The original X-Men movie from 2000 largely set the stage for Marvel Comics characters to exist in an ensemble fashion on the big screen. It is the film which introduced the world to character comic book fans had known for decades, including Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Storm. The film culminated in a rescue mission as the X-Men heroes came to fight against Magneto in an effort to get Rogue back. While this film has ultimately become a beloved and important title within the comic book movie genre, it almost had a very different ending which might not have landed as well.
"The original footage had the same basic framework: Magneto using Rogue’s power to infect New York City with the mutant virus," Observer's Brandon Katz reports in a story recalling the 20 year history of the film. "But they soon all realized that 'killing nameless, faceless New Yorkers' whom the audience has no connection to didn’t resonate, failing to elicit the emotional jeopardy the moment demanded. In reshoots, they repositioned the climax to revolve around Logan and the X-Men fighting Magneto to save Rogue, the movie’s innocent ingenue."
This new effort to land the ending of the movie cemented Hugh Jackman's Wolverine as the film's main hero and helped provide and emotional finale for him and the beloved supporting characters around him. "In doing so, the isolated and damaged Wolverine, the film’s de facto protagonist, finds redemption and a modicum of inner peace," Katz reports. "As Donner stressed throughout production, these characters needed to feel real and relatable. A hardened loner finally finding a home and a family after decades of rejection was exactly the type of concluding pathos the film needed."
Hopefully, this does not result in fans calling for an alternate cut of the film to be released, as the best version seems to be the one we have seen. It is a product of collaboration, as even now-Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige was called upon to polish the story of X-Men and keep it as close to the comics as possible.
Which X-Men movie is your favorite of from the 20 years the franchise has been around? Does X-Men withstand the test of time, in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram!
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