The X-Men film series consists of superhero films based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the characters in 1994, and after numerous drafts, Bryan Singer was hired to direct X-Men (2000) and its sequel, X2 (2003). Singer left the potential third and fourth films, leaving Brett Ratner to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
After each film earned higher box-office grosses than its predecessor, several spin-off films were released. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), directed by Gavin Hood, features Wolverine's origin story. X-Men: First Class (2011), directed by Matthew Vaughn, focuses on the origins of Professor X and Magneto. The Wolverine (2013), directed by James Mangold, follows Wolverine after the events of The Last Stand. The seventh film, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), featured the return of the original trilogy cast and Singer as director, serving as a sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class.
With seven films released, the X-Men film series is the 12th highest-grossing film franchise of all-time, having grossed over US$3 billion worldwide. It is set to continue with a spin-off film Deadpool, and a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, in 2016, and a third Wolverine film in 2017.
The film introduces Wolverine and Rogue into the conflict between Professor Xavier's X-Men, and the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Magneto. Magneto intends to mutate world leaders at a United Nations summit with a machine he has built, to bring about acceptance of mutantkind, but Xavier realizes this forced mutation will only result in their deaths.
In 1994, 20th Century Fox and producer Lauren Shuler Donner bought the film rights to the X-Men. Andrew Kevin Walker was hired to write and James Cameron expressed interest in directing. Eventually, Bryan Singer signed on to direct in July 1996. Although he was not a comic book fan, Singer was fascinated by the analogies of prejudice and discrimination that X-Men offered. John Logan, Joss Whedon, Ed Solomon, Christopher McQuarrie and David Hayter wrote the script, with Hayter receiving sole credit. Principal photography began in September 1999 in Toronto, Canada and ended in March 2000. The film was released on July 14, 2000.
In the film, Colonel William Stryker brainwashes and questions the imprisoned Magneto about Professor Xavier's mutant-locating machine, Cerebro. Stryker attacks the X-Mansion, and brainwashes Xavier into locating every mutant on the planet to kill them. The X-Men must team up with the Brotherhood to prevent Stryker's worldwide genocide.
Hayter and Zak Penn were hired to write their own scripts for the sequel which Singer would pick, with an aim to release the film in December 2002. Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris were hired to re-write the script in February 2002, writing around 26 drafts and 150 on set. Principal photography began in June 2002 in Vancouver, Canada and ended in November 2002. The film was released on May 2, 2003.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
In the film, a pharmaceutical company has developed a suppressor of the mutant gene, provoking controversy in the mutant community. Magneto declares war on the humans and retrieves his own weapon: Phoenix, who is the resurrected former X-Man, Jean Grey. A final battle between the X-Men and the Brotherhood ensues, and Wolverine must accept that in order to stop Grey, he will have to kill her.
Singer initially intended to shoot the film back-to-back with a fourth film, though he left in 2004 to direct Superman Returns. Penn and Simon Kinberg were hired the following month. Whedon's Astonishing X-Men story "Gifted", featuring a mutant cure was suggested for the primary story. Matthew Vaughn came on board as director in February 2005, but left due to the rushed production schedule. Brett Ratner was later hired as director in June. Principal photography began in August 2005 in Vancouver, Canada and ended in January 2006. The film was released on May 26, 2006.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
The film is a prequel and a spin-off focusing on the character Wolverine and his relationship with his half-brother Victor Creed, as well his time with Stryker's Team X, before and shortly after his skeleton was bonded with the indestructible metal adamantium.
David Benioff was hired to write the screenplay for the spin-off film Wolverine in October 2004. Hugh Jackman became producer as well as star, and worked with Benioff on the script. Ratner was negotiated by the studio to take the helm of Wolverine after directing X-Men: The Last Stand, but no agreement was made. In July 2007, Gavin Hood was hired as director. Principal photography began in January 2008 in Queenstown, New Zealand and ended in May. The film was released on May 1, 2009.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The film is a prequel set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and focuses on the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr, and the origin of their groups — the X-Men and the Brotherhood, respectively.
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner first thought of a prequel based on the young X-Men during the production of X2, and later producer Kinberg suggested to 20th Century Fox an adaptation of the comic-book series X-Men: First Class. Singer signed on to direct the film in December 2009, however, in March 2010 it was announced that Singer would be producing instead of directing. Vaughn, who was previously attached to direct X-Men: The Last Stand became the director, and wrote the final script with his writing partner Jane Goldman. The film superseded a planned X-Men Origins: Magneto. Despite the script for the film not being used by any of the screenwriters as inspiration, the Writer's Guild of America arbitration still credited Magneto writer Sheldon Turner for the film's story. Principal photography began in August 2010 in London, England and ended in December. The film was released on June 3, 2011.
The Wolverine (2013)
Set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, the film features Wolverine heading to Japan for a reunion with a soldier named Ichirō Yashida whose life he saved years before. Wolverine must defend the man's granddaughter Mariko Yashida from all manner of ninja and Yakuza assassins.
Christopher McQuarrie, who went uncredited for his work on X-Men, was hired to write the screenplay for the second Wolverine film in August 2009. Darren Aronofsky was chosen to direct the film, though bowed out, stating the project would keep him out of the country for too long. James Mangold was later chosen to direct the film. Mark Bomback was then hired to rewrite McQuarrie's script. Principal photography began in August 2012 in Sydney, Australia and ended in November. The film was released on July 26, 2013.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Set after the events of The Wolverine, the film features the cast of the original X-Men trilogy and X-Men: First Class. The story, inspired by Chris Claremont and John Byrne's X-Men comic book storyline "Days of Future Past", features Wolverine going back in time to 1973 to prevent an assassination that, if carried out, will lead to the creation of a new weapons system called the Sentinels that threatens the existence of mutants — and potentially, all of humanity.
Matthew Vaughn was attached to direct the film, but left in October 2012 to focus on the film Kingsman: The Secret Service. Singer, who directed the first two X-Men films and produced X-Men: First Class, replaced Vaughn as the director of the film. The screenplay was written by Kinberg. Principal photography began in April 2013 in Montreal, Canada and ended in August. The film was released on May 23, 2014.
Deadpool (Wade Winston Wilson) is a fictional character, a mercenary and anti-hero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer and artist Rob Liefeld and scripted by Fabian Nicieza, Deadpool first appeared in New Mutants #98 (Feb. 1991).
A disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary, Deadpool originally appeared as a villain in an issue of New Mutants, and later in issues of X-Force. The character has since starred in several ongoing series, and shares titles with other characters such as Cable. Also known as the "Merc with a Mouth," Deadpool is famous for his talkative nature and his tendency to break the fourth wall, which is used by writers to humorous effect.
Deadpool was portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine and will appear in his own feature film set to be released on February 12, 2016 also starring Ryan Reynolds.
Deadpool appears in the animated film Hulk Vs Wolverine, voiced by Nolan North. Deadpool acts as one of Professor Thorton's military strike team Team X (Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red and Sabretooth) in the Weapon X program, seeking to capture Wolverine and the Hulk in order to brainwash them and convert them into the ultimate weapons. Deadpool frequently annoys his teammates with his wisecracks.
In May 2000, Marvel Studios attempted to produce a Deadpool film as part of a long-term distribution agreement with Artisan Entertainment. The project would have been one of Marvel's first major independent releases as an equity owner, whereby it contributes characters and creative support in exchange for a financial stake in the negative cost of the film. However, by 2004, Marvel was developing the film with New Line Cinema. David S. Goyer was set to write and direct and courted actor Ryan Reynolds for the lead role, but lost interest within months in favor of other projects. 20th Century Fox acquired Deadpool the following year after New Line placed it in turnaround, and was still considering the spin-off early in the development of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Reynolds being cast for the role.
Wade Wilson is one of the antagonists of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds. He is a highly skilled, wisecracking but greatly amoral mercenary who wields a pair of katanas with superhuman speed and skill sufficient to deflect fully automatic weapons fire. He is supposedly killed by Victor Creed, but is later revealed to have been transformed by Colonel William Stryker into mutant killer "Weapon XI" (stunts performed by Scott Adkins) who possesses other mutants' powers, including Scott Summers' optic blasts, John Wraith's teleportation, Wolverine's healing factor, and a pair of extendable blades resembling Wilson's prized swords; Stryker is able to completely control him thanks to Chris Bradley's technopathy. He is referred to by Stryker as the 'Deadpool' because the compatible powers of the other mutants have been 'pooled' together into one being. Wolverine and Victor fight Deadpool in the film's climax and manage to defeat him by decapitating him and sending him falling into a cooling tower of a nuclear power plant, although a post-credits scene appearing in DVD releases and some theatrical presentations of the film implies Deadpool is still alive.
After the opening weekend success of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in May 2009, Fox announced that it was lending Deadpool out to writers with Donner acting as a producer. Donner stated that Deadpool will have the attributes that the character has in the comics, such as breaking the fourth wall. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to write the script in January 2010. Robert Rodriguez was sent an early draft of the screenplay the following June, but did not pursue it, and Adam Berg emerged as a top contender to direct. In April 2011, visual effects specialist Tim Miller was hired as director. Principal photography is scheduled to commence in March 2015 in Vancouver, Canada, for a February 12, 2016 release.
A spin-off of the X-Men film series starring Deadpool is in development with Reynolds attached to reprise his role. According to Empire, a script is in development, and Deadpool will "break the fourth wall" during the film. Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have been attached to write the script for the film. On April 8, 2011, VFX artist Tim Miller was hired to make his directing debut. Originally the film was set to be rated PG-13, but the rating was later reconsidered to an R-rating with the possible addition of gore. In October 2013, Reynolds and Miller said that the film is close to being green-lit. On July 28, 2014, a VFX test footage for the film was leaked on the internet through social news sites and movie blogs. The test footage features the voice of Reynolds. However, it was discovered that the footage was from 2012, when Miller was developing the project. On July 29, the test footage was officially released online by Blur Studio, the company who created the test footage. On September 18, 2014, after hearing positive feedback from the leaked footage, Fox officially announced that the film had been given the green light for a February 12, 2016 release date and is part of the X-Men film series. On December 4, 2014 it was confirmed that Ryan Reynolds would reprise his role for the film, with filming starting in March 2015. On February 13, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Gina Carano is cast in the role of Angel Dust and T. J. Miller in an unnamed role.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
X-Men: Apocalypse is an upcoming American superhero film based on the X-Men characters that appear in Marvel Comics. It is intended to be the sequel to 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past and the ninth installment in the X-Men film series. Directed by Bryan Singer, with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg from a story conceived by Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty, Kinberg, and Singer, the film features an ensemble cast starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Josh Helman, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy and Lana Condor. In X-Men: Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant, Apocalypse, awakened after thousands of years who is disillusioned with the world, recruits a team of powerful mutants to cleanse humanity and create a new world order. Raven, along with Professor X must lead the X-Men to stop Apocalypse.
The film was announced by Singer in December 2013 with Kinberg, Dougherty and Harris attached to develop the story. Casting began in October 2014 while principal photography commenced in April 2015 in Montreal, Canada and ended in August of the same year. X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled for release on May 27, 2016, in North America in 3D and 2D.
In October 2014, Josh Zetumer was hired to write the screenplay for Gambit based from the treatment of comic-book writer Chris Claremont, with Channing Tatum attached to play the lead role. Donner, Kinberg, Tatum and Reid Carolin are attached as producers. It is scheduled to be released on October 7, 2016.
The Wolverine 3 (2017)
By October 2013, 20th Century Fox had begun negotiations with both Jackman and Mangold to return for a third solo film starring Wolverine. Mangold will write the treatment for the film, with Lauren Shuler Donner returning to produce, and told that the sequel will be inspired by any other popular Wolverine stories from the comics. On March 20, 2014, Fox announced that the sequel will be released on March 3, 2017. The following day, Deadline reported that David James Kelly will be writing the film, and also announced that Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine. The Wrap reports that Michael Green will write the film. Mangold tweeted that filming will start in early 2016.
In July 2013, 20th Century Fox hired Jeff Wadlow to write the script for the X-Men spin-off comic-book series X-Force. Lauren Shuler Donner is attached to produce. Creative consultant for 20th Century Fox's Marvel Comics based films, Mark Millar stated that the film will feature five characters as protagonists. In December 2013, comic-book writer/artist Rob Liefeld confirmed that Cable and Deadpool would appear.
The New Mutants
In May 2015, filmmaker Josh Boone was hired to direct and write a film adaptation of The New Mutants. Acting as a spin-off to the X-Men film series, Boone will co-write the screenplay with Knate Gwaltney while Donner and Kinberg are attached to produce the film.