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X Men (film series)

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Wolverine s x men movie timeline in chronological order

X-Men is an American superhero film series based on the fictional superhero team of the same name, who originally appeared in a series of comic books created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and published by Marvel Comics. 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), while Brett Ratner directed X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).


After each film earned higher box office grosses than its predecessor, several spin-off films were released, including a trilogy focused on the character of Wolverine: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Wolverine (2013) and Logan (2017). A prequel, X-Men: First Class, was released in 2011, followed by sequels X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, also a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). A spin-off film, Deadpool (2016) was also released.

X-Men, X2, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool and Logan were all met with positive reviews from critics. X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Apocalypse were met with mixed reviews, while X-Men Origins: Wolverine received negative reviews.

With ten films released, the X-Men film series is the seventh highest-grossing film series, having grossed over US$4.9 billion worldwide. It is set to continue in 2018 with the releases of New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

X men movie timeline explained

X-Men (2000)

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 producing. 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.

X2 (2003)

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, 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.

Joss 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)

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)

Set primarily in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the film focuses on the origins of, and relationship between Charles Xavier / Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto and the their respective teams of mutants, the X-Men and the Brotherhood.

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 co-wrote the final script with his writing partner, Jane Goldman. The film superseded a planned X-Men Origins: Magneto, and 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 years 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 The Uncanny 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. Additional filming took place in Montreal in November 2013 and February 2014. The film was released on May 23, 2014.

Deadpool (2016)

In the film, former Special Forces operative Wade Wilson is subjected to an experiment that leaves him with new abilities. He adopts the alter ego Deadpool to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

In May 2000, Marvel Studios attempted to produce a Deadpool film as part of a distribution deal with Artisan Entertainment. 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 considering the spin-off in the development of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Reynolds being cast for the role. After the opening weekend success of X-Men Origins: Wolverine in May 2009, Fox lent Deadpool out to writers with Donner acting as a producer. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to write the script in January 2010. Robert Rodriguez was sent a 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 to direct. Principal photography began in March 2015 in Vancouver, Canada, and ended in May. The film was released on February 12, 2016, to both critical and commercial success.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Set after X-Men: Days of Future Past, En Sabah Nur, the first mutant, awakens after thousands of years. Disillusioned with the world as he finds it, he recruits a team of mutants to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. Raven, with the help of Professor X, must lead the X-Men to stop Apocalypse and save mankind from destruction.

In December 2013, Singer announced the upcoming X-Men film, titled X-Men: Apocalypse, a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past. Directed by Singer from a script by Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris, and Michael Dougherty, the film was said to focus on the origin of the mutants. Kinberg said that it will take place in 1983 and will complete a trilogy that began with X-Men: First Class. Principal photography began in April 2015 in Montreal, Canada, and ended in August. The film was released on May 27, 2016, in North America.

Logan (2017)

In the film, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier meet a young girl named Laura, a test-tube daughter of Wolverine, who is being hunted by the Reavers led by Donald Pierce.

By November 2013, 20th Century Fox had begun negotiations for the treatment for another solo film starring Wolverine with director James Mangold and Donner attached to produce. Mangold said that it would be inspired by other Wolverine stories from the comic books and it would be made after X-Men: Apocalypse. In March 2014, David James Kelly was hired to write the script. In April 2015, Michael Green was hired to work on the film's script. Principal photography commenced in May 2016 and the film was released on March 3, 2017. The film marked both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart's final performances as Wolverine and Charles Xavier, respectively.

New Mutants (2018)

In May 2015, Josh Boone was hired to direct and write a film adaptation of The New Mutants comic-book series. Acting as a spin-off to the X-Men films, it is co-written by Knate Gwaltney, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber with Donner and Kinberg producing. By March 2017, pre-production had officially started. Boone said it will be a horror film involving the young mutants escaping a facility in which they are being held against their will. Filming commenced in July 2017 in Boston for an April 13, 2018 release.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

In September 2015, Kinberg said that a sequel for Deadpool was in development. By the release of Deadpool, 20th Century Fox greenlit the film, with Rheese and Wernick returning to write, and Miller being looked at to return as director, as he was working on the script at the time. However in October 2016, Miller left the film due to creative differences with Reynolds and was replaced by David Leitch in November as the director. In February 2017, Drew Goddard had joined as a creative consultant to work on the script with Reynolds, Rheese and Wernick. Filming commenced in June 2017 in Vancouver for a June 1, 2018 release.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2018)

In February 2017, Kinberg was in early negotiations to direct the film, from a script written by him. In June of the same year, it was announced that the film would be directed by Kinberg, with filming beginning the same month in Montreal, Canada. The film will be released on November 2, 2018.

Untitled X-Force film

In July 2013, Jeff Wadlow was hired to write and direct a film adaptation of the X-Men spin-off comic-book series X-Force, with Lauren Shuler Donner attached to produce. Mark Millar, the creative consultant for 20th Century Fox's Marvel Comics based films, stated that the film will feature five characters as protagonists. After the release of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds said that Deadpool would appear in the film. By May 2016, Simon Kinberg was in the process of rewriting the script. In February 2017, Joe Carnahan had signed on as director, as well as to be co-writer with Reynolds. By September of the same year, the studio moved on hiring Drew Goddard to write and direct, while Kinberg, Reynolds and Donner will produce the film.

Untitled Gambit film

In October 2014, Josh Zetumer was hired to write the screenplay for a film about the character Remy LeBeau / Gambit based on the treatment by comic-book writer Chris Claremont. In June 2015, Rupert Wyatt was then hired to direct but left in September due to schedule conflicts. In November, Doug Liman was in final negotiations to direct the film. However in August 2016, Liman left the project to direct Dark Universe. The film will star Channing Tatum in the lead role while Donner, Kinberg, Tatum and Reid Carolin are attached as producers. Kinberg stated that filming will start in early 2018 with the intent being that the film will be the start of multiple installments focusing on Gambit. In August 2017, Tatum said the script is being rewritten.

Untitled third Deadpool film

A third Deadpool film was announced to be in development by November 2016. It is said to feature the X-Force assembling.

Other projects

Kinberg stated that 20th Century Fox has been focusing on developing ideas for future mutant-based teams that could expand the film series. He added that Laura Kinney / X-23, Alpha Flight and Exiles are characters in development, for adaptation.

Recurring characters

List indicator(s)
  • This section shows characters that will or have appeared in more than two films in the series.
  • An empty, dark-grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's possible presence has not been announced as of the present date.
  • A Y indicates a role as a younger version of the character.
  • An O indicates a role as an older version of the character.
  • A U indicates an uncredited role.
  • A C indicates a cameo role.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • An A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  • Box office performance

    The first three X-Men films and Deadpool set opening records in North America: X-Men had the highest July opening yet, while X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand earned the fourth-highest opening weekends yet and Deadpool got the largest opening weekend in February. The records for the first three films have since been surpassed. The next three X-Men films after X-Men: The Last Stand opened lower than their predecessor and didn't set opening records. In North America, Deadpool is the highest-grossing film in the series, and it also has the highest opening weekend. Outside North America, X-Men: Days of Future Past has the highest opening weekend and is the highest-grossing film in the series. Worldwide, Deadpool is the highest-grossing film in the series and the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time.

    The X-Men film series is the second highest-grossing film series based on Marvel Comics characters after Marvel Cinematic Universe. In North America, it is the seventh-highest-grossing film series, having earned over $2 billion. Worldwide, it is the seventh-highest-grossing film series of all time, having grossed over $4.9 billion.

    Critical and public response

    Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe praised the first three X-Men films as "more than a cash-guzzling wham-bang Hollywood franchise... these three movies sport philosophy, ideas, a telethon-load of causes, and a highly elastic us-versus-them allegory." Morris praised X-Men: The Last Stand for "put[ting] the heroes of a mighty summer blockbuster in a rare mortal position. Realism at this time of year? How unorthodox!" Roger Ebert gave the films mostly positive reviews, but criticized them for the amount of mutants, stating "their powers are so various and ill-matched that it's hard to keep them all on the same canvas."

    The first two films were highly praised due to their cerebral tone. However, when director Bryan Singer left the series, many criticized his successor, Brett Ratner. Colin Colvert of the Star Tribune felt "Singer's sensitivity to [the discrimination themes] made the first two X-Men films surprisingly resonant and soulful for comic-based summer extravaganzas... Singer is adept at juggling large casts of three-dimensional characters, Ratner makes shallow, unimaginative bang-ups." James Berardinelli felt, "X-Men: The Last Stand isn't as taut or satisfying as X-Men 2, but it's better constructed and better paced than the original X-Men. The differences in quality between the three are minor, however; despite the change in directors, there seems to be a single vision." David Denby of The New Yorker praised "the liquid beauty and the poetic fantasy of Singer's work", but called Ratner's film "a crude synthesizer of comedy and action tropes." Singer's third film in the series, X-Men: Days of Future Past was also highly praised. Alonso Duralde of The Wrap felt that "Singer keeps things moving along briskly enough that you can just go along with the ride of Superhero Stuff without getting bogged down".

    The X-Men films were well received by fans of the comic books, but there was criticism of the large cast, and the limited screentime for all of them. Richard George of IGN praised the depictions of Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Jean Grey, Storm, William Stryker, Mystique, Beast and Nightcrawler; however, George thought many of the younger X-Men characters, such as Rogue, Iceman, Pyro and Kitty Pryde were "adjectiveless teenager[s]", and was disappointed by Cyclops' characterization. He observed the filmmakers were "big fans of silent henchmen", due to the small roles of the various villainous mutants; such as Lady Deathstrike. Spider-Man director Sam Raimi said he was a fan of the series, particularly Singer's films. Film historian Kim Newman also tonally compared Batman Begins to Singer's films.


    Richard George of IGN stated that the success of the first X-Men film paved the way for comic-book film adaptations such as the Spider-Man series, Fantastic Four, V for Vendetta and Singer's Superman Returns. Chris Hewitt of Empire magazine called the first X-Men film as the "catalyst" for films based on Marvel Comics characters, stating "Singer’s 2000 movie is the catalyst for everything that’s come since, good and bad. Without it, there’s no Marvel Studios." Comic-book writer Mark Millar said that Singer's X-Men "revolutionized" superhero films.

    Home media release

    20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released the first nine films on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. The first two films were also released on VHS. While X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocolypse, Logan and Deadpool were also released on 4K Ultra HD. The films were also released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray box sets:

    As of May 2014, the DVD and Blu-ray sales of the first six films in the United States earned more than $620 million.


    X-Men (film series) Wikipedia