Earlier this week, Fox’s X-Men movie series came to an end with the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, drawing a close to two decades of live-action adventures. Sure, we may get one more X-movie, in the shape of the long delayed super hero horror movie, The New Mutants, but for now it’s pretty much the end of the road.
As a fan of X-Men comics (they were my jam during the ’90s) and a fan of these movies, I’m sad to see them go. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see the X-Men get rebooted and incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it still doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss this movie universe.
As this series has progressed it has taken on a life of its own, stretching across spin-offs, prequels, soft reboots, sequels and TV shows. It may not have been quite as successful as the MCU, but it’s been a consistent face of super hero cinema.
Anyway, this got me thinking about this film series and how and when I watched each entry. So, below is a list of all the movies (and TV shows), along with my memories associated with each one.
Generation X (1996) – For Fox’s first attempt at adapting the X-Universe it was a small screen affair via the US TV movie, Generation X. This movie didn’t get a TV screening in the UK, but it did find it’s way onto VHS.
Our local video rental store had one copy, so as soon as I had the chance to see it I asked my brother to rent it for me. He did and this was my first step into live-action X-Men stories.
Generation X was a bad TV movie, so this was not a good start to live-action adaptations. However, this TV movie at least proved that the X-Men could be turned into live-action – just not like this.
X-Men (2000) – I saw this movie opening weekend and I can tell you now, I was very, VERY excited. It was summer 2000 and I will never forget going to see this film as it was a Saturday afternoon screening and I went with my mother.
I had recently started a new job and she picked me up from work to drive us to the cinema. On the drive to the cinema my mother told me that she and my dad were getting a divorce. We talked it over, then went to the cinema and watched the movie.
Me and my mum have always been pretty close, but I think having the ‘divorce’ conversation before seeing X-Men brought us closer. Sitting down to watch the movie with her – a movie that meant so much to me as a huge X-Men fan – demonstrated that life would go on and things would be fine post-divorce.
X2 (2003) – I saw X2 with one of my best friends. It was a Saturday afternoon screening, it was very busy and I LOVED the movie.
I watched this film not long before I quit the job I was working when I saw X-Men. I quit my job because I was moving away to university.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) – By the time this X-Men movie hit cinema screens I was in my final year of university and I watched the film on my own during its opening day. I then went back to the cinema later that evening to watch it with my then boyfriend.
At the time X-Men: The Last Stand was released, it looked like this would be the final X-Men movie. This was clearly not the case.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – I saw this movie on its opening day in a fairly packed cinema. I was (briefly) living in a new city at the time and attending college.*
*Yes, I did attend college a few years after university. Yes, I am aware that attending college after university is a little out of the ordinary.
X-Men: First Class (2011) – I watched X-Men: First Class on opening night, with friends (and possibly an ex). I wasn’t expecting much from this ‘prequel’, but was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was.
The Wolverine (2013) – I believe (I could be wrong) that I watched The Wolverine during opening weekend. I’ll be honest, I was not a fan of this movie and found it pretty boring.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – With the exception of 2000’s X-Men, I’ve never been more hyped for an X-Men movie than I was in 2014 when X-Men: Days of Future Past hit cinema screens.
I watched this film with my boyfriend (who is now my husband), and one of my friends. I loved every minute of this film.
Deadpool (2015) – The first attempt to watch Deadpool was met with failure. Me and my husband (who was still my boyfriend at the time) attempted to watch this movie on the first Friday night of its release and it was completely sold out.
Our second (and more successful) attempt was two days later when we got to watch a Sunday afternoon screening. We both loved the film.
X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) – I watched X-Men: Apocalypse with the husband (still my boyfriend at the time) during opening night. He liked it and I loathed it.
Logan (2017) – It was yet another opening night screening and me and the hubby went to watch Logan at the local cinema. We both liked it but we weren’t 100% sold on it.
A couple of weeks later we saw it a second time, this time with his mum. Upon exiting that second screening we both said how much we really enjoyed it.
Logan is now one of my all-time favourite comic book movies.
Legion (2017) – In 2017, Fox launched the first X-Men TV spin-off, Legion. I watched the opening episode when it premiered in the UK and thought it was a bit too weird for its own good.
A few months passed before I returned to the series, this time to watch the whole first season in one sitting. Once I got into the tone of the series I liked it much better and could see it for what it was.
The Gifted (2017) – TV series number two was The Gifted. Again, I watched the first episode when it premiered in the UK.
This time around I really enjoyed what was on offer and continued to tune in every week as episodes aired – a rarity for me. I stuck with the show until it’s demise in early 2019, blogging about each episode as it aired.
Deadpool 2 (2018) – Opening weekend at the local cinema with my husband. The movie was being shown pretty much on the hour (and throughout the night) as a result of the popularity of Avengers: Infinity War, which had been so popular it prompted around the clock screenings.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) – And finally, I watched X-Men: Dark Phoenix on Wednesday of this week, which was the film’s opening day in the UK. The screening was pretty much sold out.
And that’s it. I’ve been there ready and waiting to watch each new entry as it has been released.
I expect The New Mutants will get released at some point – probably on the Disney streaming service – but for now this really feels like the end.
It’s been a fun journey and one that has been present in my life for such a long time. Generation X came out in ’96, when I was around 15 and I’m 37 now (38 later in the year).
From a young comic book fan dreaming about X-Men movies to seeing them periodically throughout significant years of my life, it’ll be odd not seeing a new X-movie for a while. Hopefully Marvel Studios/Disney won’t bench the series for too long.
So, that was my journey – how about yours?
Have you followed the X-Men movie series from the start? If so, do you remember where you were when each new entry dropped?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.