Today is the 20th anniversary of the 2000 X-Men movie, which kicked off the modern era of superhero cinema. The film was Hugh Jackman's first time playing Wolverine, the grizzled, beclawed mutant with a standoffish demeanor and a heart of gold. Jackman celebrated the 20th anniversary of X-Men by tweeting a short behind-the-scenes clip of himself tussling with a toy Wolverine between takes. "So here's the thing," he tweets. "When the studio called and asked if I could get in shape to play #Wolverine in 3 weeks. I might have over promised! But wouldn't you have too? Happy 20th Anniversary X-Men Universe. #Xmen #20"
So here’s the thing. When the studio called and asked if I could get in shape to play #Wolverine in 3 weeks. I might have over promised! But wouldn’t you have too? Happy 20th Anniversary X-Men Universe. #Xmen #20 pic.twitter.com/bwQJnmyZBI— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) July 14, 2020
X-Men introduced some other iconic mutant roles. Patrick Stewart debuted a Professor X, a role he'd play for as many years as Jackman played Wolverine. Ian McKellen played Xavier's best frenemy, Magneto. Ray Park as Toad, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique, and Tyler Mane as Sabretooth made up Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants. The X-Men were James Marsden as Cyclops, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Halle Berry as Storm. Anna Paquin played Rogue, the young mutant at the center of the film's plot.
The X-Men movies ended last year with Dark Phoenix's lukewarm release (though spinoff The New Mutants still lingers in release limbo). The film rights are now at Disney, and the movies are beginning to appear on the Disney+ streaming service. The first X-Men movie won't join the Disney+ library until August 7th, but X-Men: Days of Future Past is available to streams since Friday.
After almost 20 years, Jackman wrapped up his time as Wolverine in 2018's Logan. While some fans hope to see Jackman return to the role, Logan director James Mangold believes that to be unlikely.
"I'd be startled that Hugh was strapping it on again," Mangold said. "The thing that I always want to know when I hear this is obviously, on the web, everyone trades in rumors. So, the nugget or the headline becomes the clickbait in the trade so that it would be, 'Downey's back,' or 'Jackman's back,' would be the headline, which people would then debate. What I'd be curious about if any one of these things happened would be, what are they doing with it? Meaning, I would have no qualm about it if someone had a good idea. If it's basically, 'I ran out of money, and I needed a big paycheck, and I'm doing an empty film that cheapens the quality of the previous.' Well, that would be its own sadness."