With all the hype generated by the X-Men franchise and now The Wolverine, an offshoot of said franchise, they kinda forgot to keep us clued in on what happened when, and who done what to whom, (or why Wolverine's hair keeps immortally changing) but the plot thickens even more, as our mutants are about to go back in time in the latest X-Men movie titled X-Men: Days of Future Past. Directing again is Bryan Singer, who gave us the very first of them in 2000 with X-Men, based on the Marvel comic-book series of the same name, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1962 (while I was still a glint in the postman's eye). The story line and screenplay for the movie were written by David Hayter, Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer. The Usual Suspects director has been involved one way or another, in almost all the movies since then, whether it be directing or producing.
(Remember to watch the Comic-Con video on the right, as we meet the cast and crew and see some questions answered by the panel--->)
I'll list them in their own X-Men timeline to better give you an idea of when it all happened, which makes the newest of the seven the second oldest. Confused?
1. X-Men: First Class - 2011
Set in 1962X-Men: First Class is their first and our sixth of the X-Men franchise, where we learn that the famous Cuban Missile Crisis wasn't quite what we all thought. The US government enlists the help of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, now Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender, now Magneto) to stop the megalomaniacal dictator who is determined to start World War III. We get to meet the much younger future X-Men with some interesting results. Raven is played by the sexy Oscar winning Jennifer Lawrence, which was a very good choice, but then they decided to use a very different Emma Frost in the shape of the lovely January Jones. Anyway, it's the timeline we're interested in, not casting decisions. Kevin Bacon was very good at being bad as Sebastian Shaw, one of the most powerful of the mutants.
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past - 2014
This being the latest, due for release 23 May 2014, is set in 1972X-Men: Days of Future Past and sees the characters of Professor X and Magneto grow further apart, as Magneto's powers become even stronger, as does his hatred of normal humankind. Things take an interesting turn after Professor X receives a visitor from the near-future named , you guessed it, Wolverine, where he tells of a future that sees mutants hunted and killed by robots known as "Sentinels." This is set after The Wolverine, and is a time-travel tale that hopes to repair the confusing structure of the X-Men/Wolverine franchise timeline and fix highly questionable continuity, creating a more understandable, fluid one. We'll see.
3. X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 2009
Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and brother Victor (Liev Schreiber) are hired by the US Military as soldiers to fight beside fellow mutants. When Wolverine throws in the towel to live a simple, uncomplicated life with a teacher, the army sends Victor after Logan on a killing spree. Set during the early 1980s, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was initially anticipated to be the first in a series of 'Origins' movies that detail the histories of the X-Men characters. A cold critical reception to this film quickly put that idea on an indefinite hiatus with the X-Men: First Class moved into production shortly afterwards, although a second X-Men Origins movie, 'Deadpool,' is still set for a 2016 release.
4. X-Men - 2000
This is the first to us, fourth to them, set in present day 2000, relations between mutants and normal humans have deteriorated to the point that there is no way out of the situation. We concentrate on two mutants in particular, Wolverine and Rogue (Anna Paquin, another Oscar winner). They enter a private academy for mutants, where they are to be taught how to control their powers better. Wolverine, however, is less than agreeable to the training. They are brought into a conflict between two groups that have radically different approaches to bringing about the acceptance of mutant kind. This was a huge box office success which not only launched the X-Men movie franchise, but is also thought to have helped the re-launching of the superhero genre back to the big screen.
5. X2 - 2003
This one is still set in 2000, only its several months after the events of X-Men, tensions between mutants and the rest of the human population continues to grow exponentially. The situation is made worse when a mutant by the name of Nightcrawler, infiltrates the White House and attempts to assassinate the president. This sets off a chain reaction of anti-mutant measures by the government. Like all of the other X-Men movies, excluding First Class, the focus of the story is on Wolverine, as he tries to learn more about his past, that haven't been covered just yet, set before this movie. Despite having a convoluted storyline, the special effects, acting and action sequences earned the movie great praise from the critics, making it one of the most well received sequels in any superhero movie.
6. X-Men: The Last Stand - 2006
As the inevitable war between mutants and humans near boiling point, a pharmaceutical company has developed an antidote to the mutant gene, allowing all those who possess it to revert back to a pure human state. The prospect of a cure appeals to many mutants while offending a lot of others, leading to a full-scale civil war among the mutant themselves. As the title suggests, The Last Stand was likely intended to be the last of the X-Men movies, however, that it succeeded in the box office, despite being critically beaten to death, led to the pre-production of the X-Men: Origins series and then of course X-Men: First Class.
7. The Wolverine - 2013
This latest X-Men movie acts as both a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Last Stand, the story features Wolverine in Japan, defending the daughter of a dying friend from deadly ninja assassins. As in the previous X-Men movies, Wolverine is again dealing with demons from his past, and is yet again dealing with the possibility of becoming nearly human. This is Hugh Jackman's sixth portrayal of the Wolverine and has made him the only actor in Hollywood history to play the same superhero in a cinematic series this often. He is also scheduled to play Wolverine for a record seventh time in the up and coming X-Men: Days of Future Past (see number 2).
I hope this clears things up a bit because as more get released, the more confusion is caused but as I've already mentioned, the latest X-Men movie should iron out the mess left with doing an origins movie at the wrong time and screwing up the details.
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