Can you believe it's been 14 years since the original X-Men film was released and we were introduced to one of the most awesome superhero teams ever!?
The original X-Men was directed by Bryan Singer and starred some huge names, including Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, and Anna Paquin.
To celebrate the first film of one of the awesome superhero franchises, check out these 8 fascinating facts about X-Men:
1. Hugh Jackman was not the first choice as Wolverine
Nor was he the second...or the third, or fourth or fifth choice. In fact, Hugh Jackman only got he role after original actor Dougray Scott dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Mission Impossible II, and Russell Crowe (director Bryan Singer's first choice for Wolverine) suggested his friend Hugh Jackman for the role.
2. The cast were essentially blinded by their costume
While some of the eye effects in the movie were achieved using CGI, most of it was done with the actors wearing special contact lenses. Unfortunately for the cast, these contact lenses were quite uncomfortable and even dangerous to wear! Rebecca Romijn (Mystique) could only wear hers for an hour at a time and only had 10% vision. Tyler Mane (Sabretooth) wore his lenses for too long and ended up blinded for a day! Halle Berry (Storm) only wore her lenses once before insisting she have CGI for her eyes as the lenses were too unbearable to wear.
3. Hugh Jackman punished himself to get into character for Wolverine
Every morning of filming Hugh Jackman would take an ice cold shower. This tradition began when he accidentally got into a cold shower at 5am, but not wanting to wake his sleeping wife he stayed quiet and endured it. He then realized this mindset of wanting to scream and lash out but having to hold it in was the exact mentality that Wolverine would have constantly, therefore cold showers were the perfect way to enter his character's mindset.
4. Neither Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen knew how to play chess during filming
While the scene was supposed to be quite a simple one, it turned complicated when both men admitted they didn't know how to play. Director Brian Singer then brought in a Canadian grand master to teach them the basic rules and moves. By the end of their game, Xavier was the winner.
5. Rebecca Romijn suffered for her art
The make-up required for Mystique consisted of 110 custom-designed prostheses. The make-up covered 60% of her body and took a crazy nine hours to apply. Not only did it take a long time, but she also couldn't drink wine, use skin creams, or fly the day before filming because of the slightly changes to her body chemistry these things would have caused, meaning the prosthetics would have fallen off.
6. Wolverine had many types of claws
Not only were there the steel Wolverine claws, but also plastic and wood ones. Overall more than 700 individual claw blades were used by Hugh Jackman and his four stunt doubles.
7. The X-Men director helped Ian McKellen rearrange his shooting schedule
Just after Ian McKellan accepted the role of Magneto, he was offered the role as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings Franchise which he originally declined. Thankfully, X-Men director Bryan Singer agreed to rearrange the films shooting schedule so that it was possible for McKellan to finished filming X-Men at the end of 1999, and travel to New Zealand in January 2000 to film Lord of the Rings.
8. The scene with Cyclops smiling at a little boy was unplanned
Originally, in the train station scene Cyclops was supposed to look at the train schedule. But the little boy - who was a huge Cyclops and X-Men fan - could not stop smiling at James Marsden. During one take, Marsden looked back and smiled at him, and director Bryan Singer liked it so much he kept it in the film.
Best installment in the X-Men franchise?