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Trivia / X-Men

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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Hugh Jackman is a foot taller than Wolverine in the comics, but his performance has won over the fandom, and it's now difficult to imagine someone else replacing him... So Fox never did.
    • Magneto is very muscular in the comics, but the slender Ian McKellen was cast because he's one of the finest actors on the planet. It was never really in the cards to cast an actor old enough to be a Holocaust survivor who also has a supervillain physique.
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  • California Doubling: The mansion interior was filmed in Casa Loma, a Toronto landmark.
  • Career Resurrection: Anna Paquin was largely written off as a One-Hit Wonder for The Piano; this movie solidified her transition to adult star.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Kevin Nash was originally cast as Sabretooth with Tyler Mane as his Stunt Double. When Nash dropped out, Mane got the part.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • A review, this one appearing in the New Times Los Angeles, blasted the film for departing from the comic's signature yellow-and-blue costumes, and for giving Magneto, the "master of all evil", a sympathetic Holocaust-survivor backstory. Which shows that he did actually read the comic... in the '60s, and not once since. Similarly, a New York Times piece on Valkyrie erroneously claimed that Bryan Singer came up with the idea of Magneto's Holocaust backstory.
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    • Referencing Magneto's holocaust backstory and Wolverine's Dark and Troubled Past, a negative review in People Magazine said, "Since when do superheroes have such traumatic backstories?" They pretty much always have. Both Batman and Superman's birth parents were also killed when they were children. Even older superheroes such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, or The Phantom also tended to have tragic backstories.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Hugh Jackman admits to having taken the role of Logan without understanding what it meant to have a superhero physique. He showed up on set having done only a few weeks of physical training and director Bryan Singer immediately rearranged the shooting schedule so that they would shoot Jackman's shirtless scenes towards the end of production and told Jackman to hit the gym. He apparently never left, because later installments of the series showcase Jackman's now-ridiculously chiseled physique.
    • Rebecca Romijn said that due to waking up early to spend hours receiving Mystique's make-up, "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." The eyeball-covering yellow lenses (used only here, as to make it easier on her, the sequels painted in post) and being basically naked during a really cold winter only made things more uncomfortable.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • 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.
    • When Sabertooth throws Wolverine off the Statue of Liberty, the next scene is Logan slamming his claws into the side of the torch to stop falling. In an interview with Wizard, Jackman says the harness slipped and pinched him in a very uncomfortable place, as a result his screams of rage are actually genuine screams of pain.
    • When Senator Kelly is being assaulted by Mystique in the helicopter, Bruce Davison is really being struck in the face - Rebecca Romijn couldn't avoid hitting him with her foot given the yellow lenses made it hard to see.
  • Fake American: The Dutch Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, the New Zealander Anna Paquin as Rogue, and the Canadian Shawn Ashmore as Iceman.
  • Fake Nationality: The Canadian Wolverine is played by the Australian Hugh Jackman. American Halle Berry attempted a strange Kenyan accent for Storm (an actual African), although she dropped it after this film. It seemed to be a (poor) imitation of the rather odd British-African accent American Iona Morris used for the 1992 cartoon series. And British Ian McKellen as Magneto.
  • Follow the Leader: The success of this film, followed by the great success of the Spider-Man Trilogy, unleashed a deluge of modern Super Hero-inspired live-action like Daredevil and Batman Begins. Even obscure properties like Namor were optioned for movies.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Neither Patrick Stewart nor Ian McKellen knew how to play chess during filming. A chess master came in to teach them.
  • Logo Joke: Watch carefully when the 20th Century Fox fanfare ends and you'll notice the first of many Sigil Spam uses of X throughout the film: the image fades to black, but the X stays lit just a little bit longer than the rest.
  • Making Use of the Twin: Amusingly enough, averted. Mystique impersonates Bobby "Iceman" Drake (Shawn Ashmore), and in one scene, the real Iceman walks by a door shortly before the fake Iceman comes out of it. The director states in the commentary that he didn't know he'd managed to hire somebody with an identical twin who could easily have played the double and went to the bother of doing two takes spliced together.
  • No Stunt Double: Hugh Jackman did most of his own stunts. One day, he almost impaled a cameraman with his claws.
  • Orphaned Reference:
    • In Hugh Jackman's audition, Logan tells Rogue he's already saved her life once, in reference to a scene in the original script where he rescued her from an attempted rape.
    • Senator Kelly tells his aide (actually Mystique) that Jean is a mutant, despite no prior indication he knew her secret. This is because there was supposed to be a scene where Jean accidentally outed herself as a mutant by using her powers in front of Kelly. This was cut very close to filming, which is why there's also a deleted scene on the DVD where Xavier scolds Jean for losing control of her powers in public.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Hugh Jackman was thrilled to get to work with two of his heroes, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. Ian McKellen was likewise quite happy to work with Jackman, who he claims to have had a bit of a crush on since Oklahoma.
  • Reality Subtext: Stewart and McKellen had worked together on and off together for decades prior to this film (Royal Shakespeare Company), and (from all accounts) are friends in real life. This definitely spilled over into the on-screen chemistry, making the long standing Friendly Enemy status all the more believable.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Beast was planned for the first movie but was saved for the sequels. Concept art can be found on the X-Men 1.5 DVD.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Throughout 1989 and 1990, Stan Lee and Chris Claremont were in discussions with James Cameron and Carolco Pictures for an X-Men film adaptation. The deal fell apart when Cameron went to work on Spider-Man, Carolco went bankrupt, and the film rights reverted to Marvel Studios. In December 1992, Marvel discussed selling the property to Columbia Pictures to no avail. Meanwhile, Avi Arad produced the animated X-Men TV series for Fox Kids. 20th Century Fox was impressed by the success of the TV show, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner purchased the film rights for them in 1994. The film went through a number of scripts and actor and director changes and was eventually released in July 2000, starting a long running film series and spawning a re-emergence of superhero films.
  • Scully Box: Hugh Jackman is 6'2 and Famke Janssen is 6'0. While James Marsden is reasonably tall at 5'10, the filmmakers didn't want Cyclops to be noticeably shorter than both Wolverine and his own love interest. A number of tricks were done to make up the difference, including Marsden standing on apple boxes or wearing platform shoes. Janssen also went barefoot in some scenes where her feet aren't visible. A behind-the-scenes feature showcases Marsden humorously grousing about needing such tricks.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: 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.
  • Star-Making Role: For Hugh Jackman and James Marsden.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Reports suggest that the actual script of the movie didn't have Wolverine saying "bub," but Hugh Jackman threw it in. Some reports state that he actually "threw it in" many, many times. They just only kept some of them. When Wolverine meet Professor X, he says "What do they call you — Wheels?" where the Wheels part was ad-libbed. The scripted line was "What do they call you — Baldie?"
    • 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.
  • Wag the Director:
    • During filming, Halle Berry refused to wear white contacts that covered her eyes (like in the comics) and wanted more lines/scenes.
    • According to Hugh Jackman, Bryan Singer banned comic books from the set, but the cast read them anyway.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Russell Crowe was Bryan Singer's first choice for the role of Wolverine before Hugh Jackman was cast. However, Crowe turned down the offer due to the fact that he didn't want to play another part similar to Maximus from Gladiator.
    • Thomas Jane was reportedly approached for the role of Scott Summers, but turned it down due to his lack of interest in comic book movies. However, Jane would eventually change his mind about the film genre and went on to play the titular part in The Punisher (2004).
    • John Hurt, Christopher Lee, and Terence Stamp were considered for the role of Erik Lehnsherr before Ian McKellen was cast.
    • Peta Wilson was the original candidate for the part of Jean Grey, but turned down the offer due to scheduling issues with La Femme Nikita.
    • Natalie Portman was offered the role of Rogue, but turned it down due to scheduling issues with The Phantom Menace. Portman would eventually go on to portray Jane Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Janet Jackson, Jada Pinkett, and Angela Bassett were considered for the role of Ororo Munroe before Halle Berry was cast. Bassett would later go on to portray Queen Ramonda in Black Panther (2018).
    • Paul W.S. Anderson was originally approached to direct the film after the commercial success of Mortal Kombat, but declined in order to helm Event Horizon.
    • Remy LeBeau was planned to appear, with Fox looking at Keanu Reeves to play him. After his part was cut, Singer still considered having Gambit cameo as one of the teenagers seen during the basketball scene at the Xavier Institute.
    • Andrew Kevin Walker wrote an unused script in 1994, which had Xavier recruit Logan to assist Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. They fight the Brotherhood of Mutants, which consisted of Magneto, Sabretooth, Toad, and the Blob, who are trying to conquer New York City, while Henry Peter Gyrich and Bolivar Trask attack the X-Men with three 8 feet (2.4 m) tall Sentinels. The script focused on the rivalry between Wolverine and Cyclops, as well as the latter's self-doubt as a field leader. Part of the backstory invented for Magneto made him the cause of the Chernobyl disaster. The script also featured the X-Copter and the Danger Room.
    • Michael Chabon unsuccessfully pitched a story treatment focused on character development and interpersonal relationships, to the point that the first movie would have been entirely about building the team and the supervillains wouldn't have shown up until the second movie.
    • Joss Whedon, who was hired to script-doctor the first film, did a complete rewrite. His draft would've featured a romance between Logan and Storm, Magneto trying to turn Manhattan into a sanctuary for mutants, and Jean becoming Phoenix at the end. It got thrown out except for a couple of lines, the most notorious being:
      "Do you know what happens when a toad gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else."
    • The standard explanation of this is that among the other things removed were Toad having a Catchphrase that made this line an Ironic Echo. In the released film, it's a Non Sequitur instead.
    • The Blob and Pyro were supposed to appear as part of the Brotherhood, but Pyro was reduced to cameo and Blob was cut entirely.
    • The trucker who gives Rogue a ride at the beginning was originally going to try to rape her, and Logan would've intervened and saved the day.
    • Wolverine was also going to be characterized as a warrior-philosopher with an interest in art, referencing his samurai past from the comics. A plot thread would've had him sketching the face of a mysterious woman from his past and trying to remember her. Though the samurai angle was dropped, the subplot about the mysterious woman Logan couldn't remember was still referenced in the movie's official prequel comic.
    • During scripting, Beast was planned to be part of the team, but he was dropped due to budget concerns. Certain qualities (such as him being a doctor) were transplanted to Jean.
    • The Bait-and-Switch with Magneto going after Wolverine only to actually be after Rogue was originally not a bait and switch at all. Originally, he was trying to capture Wolverine in order to use his adamantium skeleton to complete his machine.
    • Jean was supposed to lose control of her powers during the senate hearing, outing herself as a mutant.

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