The Comeback Trail- Part five. The Superhero Movie Saga

The last two Batman films nearly killed off comic book movies, but it’s hard to keep a great character or a good series of stories down forever.  A few years passed with little to speak of and the 1990’s ended rather quietly for superhero fans.

Then on July 14th, 2000, the comic book revival began when X-Men was released. It was directed by a fairly unknown director at the time named Brian Singer who was most known for The Usual Suspects(1995) (among the best movies of the 1990’s)- check out for a more in-depth look at the movie.

X-Men  was of course inspired by the X-Men comics created by Marvel.  The movie was a gamble by Twentieth Century Fox after several comic book related debacles in the late 1990’s. Some wondered if Superhero movies could create profit (Could you imagine someone saying that today?), but all they needed was some fresh faces and talent behind the scenes.

Good writing is important , but so is good casting and few movies have been cast better than X-Men.

The studio gambled again and had Hugh Jackman who was largely unheard of at the time play Wolverine. I love his version of Wolverine and the day he can no longer play him will be a tragedy.  Jackman has since become a big name in Hollywood and rightfully so. He works hard on anything he signs on to do. Especially Wolverine (a very physical role).

X-Men had plenty of star power too because they brought in Sir Patrick Stewart to play Professor Xavier and Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto. These two masterful actors fit into their roles marvelously.

They also brought in Halle Berry to play Storm. I’m mixed on this, but I thought she did well enough.  James Marsden to play Cyclops (I still hate cyclops)  Anna Paquin as Rogue, Famke Janssen as Jean, and Rebecca Romijn as Mystique.  Together, this cast led by Singer would do an exceptional job at bringing the X-Men world to life including the many social issues they had to deal with.  This was one of my favorite aspects of the X-Men series. There was always a deeper issue at hand and I think X-Men has often connected to the people who felt exiled from society because of their differences. I think that is why X-Men has so many possibilities to work beyond the realm of a traditional superhero/comic book movie. (Almost always does with Singer directing.) This movie would go on to be among the best grossing movies of 2000 and it proved once more that Comic-book movies and things related to them could be cool again.

Who is your favorite X-Men?


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