspects (1995). Singer turned the job down twice. Then he read the X-Men comics, and changed his mind.
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The script originally started with more characters' backstories, but they wanted to get the plot moving.
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Magneto's fortress is a life-size set, that took two months to build from scratch.
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Anna Paquin dropped out of the lead role in Tart (2001) in favor of this film.
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Rachael Leigh Cook and Katharine Isabelle were the top choices for the role of Rogue.
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Jeri Ryan was in the running for Mystique.
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 Cameron moved on to a Spider-Man project in the mid-1990s (which ultimately never happened) and Carolco went bankrupt, the rights became available, and were purchased by 20th Century Fox.
Kathryn Bigelow was attached to direct when the project was in early development. Robert Rodriguez and Tim Burton were later approached to direct the film, but turned it down in favor of other films. Richard Donner (Producer Lauren Shuler Donner's husband), Joel Schumacher, Brett Ratner, John McTiernan, Danny Boyle, Stephen Hopkins, and Irvin Kershner were considered to direct the film before Bryan Singer was finally chosen.
Sir Ian McKellen was cast early on. In the 1970s, he and Sir Patrick Stewart acted together in the Royal Shakespeare Company. Stewart said he used their relationship: "There was a connection made between us, history and trust."
Sir Patrick Stewart and Famke Janssen appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Perfect Mate (1992), which was about a possible relationship developing between their characters. She explains to Captain Picard that she is a mutant with some kind of psychic power in that episode, and Jean Grey in this series is a powerful psychic. Bryan Singer is a Star Trek fan, and eventually got a cameo role in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).
To prepare for the movie, Bryan Singer took a private tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
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Magneto's machine is a combination of a full-size version, a miniature replica, and computer effects.
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The control stick that Cyclops uses to pilot the X-Men jet is a CH brand "Flightstick Pro" computer joystick.
Bruce Davison was the first actor to be cast.
The exterior of a distillery in Toronto was used as the concentration camp at the beginning of the movie.
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Kiefer Sutherland and Jackie Earle Haley were in the running for the role of Wolverine since 1989.
When it premiered in Alberta, it received loud cheers from audiences, when it said on-screen, that the early part of the movie took place in Alberta.
Visual Effects Supervisor Mike Fink claims to be dissatisfied with his work on this film.
When early production for the movie began in the early 1990s, James Cameron was considering being producer, while his then wife and fellow filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow would direct. They were even considering Bob Hoskins as Wolverine, Michael Biehn as Cyclops, Sir Christopher Lee as Magneto, and Angela Bassett as Storm. But the deal fell apart after Stan Lee piqued Cameron's interest to make a Spider-Man film with Biehn as Peter Parker, which never happened either.
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Executive Producer Tom DeSanto compared Wolverine to Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood. "He's such an emotionally torn character, and he's such a reluctant hero."
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Angela Bassett was considered for the role of Storm, who in the comics married the African king superhero T'Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther. She stars in Black Panther (2018) as T'Challa's mother Queen Ramonda.
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Tyler Mane, James Marsden, and Ray Park are the only actors whose nationalities match their respective characters Sabretooth (Canadian) Cyclops (American) and Toad (British). The majority of the cast do not match the nationalities of their characters: Hugh Jackman/Wolverine (Australian/Canadian), Famke Janssen/Jean Grey (Dutch/American), Halle Berry/Storm (American/Kenyan), Sir Patrick Stewart/Professor X (English/American), Sir Ian McKellen/Magneto (English/German-Jewish), Anna Paquin/Rogue (Canadian-Kiwi/American), Shawn Ashmore/Iceman (Canadian/American), and Rebecca Romijn/Mystique (American/unknown).
(at around 21 mins) On his desk, Magneto has a variation on Newton's Cradle, minus the strings. This is the device where one lifts one chrome ball off to the side, releases it, lets it hit the other four balls, and then sees the energy transferred when the last ball on the opposite side moves. The original device was sculpted by Richard Loncraine, who directed Sir Ian McKellen in Richard III (1995).
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(at around 1h 16 mins) When Toad shouts, "Don't you people ever die!" a hint of Ray Park's natural Scottish accent can be heard.
Kathryn Bigelow was, at one point attached to direct, when James Cameron (her husband at the time) was going to produce the film for Carolco Pictures.
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Strangely, the popular casting of Hugh Jackman can be traced back to legendary Director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick's perfectionist style led to Eyes Wide Shut (1999) shoot over-running, causing Mission: Impossible II (2000) to be delayed, meaning original Wolverine choice Dougray Scott could not take part in the film.
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Early posters for the film credited the screenplay to Christopher McQuarrie and Ed Solomon.
The song used for the teaser trailer is "Chinese Burn" by Curve.
Cyclops' motorbike is a Harley Davidson Titan V-Rod.
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In the comic books and in X-Men (1992) (TV Series), Rogue had red and white hair. In the film, she has brown hair, but later has brown and white hair.
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Toad, played by Ray Park, speaks only four times during the film.
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Michael Jackson wanted to play Professor X.
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Sir Ian McKellen and Bruce Davison also appeared together in Apt Pupil (1998), X2 (2003), and Six Degrees of Separation (1993).
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Helen Hunt was asked to play Jean Grey, but she turned down the role.
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The X-Men film franchise is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Rogue (Anna Paquin), a mutant, has the ability to absorb human's essences and other mutant's powers when she touches them. This foreshadows Anna Paquin starring in the television series True Blood (2008), in which she stars as a woman who falls in love with a vampire.
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Wolverwine's real name is Logan. In another 20th Century Fox science fiction film, The Fly II (1989), the film's lead female character, Beth Logan (Daphne Zuniga), falls in love with Martin Brundle (Eric Stoltz), the offspring of the mutant creature Brundlefly. Incidentally, Logan is from Canada, and The Fly II (1989) was filmed in Canada.
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Stan Lee: (at around 44 mins) 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.
Malcolm Nefsky: (at around 13 mins) After the amateur boxing match in Alberta, 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.
D.B. Sweeney: (at around 1h 28 mins) The Police Officer stabbed by Sabertooth in front of the Statue of Liberty. Sweeney is a big fan of the X-Men, and had tried out for the part of Cyclops.
David Hayter: (at around 1h 28 mins) The writer appears as one of the cops near the end.
Gary Goddard: (at around 43 mins) 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".


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

(at around 1h 11 mins) 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."
(at around 44 mins) 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 franchise. However, it is now more accepted as an error, since it was Mystique's impersonation. The effect was, however, intentionally added into X2 (2003) when Iceman and Rogue share a kiss.
(at around 1h 15 mins) Near the end, during the Wolverine and 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".
Mystique impersonates Senator Kelly's aide Henry Gyrich, who is later found dead. In the comics, Henry Peter 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.
Rogue's portrayal in the film contains elements from Jubilee (a close bond with Wolverine) and Kitty Pryde (being targeted by the Brotherhood).
Wolverine doesn't kill anyone in the film.
(at around 1h 30 mins) If you listen carefully during the newscast at the end of the film, you hear the announcer saying that Henry Gyrich's body was found and the coroners assumed he was mauled by a bear. This suggests he was killed by Sabretooth.
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' efforts to ban Communism in the United States. Kelly brandishes a list of known mutants, and exclaims "We must know who these mutants are and what they can do!", a paraphrase of 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 United Kingdom schools, against which Sir Ian McKellen protested).
  • A deleted scene has Storm teaching a historical lesson about how Emperor Constantine's decree in 312 A.D. ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, and eventually led to Christians becoming the majority, which foreshadows Magneto's plot to force world leaders to accept mutant-kind 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 Jews and other nonconformists in Nazi Germany (which Magneto himself experiences in the first scenes).
  • 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.
Visual Effects Director Sean C. Cunningham and Compositor Claas Henke morphed Bruce Davison into a liquid figure for Senator Kelly's mutation and mutant scenes. Cunningham said it was an arduous job back then, that took thirty-nine hours per frame: "There were many digital layers: water without refraction, water with murkiness, skin with and without highlights, skin with goo in it." They considered showing Kelly's internal organs during the transformation, but Cunningham thought that seemed too gruesome.
Body count: six.
The final scene, in which which Professor Xavier plays a game of Chess with Magneto, Magneto asks Professor Xavier about people coming for his children in the middle of the night. This foreshadows X2 (2003), in which Professor Xavier is abducted by Major William Stryker, and Stryker's military force raids Xavier's school in the middle of the night, and several children are captured.
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The prequel X-Men: First Class (2011) reveals that Wolverine had met Professor Xavier and Magneto before, but Wolverine doesn't remember due to his amnesia, which Professor Xavier and Magneto approached Wolverine at a bar and offered him to join the newly formed X-Men, but Wolverine rejected the offer and told them to go F themselves.
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In the timeline of the cinematic X-Men franchise, which is later established in X: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). The film takes place forty-one years after the formation of the X-Men in X-Men: First Class (2011), forty years after Mystique assassinated Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and twenty-four years after Wolverine is injected with Adamantium and loses his memory in X-Men: Origins: Wolverwine (2009). However, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) takes place in a reset timeline, due to Wolverine being sent back through time from 2023 to 1973 to prevent Bolivar Trask's assassination in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Young Professor X and the X-Men, battle Apocalypse in an alternate 1983 in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), which takes place ten years after X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
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Rogue's boyfriend in this movie was called David (the boy she kisses when her powers triggered). In the comics, Rogue's boyfriend was called Cody Robbins, and he was later used in a plot by Bella Donna Boudreaux to kill Rogue. Altough the plot failed, it ended in Cody's death.
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The scene with Logan and Rogue on the train prior to Magneto's attack it is noticeable that Hugh Jackman has not yet "found" his character. The timbre of his voice is not the Wolverine we will later come to know. Jackman states in bluray extras that he had difficulty finding Wolverine until four weeks into the shoot.
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"X Men Origins:Wolverine" causes a couple of continuity issues in this movie. The greater part of the action of the former is set in 1979 and this film is set in the "near future" of the year 2000 - at least 21 years later yet Xavier says to Logan early on "Its been 15 years hasn't it?" regarding Logan's adamantium implantation. Another is that in "Origins" a young Scott Summers met Logan on Three Mile Island yet in this movie if he recalls the event he makes no mention of it. Another continuity issue is caused by Xavier stating that he met Magneto "When I was 17" yet in "X Men: First Class" Xavier is at university writing his thesis (and possibly teaching) at the time of meeting Lenscher so must be older than the age stated here.
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