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Film / X-Men Film Series

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"Mutant and proud."

"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."
Professor Charles Xavier

A long-running series of adaptations of Marvel Comics' X-Men franchise, created by 20th Century Fox. The series initially ran from 2000 to 2020 before being periodically used as part of a greater multiverse from 2021 onwards, under new management. It, alongside the Blade Trilogy and the Spider-Man Trilogy, is credited for reviving the superhero genre in the early 2000s, a trend which continues to this very day.

It holds to the original premise of the discovery of mutants, humans who possess unusual abilities and superpowers through genetic mutations and are feared by the rest of the world. The heroes are the X-Men, a team organized by powerful telepath Charles Xavier who hopes to establish peace between mutants and regular people, with a school dedicated to helping mutants, understanding and harnessing their powers for good. Various factions oppose them, some normal human militants hoping to kill them and, most prominently, Xavier's former friend Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto, who leads a counter-team who are trying to establish complete mutant supremacy.

Despite its source material being rooted in the Marvel Universe, this franchise was not created by Marvel Entertainment itself, preceding Marvel Studios' Marvel Cinematic Universe by almost a decade. The franchise came about when Marvel Entertainment sold the film rights to some of its most popular properties during its potential bankruptcy in the 1990s. With Fox holding the X-Men film rights, they had the exclusive rights to use X-Men (and X-Men adjacent) characters in their films, until Fox was bought by Disney.note 

In October 2020, the X-Men Film Series, along with the Fantastic Four films, were rebranded as "Marvel Legacy Movies" on Disney+.

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    Original trilogy 
The original trilogy of X-Men films, which along with the Blade trilogy and Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, revived superhero movies for the 2000s.
  • X-Men (2000) - New recruits Wolverine and Rogue join Professor X's mutant team to stop Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants from using a devastating weapon that can mutate normal humans with disastrous side effects.
  • X2: X-Men United (2003) - The X-Men reluctantly team up with Magneto and Mystique to rescue Professor X and his students from Wolverine's old enemy Colonel William Stryker, who is fully intent on mutant genocide.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) - An antibody for the mutant gene has been developed, prompting the X-Men to defend those who produce it from Magneto's growing army. Meanwhile, a former ally has returned with incredible—though uncontrollable—powers.

    Prequel series 
Rather than continuing the series chronologically from The Last Stand, FOX decided to film a series of spin-offs and prequels. In the case of the latter, the First Class Series essentially rewrote the continuity that was set by the original trilogy into an Alternate Timeline and served as a Soft Reboot.

    Spinoff films 

Wolverine trilogy:

Due to his popularity, Breakout Character Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) got his own set of spinoff movies.

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - A prequel spin-off detailing Wolverine's Mysterious Past as an operative for William Stryker's Team X, who went rogue.
  • The Wolverine (2013) - A solo Wolverine spin-off set after X-Men: The Last Stand, following Logan's adventures in Japan and based upon Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's acclaimed Wolverine miniseries.
  • Logan (2017) - In an Alternate Timeline, Wolverine must protect a young mutant just like him in a future where the mutant population has dwindled dramatically. The film draws some inspiration from Old Man Logan.

Deadpool series:

Following Deadpool's In Name Only introduction in Origins, the character got his own series of movies, which are much more faithful to his comic book self, with Ryan Reynolds portraying the "Merc with a Mouth".

  • Deadpool (2016) - After learning that he has cancer, Wade Wilson undergoes an experimental treatment that turns him into a hideously-scarred mutant. Wilson then goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to find the man responsible, in order to fix his condition and reunite with the woman he loves.
  • Deadpool: No Good Deed (2017) - A short film in which Deadpool sees an opportunity to save the day... but it doesn't go entirely as planned.
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) - Deadpool's psychotic misadventures continue as he has to protect a mutant kid from Cable, and brings Domino and the X-Force into the mix.
  • Once Upon a Deadpool (2018): A PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2, which has a Frame Story of Deadpool breaking into Fred Savage's house to teach him about the true meaning of Christmas in parodic Princess Bride fashion.
  • Deadpool III (2024) - Following a corporate acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, Deadpool finds himself on another adventure full of wacky mercenary hijinks... This time teaming up with Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine. This film marks the occasion of being the first official X-Men film produced by Marvel Studios, with it being considered part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe despite involving this franchise. Due to how Marvel Studios is rumored to be rebooting the X-Men with new actors after this, this film will be easily the Grand Finale to the original X-Men film franchise.

The New Mutants:

The final film to be made in the series before the Disney buyout, a Superhero Horror spin-off that's unconnected to the established characters. The movie became notorious for having multiple Release Date Changes over two years. While it was originally planned to be a trilogy, only one movie was made, mainly due to the aforementioned delays and the subsequent Disney buyout of Fox, which preceded the decision to do a Continuity Reboot of almost everything X-Men-related to fit within the MCU.

  • The New Mutants (2020) - Five young mutants are detained in Milbury Hospital, a psychiatric facility where strange paranormal things happen.

    TV series 
After a year-long period of negotiation that began in 2015, Fox struck a deal with Marvel Entertainment to co-produce live-action television series based on the X-Men. The shows were completely unconnected to Fox's film continuity or each other, however they remain listed here for the sake of convenience. Both series were produced by Marvel Television and ended in 2019 in the wake of Disney's buyout of 21th Century Fox.
  • Legion (2017-2019) — Based on the eponymous mutant, the show follows a mentally-unstable individual prone to schizophrenic episodes. However, after an encounter with another patient, he discovers that he has latent abilities that would explain his mysterious condition.
  • The Gifted (2017-2019) — The story follows a pair of ordinary parents who, after discovering their children are mutants, join an underground network of mutants to hide from the government. Bryan Singer served as executive producer, as well as director of the pilot episode.

    Video Games 
There were three non-canon video games with some of the original actors returning.

    Cancelled projects 
In addition to the main series, the Wolverine-centric films and Deadpool, Fox had announced several projects that were in various stages of development. These projects were all cancelled in the wake of Disney's acquisition of Fox.
  • Gambit - Based on the character of the same name, once set to star Channing Tatum in the titular role. Notoriously experienced a long period of Development Hell, shifting from heist movie to romantic comedy, and hiring (and losing) three different directors — Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman, and Gore Verbinski were all attached to the film before dropping out.invoked
  • Kitty Pryde - A spin-off featuring Kitty Pryde was announced on January 9, 2018 as in development by Deadpool director Tim Miller and writer Brian Michael Bendis.
  • Multiple Man - Development on a spin-off featuring character of the same name was first reported on November 16, 2017, with James Franco attached to star as Jamie Madrox. The script was being written by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman (2017)), and was meant to be a character-driven story, to be produced by Franco's Ramona Films.
  • X-23 - A spinoff/sequel to Logan featuring Dafne Keen as X-23. Logan director James Mangold announced on October 24, 2017 that a script was in progress in collaboration with X-23 co-creator Craig Kyle.
  • X-Force - Based on the X-Men's black ops squad, directed by Drew Goddard, and starring Cable, Domino, and Deadpool. The project might still see the light of day as a Deadpool spin-off made with the Disney acquisition.

    End of the series 
In December 2017, Disney announced they were in the early stages of acquiring most of 21st Century Fox's assets — which includes all movies and franchises released under the 20th Century Fox label, and thus the X-Men and Fantastic Four film licenses. In 2018, the buyout became official, pending regulatory approval on an international level. Until the merger was complete, Fox were free to develop any X-Men movie that they had the rights to make, and Disney were obligated to complete projects that had actually entered production as part of the legal terms of the deal. In layman's terms, that means that both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, along with any other movie that entered production, would see a theatrical release, but any project that wasn't at the filming state will be discontinued.

After the merger was completed on March 20, 2019 it was announced that this series of films would end with Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. It was subsequently stated that the Deadpool franchise will continue in some fashion, with an R-rating note  with Ryan Reynolds still portraying the character, though there appeared to have been major hiccups, specially considering Disney's "PG-13 at best" policy regarding live-action films. Disney later announced plans to incorporate the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Kevin Feige noted that plans to do so likely won't kick into high-gear until about 2024, due to Marvel's commitment to an existing five-year plan — although he later went back on this to some degree when announcing the setting's future after Phase 4, indicating that there were plans in place for mutant characters from 2022 onward. While the appearance of Evan Peters in WandaVision as "Quicksilver" in 2021 turned out to be a Red Herring, Patrick Stewart reprised the role of Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (albeit that of a variant on Earth-838), making him the first Mutant/first of the X-Men to appear in the MCU.note  In 2022, it was officially confirmed that Deadpool 3, the first Marvel Studios-produced X-Men-adjacent film, would see the return of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine for that film.

All tropes applying to specific characters can be found on the character pages.

General trope examples:

The series in general provides examples of:


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): X Men, X Men Films


Erik Prefers the Real Raven

As Erik and Raven spend the night together, the latter initially takes the form of a beautiful human woman. But Erik tells Raven that he prefers her in her true mutant appearance, which causes her to drop her disguise.

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