How the First X-Men Movie Redrew the Superhero Genre
The X-Men movie, which has revolutionized superhero movies from all franchises, was released in 2000. The release was after the longest evolution of a script and a pretty unusual screenplay collaboration. More than two famous writers collaborated to adjust an already existing plot that no one hoped about.
The recent releases of the time had been flops. Batman and Robin from WarnerBros had gone down poorly. The other marvel releases had not done any better. However, this was in exception to Blade (1998), which had made a better impact on the big screen. But for superhero movies, X-Men performance after release changed the market’s view on superhero movies and made them a favourite.
The X-Men comics had been the best-selling comics in the 1990s decade. After the hit 2000 movie, the producers had to release the X-Men movies in order to satisfy the new heights of the viewers they gained globally following the release. As a result, this particular movie made four times more of the original budgeted amount. A few things in the X-Men movie that sculpted the superhero genre are:
Creating a friendly character base
The previous superheroes were characterized by primarily single heroes who took a more serious approach to detail. Such were the likes of Superman, Batman or Blade. The movies were centred on the main characters trying as hard to make them way powerful for their human enemies, who were in no way a match to their abilities anyway.
The X-Men was quite the opposite. It was stacked with humorous scenes and took time to introduce every character making it hard to have one perceived as the most important one over the others. The characters’ abilities were not exaggerated and were easy to understand. The black leather suit costumes were catchy as even viewers could later pull them off as fashion wears.
Being based partly on comics, people were already familiar with the characters and seeing the live representations match up to the type of the characters they were portrayed as in the comics meant more success in the market. Additionally, in shaping other superhero movies, the heroes getting portrayed as friendly and with a bit of humour set a bar for other friendlier plots despite the storyline.
Having a Legacy
The plot, characters, writers, directors and everyone involved in the X-Men played their role well enough and got a good relationship with the market to pave the way for more production. The on-set civil war-like situation that was left unsolved meant a sequel would be on the way.
In addition, the particular type of characters in the movie set the pace for expectation from other wannabe superhero movies of the day.
One was the special Magneto, who played his role as the adversary so well that future movies look up to the role when designing the personality and power of the adversary.
In future marvel movies, future villains like Thanos in Infinity War or Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 played their roles, appearing as serious as the character demanded, and fans easily identified their personalities and power.
The plot and characters lived up to their comic narrative expectations. This set a pace for other movies to successfully blend the comic representations and plot previews into the film. The movie was also originally longer than it was released.
The dialogues were trimmed to keep the action parts as they were the main agenda of the movie other than introducing the characters to the audience.
Creating a Guide to be followed and enhanced
The movie’s setting created a mirror-like guide that set a path to be followed by superhero movies from then. The scenes before then were different. The X-Men movie pivoted the turn made in the superhero franchise and set many expectations that modern superhero movies try to have these aspects well represented.
The X-Men movie showcased societal themes that need to get advocated for through the art in entertainment. One societal theme catered for was the oppression of a particular group due to their differences. This may be race, religion, gender or sexuality.
The movie showed the struggles the disadvantaged groups go through. For example, the mutants in the plot are victims of discrimination by the human race.
Most superhero movies after it have showcased the empowerment of a given category of oppressed members. Disabled people have played powerful roles in the movies. The plots have also harmonized hero teams comprising of mixed races of people to bring out the theme of disengaging in discrimination.
Other plot hacks that have been incorporated and outgrown are the intriguing costume designs the heroes have that act as an extension to their powers.
The X-Men proved itself and, in doing so, redrew the superhero genre and also made it the most popular among other genres. Their extraordinary nature resulted from the movie and from which they have outgrown and expanded the genre. Thus, the X-Men movie appears to be a template for success.