In news that may well make you feel quite old, this July marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first X-Men, a movie that not only marked the cinematic debut of the Marvel mutants but also played a key role in the popularity of comic book movies that we're in the midst of today. One of the stars of X-Men, James Marsden, has been discussing what his expectations were as well as the lasting legacy of the movie.
"I think we all hoped it would become what it's become, and we knew it had the power to with the legacy of the X-Men universe. They've been around since 1962, 1963? And so when we first started, it was 40 years of backstory and superfans. So we knew if we do this right, this could be something forever, for a long, long time. I'd hoped, but I did not anticipate that they'd still be making them. I mean, I thought maybe they'd make 4 or 5 of them in its success, but how many have they made now, 10? So it's kinda crazy and really cool."
X-Men was both a critical and commercial success, generating a franchise that recently came to an end with the sadly rather lackluster X-Men: Dark Phoenix last year. Aside from that, there have been several spin-offs including a trio of Wolverine movies, the Deadpool movies, and the perpetually upcoming The New Mutants.
The first X-Men movie is responsible for a lot of the comic book movies that have followed, and of course led to Hugh Jackman becoming synonymous with the role of Logan aka Wolverine, going on to play the character almost two decades. Marsden meanwhile played the role of Scott Summers aka Cyclops in the first three X-Men movies, as well as a cameo in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past but, though he was well cast, the character remained underused throughout.
James Marsden is also well-known from movies like Superman Returns, Enchanted and Anchorman 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog as well as TV shows like 30 Rock, and Westworld. He is also due to star in the forthcoming adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand, but considers his time on the X-Men movies as one of the highest points in his career.
"Obviously I'm not a part of all of them, but you exist in that universe and it's always something I've been really proud of. It was definitely the first time in my career I was like, 'Now I'm a part of something really special right now, and this is a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity.' It's rare to know you're a part of something special while you're shooting. Oftentimes you shoot it and it becomes some sort of surprise success, i.e. like The Notebook or something like that, where no one knew when you were filming it. But during the X-Men movies, it was like, 'Okay, this is something unique. This is something special.'"
With Fox having now been acquired by Disney, expect to see the X-Men join the Marvel Cinematic Universe sometime in the near future. This comes to us from Cinemablend.