The X-Men film series consists of superhero films based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The films star an ensemble cast, focusing on Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy) and Magneto (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender). The films follow Wolverine as he is drawn into the conflict between Xavier and Magneto, who have opposing views on humanity's relationship with mutants. Xavier believes humanity and mutants can coexist, but Magneto believes that mutants are destined to rule humanity. The films also developed sub-plots based on the comics' "Weapon X" and "Dark Phoenix" storylines.
20th Century Fox earned the film rights to the characters in 1994 and after numerous drafts, Bryan Singer was hired to direct X-Men (2000), and he returned for X2: X-Men United (2003). He left potential third and fourth films to direct Superman Returns, leaving Brett Ratner to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). Critics praised Singer's films for their dark, realistic tone and subtexts dealing with discrimination and intolerance but Ratner's film was met with mixed reviews. Nonetheless, each film out-grossed its predecessor and Fox developed two separate additional series. The first consists of two spin-off films focusing on Wolverine, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), a prequel to the main trilogy explaining the character's origin, and The Wolverine (2013), which follows the events of the main trilogy. The second series, while it retcons some plot points from the original trilogy, is a prequel and focuses on the origins of the two teams, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, launching with X-Men: First Class (2011) directed by Matthew Vaughn and set to continue with X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), with Singer returning as director.
The X-Men films contributed to a re-emergence of superhero films in the 2000s.
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... On June 1, 2000, Marvel published a comic book prequel to X-Men, titled X-Men Beginnings, revealing the backstories of Magneto, Rogue and Wolverine ... There was also an adaptation of the film ... Del Rey Books also published novelizations of the three films ...
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“Does art reflect life? In movies, yes. Because more than any other art form, films have been a mirror held up to societys porous face.”
—Marjorie Rosen (b. 1942)