X-Men is a 2000 American superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and written by David Hayter from a story by Singer and Tom DeSanto. The film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name and features an ensemble cast consisting of Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ray Park, Tyler Mane, and Anna Paquin.
The film depicts a world where a small proportion of people are mutants, whose possession of superhuman powers makes them distrusted by normal humans. It focuses on mutants Wolverine and Rogue as they are brought into a conflict between two groups that have radically different approaches to bringing about the acceptance of mutant-kind: Professor Xavier’s X-Men, and the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Magneto.
Development of X-Men began as far back as 1984 with Orion Pictures, with James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow in discussions at one point. The film rights were bought by 20th Century Fox in 1994, and various scripts and film treatments were commissioned from Andrew Kevin Walker, John Logan, Joss Whedon, and Michael Chabon. Singer signed to direct in 1996, with further rewrites by Ed Solomon, Singer, Tom DeSanto, Christopher McQuarrie, and Hayter, in which Beast and Nightcrawler were deleted over budget concerns from Fox. X-Men marked the Hollywood debut for Jackman, a last-second choice for Wolverine, cast three weeks into filming. Filming took place from September 22, 1999 to March 3, 2000, primarily in Toronto.
X-Men premiered at Ellis Island on July 12, 2000, and was released in the United States two days later. It was a box office success, grossing over $296.3 million worldwide, and received positive reviews from critics, citing its performances, story, and thematic depth. The film’s success led to a series of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, with the overall success of the series spawning a reemergence of superhero films, a genre that would remain highly popular for the next two decades.