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File:X-trilogy 8524.jpg

X-Men Cinematic Universe

An adaptation of the X-Men comic book franchise to the silver screen, which pretty much singlehandedly revived superhero movies for the 2000s.

The first film, X-Men 1 was released in 2000. It was followed by two sequels, X 2 X Men United in 2003 and X Men the Last Stand in 2006. See their pages for more details.

Rather than continuing the series chronologically from there, FOX decided to film a series of spin-offs and prequels, starting with X Men Origins Wolverine and continuing with the much more critically acclaimed X Men First Class.

The final installment in the series, The New Mutants, was released in 2020.

With Disney's purchase of Fox, the X-Men Cinematic Universe is over (with The New Mutants being the final movie set in that universe, as mentioned above). All the characters involved will be rebooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as brand new characters with no connections with the X-Men Cinematic Universe.

The X-Men Cinematic Multiverse

Old Timeline/Old Universe

  • X-Men 1
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men: First Class
  • The Wolverine
  • The "bad future" scenes of X-Men: Days of Future Past

New Timeline/New Universe

  • The 70s scenes of X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • The "good future" scenes of X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Deadpool
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Deadpool 2
  • Dark Phoenix
  • The New Mutants

Logan Timeline/Logan Universe

  • Logan

The X-Men Cinematic Universe provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Wolverine's claws, and Lady Deathstrike's talons. Deadpool's katanas.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Wolverine. He's played by Hugh Jackman, whereas in the comics the character was the butt of jokes about his short height. Rather than an ill-mannered thug, Movie!Wolverine is a James Dean-esque bad boy.
    • Inverted with Magneto. While not ugly by any means, he's considerably older than the character in the comics and much less physically imposing. While Magneto was a buff, chiseled White-Haired Pretty Boy in the comics, in the movie his white hair is the result of him being seventy-something years old. Justified, since the movies don't have the comics' sliding timescale or the multiple instances of him being de-aged and re-aged and had to make him the realistic age of a Holocaust survivor.
      • This gets rectified when you see him in First Class.
  • All There in the Script: Some characters are never named.
  • Anti-Hero: Wolverine.
  • Anti-Villain: Magneto honestly believes what he's doing is in mutants' best interest.
  • Audible Sharpness: * SNIKT!*
  • Badass: Plenty, particularly in the Wolverine spinoffs (Victor Creed, Gambit, Deadpool...)
    • Deadpool gets to be even more badass in his own spinoffs.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sabretooth has had one in both his appearances.
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: Magneto is very fond of this one - in X2 he reverses Stryker's machine to target humans rather than mutants, and in First Class he throws the US and Soviet navies' own missiles back at them. Threatening to shoot cops with their own guns in the first X-Men movie may also qualify
  • Big Bad: Magneto and William Stryker alternate between the four movies. In First Class it's Sebastian Shaw.
  • Big Bra to Fill: All of the women.
  • Big No - Wolverine does it three times: The Last Stand: After killing Jean. Origins: When his father dies, and later when his Temporary Love Interest dies.
    • Magneto has a Big Nein in X-Men First Class.
      • Which is odd, considering he's Polish and would probably instinctively revert to that language.
      • Not really, as quite a lot of Poland's pre-World War 2 inhabitants were German-speaking (and Magneto's family had a German surname). More importantly, the word is also "Nein" in Yiddish (although pronounced slightly differently).
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • The only person in X-3 to have blood is Wolverine. Everyone else is made out of clothes and skin. People are torn to shreds without spilling a drop.
    • In First Class, Shaw's death and Xavier getting shot, as well as Azazel's massacre of the CIA agents.
  • Breakout Character: Deadpool was already popular among comics fans, but his reception in Origins has lead to him getting his own feature film, though something of the sort was probably in the works anyway.
  • Breakout Villain: Mystique. She went from being just Magneto's Dragon to being one of the key characters of the X-Men Cinematic Universe.  
  • The Cameo: Stan Lee in the first movie and The Last Stand and Apocalypse and Deadpool.
    • Patrick Stewart in OriginsWolverine.
    • Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romijn in First Class.
  • Can't Have Sex Ever: Rogue takes this to can't kiss ever.
  • Character Development: Wolverine has had the most character development throughtout the film series.
  • Civvie Spandex: Which was even ported to the early-2000s comics.
  • Code Name: Yeah, um, all of them. (Many of the characters have real names, but we haven't listed them. There's a character sheet for that.) Greatest lampshade comes in the first, when Wolverine asks Xavier:

 "Sabertooth? *looks at Ororo* Storm? *looks at Xavier* What do they call you, Wheels?"

    • First Class has a scene where the younger mutants make up code names for themselves, Charles and Erik.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Played with in just about every way possible. See the main page for details.
  • Composite Character: Some of the characters are amalgams of various mutants from the comics. Which explains weird power combinations such as Callisto.
    • Rogue in the first three movies has the comic Rogue's powers and appearance but the comic Kitty Pride's personality.
    • Stryker is a combination of the homonymous preacher from the arc "God Loves, Man Kills", and Weapon X's Professor Thornton.
    • In First Class, Angel has her comics powers but the wings of Pixie.
    • Shaw in First Class is a composite of Sebastian Shaw and Mr. Sinister, combining Shaw's powers and personality with Sinister's immortality and obsession with mutant genetics.
  • Continuity Snarl: Origins Wolverine and First Class have plenty of inconsistencies for supposed prequels, specially with each other. (also, in X2 a human Hank McCoy makes a cameo, but in The Last Stand he's blue and hairy)
    • To be Fair Wolverine and Last Stand all supposed inconsistencies can be explained away if they're thought about hard enough or if you really try to make them fit. First Class however has no such luck, to the point of many fans believing that it's a reboot rather than a prequel.
      • Examples in First Class: Charles Being Crippled in the 60s when he's shown walking in the 80s, Magneto and Charles going there separate way earlier than before, Hank's blue furry form, etc.
  • Deus Exit Machina: In the first three films, Professor X is removed from the action so his potential Story-Breaker Power doesn't resolve everything in one scene.
    • In X-Men, he is poisoned by Mystique and is in a coma for the entire final act.
    • In X2, he is subjected to illusions by Stryker's conjuring mutant son, and rescuing him is the plot.
    • In The Last Stand, he is killed by Jean Grey as she succumbs to the Phoenix.
    • Averted in First Class, where Xavier is active, but the bad guys have both Emma Frost and a telepathy-blocking helmet to counter him, and he's not as overwhelmingly powerful as in the chronologically-later films.
  • Doing in the Scientist: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, the two final films in the franchise, go with this trope. Dark Phoenix establishes that Jean Grey's additional powers come from a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force (as opposed to "the Phoenix" being just a split personality of Jean), and The New Mutants has Magik (a sorceress, hence her codename) and the Demon Bear (who is exactly that, and thus a blatantly supernatural being).  
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Weapon X facility, and arguably the X-Mansion.
  • Enemy Mine: X2 has the X-Men teaming up with Magneto and Mystique because of a greater threat to mutant kind, Wolverine has Logan and Victor teaming up to fight Weapon XI and First Class has the USSR and the US uniting against the "mutant threat."
  • Fantastic Racism: The main driving conflict of the series.
    • The attempts by non mutants to find a cure for mutants in the films and the mutants that are ashamed of their abilities leans more towards a Gay Aesop.
  • General Ripper: William Stryker.
  • Genius Bruiser: Beast.
  • Blue Skinned Babe: Mystique is this in her natural form.
  • Gainax Ending: Both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants are the Grand Finales for the X-Men Cinematic Universe (there'll be no more X-Men Cinematic Universe movies after The New Mutants), and both feature blatantly supernatural elements that are at odds with the science-based narrative of the universe as a whole (where everything before those two movies was either the result of technology or the result of mutant powers, or the result of mutant powers amplified by technology)
  • Groin Attack: Mystique to Wolverine, Wolverine to another healing mutant ("Grow those back"), and Deadpool to Colossus.
  • Hollywood Evolution: In this universe, the concept of evolution is, some people develop a random super(natural) power when they hit puberty. 
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Rogue. In a deleted scene from the first movie, she asks if Xavier can "cure" her. She takes the cure to become human in the third film.
  • Kill All Humans: In the second movie, Stryker wants to Kill All Mutants, then Magneto changes plans to Kill All Humans. In First Class, Shaw plots the extinction of humans so that mutants can replace them as the dominant species.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Wolverine gets a lot of screen time, just like in the comics. Magneto likes to point this out in every movie: "Once again, you think it's all about you."
  • Leitmotif: Mystique has a particularly exotic one that lets you know when it's really her.
    • First Class: Erik has a pretty brooding one. If you've made an enemy of him and it kicks in, things are about to get unpleasant for you.
    • Schmidt/Shaw plays a record of Edith Piaf singing La vie en rose as an establishing motif in the past and in the present of First Class.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Adamantium blades, such as Wolverine vs. Lady Deathstrike and Wolverine vs. Deadpool.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In the third movie especially.
  • Logo Joke: The first three movies feature the "X" in the Twentieth Century Fox logo fading out a fraction of a second later than the rest of the logo.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A Xavier student in X2 (implied to be Siryn), and Banshee (who is Siryn's father in the comics) in First Class.
  • Marquee Alter Ego: Mystique's default normal human form in the film trilogy is... Rebecca Romijn.
    • In First Class, it's Jennifer Lawrence. But when Magneto says he might sleep with her "in a few years", she briefly becomes Romijn.
  • Meaningful Echo: Between two movies, highlighting the difference between the Xavier School and Magneto's views on mutants. In a deleted scene from the first movie, Bobby asks Rogue her name, she says "Rogue," and he says "What's your real name?" She tells him "Marie". Then in X2, on the plane, Magneto has a conversation with Pyro:

 Magneto: What's your name?

Pyro: John

Magneto: What's your real name, John?

Pyro: Pyro.

  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Played straight with everyone else, but subverted with Psylocke in Apocalypse and Deadpool in his movies.
  • Mythology Gag: Wolverine complains about the costumes. Cyclops: "What would you prefer, yellow Spandex?" Then in First Class, the uniforms are yellow spandex (and look dreadful), and the reaction of one character is "Do we really have to wear these?"
    • The explanation for how Rogue acquired the signature strands of white hair
    • Allusions to Wolverine's past
    • The way Mystique approaches Wolverine disguised as Storm– and how he identified her– is very similar to a scene from The Dark Phoenix Saga, where a skrull named Raksor, also impersonating Storm, tried the same trick on Logan, with a similar result.
    • In the second, there is a brief exchange between Nightcrawler and Mystique who are mother and son in the comics.
    • In First Class, the helmet Erik seizes from Shaw and the repainted version in the final scene of the film resemble his helmet in the comics much more than the helmet worn by Ian McKellen, Banshee's wings are striped only to resemble the comics counterpart, and given that the movie is set in 1962, Xavier opened his school the following year... when the actual comic first debuted in 1963.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent - Xavier keeps Patrick Stewart's English accent, and Gambit doesn't sound remotely Cajun (in fact, he almost sounds like he's from Texas).
    • Somewhat justified in Gambit's case, as Louisiana and Texas, being right next to each other, share a significant degree of dialect between them.
    • While Halle Berry attempts some sort of accent in the first film, by the third she's not even trying anymore. Same with Anna Paquin and Rogue, who has a slight Southern accent in the first movie which disappears in the sequels.
    • The North Albertan bartender in X-Men Origins: Wolverine seems to be from Tennessee for some reason.
    • First Class de-accentizes Banshee and Moira.
      • Basically, if you're not Nightcrawler, you WILL lose your trademark speech pattern in the movieverse. (However, it's less glaring than you think in some cases - in the original comics, after being taught English telepathically, the X-Men are noted on-panel to have no accents. It's just that we hear that once ever, characters' talk is positively filled with random words from their own languages, and every adaptation ever keeps the accent.)
    • Also based on Mystique's origins in First Class, she probably should have gained a British accent after spending 20 years there but has none. It's kind of funny how even though they're not related British Charles's "sister" sounds completely American
  • Novelization: The second and third films have novelizations by Chris Claremont; the one for the third film shows a lot more of what's going on in Jean's head than the movie is able to, appropriate from the man who wrote the Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sometimes Hugh Jackman simply can't hide that he's Australian.
    • Michael Fassbender also lapses into his Irish origins while playing Magneto.
      • It's somewhat unavoidably noticeable if he was speaking German the moment before and he's meant to be from the Eastern bloc.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • In The Last Stand, Ellen Page as Kitty Pride. Somewhat limited screen time and perhaps the most memorable performance.
    • The Spike is pretty well remembered despite appearing in only one scene - probably because his fight with Wolvie was so cool.
    • Angel also steals the scene where defiantly refuses the cure (his father invented it out of shame). We see him three times, but all are memorable.

 Warren Worthington II: Its a better life. Its what we all want.

Angel: No. Its what you want. *bursts out the window and takes off*

    • In Wolverine Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool Note: this only counts when Reynolds is playing him, not Scott Adkins as Weapon XI).
    • In First Class, surprisingly, Wolverine, who is only in the movie for less than a minute, but whose scene also happens to be one of the funniest.
  • Opposed Mentors: Pyro in the second X Men movie had the choice between Magneto or Xavier. This is often the case with some characters in the comics too.
  • Outside Context Villain: Dark Phoenix in Dark Phoenix and the Demon Bear in The New Mutants. Both are explicitly supernatural in nature (Jean is being posssed by a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, while the Demon Bear is exactly that, a demon bear), meaning they are not based in either technology or mutations, throwing the heroes out for a loop. 
  • The Other Darrin: Sabertooth was played by Tyler Mane, a pro wrestler, in the first movie. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he was played by stage and film actor Liev Schreiber, best known in front of the camera as Shaw in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate and for the Scream movies. Kitty Pride was portrayed by three different actresses (though she's only a major character in the third).
    • Alex Burton portrays Pyro in the first movie, Aaron Stanford in the following two.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: (what did you expect?) First and second films. The DVD of the third shows it would also have it.
  • Psychic Radar: It's X-Men with Professor X. This was going to come up. Cerebro provides him with a massive boost, allowing him to mentally trace people all over the world. He knows as soon as he scans the school that Rogue has up and run away, too.
  • Retcon: In X-Men: Apocalypse, Jean manifested Phoenix powers, which mean that, like in the old universe, her Phoenix powers were just a secondary mutation. Dark Phoenix ignores this and has her Phoenix powers as a result of Jean fusing with a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force.
  • Sequel Escalation: Each film was bigger/more expensive than the previous one, which is why Fox started spinoffs instead of an X4.
  • Set Swords to Stun: Played straight with most bladed weapons in the rest of the movies, but Subverted in Deadpool, Deadpool 2 and Logan, due to all three being rated R. 
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Almost everyone in First Class, with Azazel and Riptide standing out the most.
  • Shock and Awe: Storm.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Xavier and Magneto, in the first film and in First Class, less obviously in the second film when Magneto's in his plastic prison, and alluded to again in the third at the end with that one scene with Magneto in the park with a board of chess...
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Black leather.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Cyclops. Double points for being killed by his lover! Triple points for being a Rare Male Example!
    • Vanessa in Deadpool 2, although her death is eventually undone.
    • In Wolverine, Temporary Love Interest Kayla. Then subverted when we learn her death was faked and Stryker was specifically invoking this so Logan would agree to join the Weapon X program, and double subverted when she is Stuffed Into the Fridge for real. Also, the old couple who help Logan and are killed by Agent Zero, and arguably John Wraith when he is killed by Victor.
  • Teleport Spam: Nightcrawler, Wraith, Weapon XI and Azazel all do this.
  • Truer to the Text: Dark Phoenix when compared to X-Men: The Last Stand. Jean's powers are a result of the Phoenix Force, Selene Gallio is part of the plot, and an alien race fills the same role the Shi'Ar filled in the original story from the comics. Additionally, Jean's Phoenix mode looks more like the "fire made flesh" look from the comics, rather than the corpse-like look from The Last Stand. Also, no "Cure" subplot.
  • Truer to the Spiritual Text: The Ba'di in Dark Phoenix are a much more faithful adaptation of the comic book Skrulls than the MCU Skrulls from Captain Marvel. The Ba'di are a race of ruthless shapeshifting conquerors, and Vuk in particular is much closer in characterization to the Talos of the comics than the Captain Marvel Talos. 
  • Vietnam War: Alluded to by Stryker in X2, and the intro to Wolverine.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Magneto sincerely believes he is valiantly championing a righteous cause - at least as far as mutants are concerned.
  • Winged Humanoid: Warren Wortingthon III has bird wings; Angel Salvatore has dragonfly wings.
  • Wolverine Claws, 'natch
  • World War II: The first film begins with a flashback as Jews are being herded into a concentration camp. Origins Wolverine has an even shorter one in the opening credits, Wolverine flashes back to the Hiroshima/Nagasiki bombings in the opening scene, and First Class has an extended version of the concentration camp scene from the first film.