- "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."
- ―Charles Xavier
X-Men is the first installment in the X-Men film series, and is directed by Bryan Singer. Though not a fan of the comic, Singer was fascinated by the analogies of prejudice and discrimination offered by it. Filming took place from September 22, 1999 to March 3, 2000 in Toronto, and was released worldwide on July 14, 2000.
The story opens in a concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland, 1944. Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents by the Nazis, which causes his powers to manifest. He manages to bend a metal gate apart with his ability of magnetism before being knocked out.
In the United States Senate, Senator Robert Kelly attempts to pass a "Mutant Registration Act", which would force mutants to publicly reveal their identities and abilities. Magneto begins his plans to level the playing field between mutants and humans. Meanwhile, Marie, now going by Rogue, runs away from her home in Meridian, Mississippi. She meets Wolverine in Laughlin City, Alberta, Canada. Suddenly, both of them are attacked by Sabretooth, a mutant and associate of Magneto's. Cyclops and Storm arrive to save Wolverine and Rogue and bring them to the X-Mansion. Professor Charles Xavier runs the facility, and leads a group of mutants who are trying to seek peace with the human race, educate young mutants in the responsible use of their powers, and stop Magneto from starting a war with humanity.
Abducted by Mystique and Toad, Senator Kelly is brought to Magneto on Genosha, who tests a Conversion Machine on him that artificially induces mutation, though Kelly manages to escape imprisonment with his new abilities. After an accident causes Rogue to use her powers on Wolverine, she is convinced by Mystique (disguised as Bobby Drake) that Xavier is angry with her and that she should leave the school. Xavier uses Cerebro to locate Rogue at a train station. Mystique infiltrates Cerebro and sabotages the machine. At the train station, Wolverine convinces a despondent Rogue to stay with Xavier but a fight ensues when Magneto, Toad and Sabretooth arrive to take Rogue. Arriving at Xavier's school, Kelly dissolves into a puddle of water when his mutation becomes unstable. The X-Men learn that Magneto intends to use Rogue's ability on himself to power his machine. Xavier attempts to use Cerebro to locate Rogue but falls into a coma. Jean Grey fixes it and uses Cerebro to find Magneto's machine on the Statue of Liberty, which Magneto intends to use on the world leaders who are meeting for a summit on nearby Ellis Island.
Just as the group arrives at the top of the statue and kills Toad, Magneto and Sabretooth incapacitate the group and continue with their plans. Magneto transfers his powers to Rogue, who is forced to use them to start the machine. Wolverine breaks free and initiates a fight with Sabretooth but is thrown over the side of the statue. Wolverine returns, and Cyclops, with Jean's help, blasts Sabretooth out of the statue. Storm and Jean use their abilities to send Wolverine to the top of Magneto's machine. With time running out, Wolverine attempts to stop the machine and save Rogue, but Magneto, now having regained some of his strength, halts Wolverine's claws. Cyclops manages to find a clear shot, wounding Magneto and allowing Wolverine to destroy the machine. Placing his hand to a dying Rogue's face, Wolverine succeeds in transferring his regenerative abilities to her. Professor Xavier recovers from his coma and the group learns that Mystique is still alive (after Wolverine stabbed her at Liberty Island) when they see her impersonating Senator Kelly on a news broadcast.
In an attempt to help Wolverine learn more about his past, Xavier sends him to a military base near Alkali Lake. Xavier visits Magneto in his Plastic Prison cell, and the two play chess. Magneto warns his friend that he will continue his fight, to which Xavier promises that he (and the X-Men) will always be there to stop him.
- Hugh Jackman as Logan Howlett/Wolverine
- Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier/Professor X
- Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
- Halle Berry as Ororo Monroe/Storm
- Famke Janssen as Jean Grey
- James Marsden as Scott Summers/Cyclops
- Bruce Davison as Senator Robert Kelly
- Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkholme/Mystique
- Ray Park as Mortimer Toynbee/Toad
- Tyler Mane as Victor Creed/Sabretooth
- Anna Paquin as Marie D'Ancanto/Rogue
- Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman
- Katrina Florece as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee
- Alexander Burton as John Allerdyce/Pyro
- Sumela Kay as Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat
- Matthew Sharp as Henry Gyrich
- Brett Morris as Young Magneto
- Kenneth McGregor as Jakob Lehnsherr
- Rhona Shekter as Edie Lehnsherr
- Shawn Roberts as David
- John E. Nelles as Owen D'Ancanto
- Donna Goodhand as Priscilla D'Ancanto
- Kevin Rushton as Stu
- Matt Weinberg as Tommy
- Stan Lee as Hot Dog Vendor
- Washington, D.C.
- Westchester, New York
- New York City, New York
- Meridian, Mississippi
- Laughlin City, Alberta, Canada
- Alkali Lake, Alberta, Canada
- Auschwitz, Poland
- Plastic Prison
- Anchorage, Alaska (mentioned)
- Canadian Rockies (mentioned)
- Niagara Falls (mentioned)
- Cyclops' Visor
- Magneto's Helmet
- Magneto's Costume
- Conversion Machine
- Wolverine's Dog Tag
- This is the only film, in the X-Men series to be mostly an original story; all the other films were loosely based on specific stories from the comic books.
- Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' make-up as Mystique consisted of 110 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.
- 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".
- 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 Twentieth Century Fox, and therefore Rogue could not have any abilities or storyline related to her.
- Sir Ian McKellen was initially reluctant to accept the role of Magneto, but was convinced to accept it when he saw the costume.
- James Marsden (Cyclops) found his character to be particularly difficult, as his eyes were shielded throughout. Most actors and actresses find a great deal of their performances comes from the expressiveness of their eyes.
- Hugh Jackman had to undergo training from a hand-to-hand combat specialist to learn how to handle the Wolverine claws.
- 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: X-Men United (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-Men: First Class (2011).
|X-Men film series|