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February 23 2006

(SPOILER) The Astonishing Story of X-Men 3. The producer of 'X-Men 3: The Last Stand' says that the movie does incorporate elements from Joss' Astonishing X-men storylines. And the director gets asked about it in this follow up piece (movie spoilers galore in both articles).

Dave Gorder - X-Men 3 producer
Going back to the writers and the story, Gorder was asked which X-Men comics were used as source material for this new film. He replied, "There's a lot of reference from Joss Whedon's 'Astonishing X-Men.' There's some characters - Dr. Rao is a character in this movie - that's from the 'Astonishing X-Men.' And also 'Phoenix Rising' and the Phoenix comics - there will be some references to that, but mostly it's an original story. We've just taken bits and pieces of what we liked from Joss's storylines and from the Phoenix storyline."

Brett Ratner - X-Men 3 Director
It sounds like you're taking a lot of story from Joss Whedon's "Astonishing X-Men" run. Are there any other comic sources or parts from other books that you're using in this movie and if so, which ones? And also, a question for the actors - do you ever actually pick up the comic books to use as reference for your character?

BR: That's a tricky question for me…if you ask me what comic book issue [story points] refer to, I can't tell you that. But I can tell you that every single scene in this movie [has some roots in the comic]. [Screenwriters] Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg are fanatical "X-Men" fans, and if I ask them, "Well, where the hell did you get this idea from?" They'll pull out "X-Men" #127 and have a photocopy of it for me. In my office here, before I actually shot, there's a reference of every single scene in this movie from a comic. And I thought some of it was made up! And the execution of the script is so brilliant.

You know how they have a category in the Academy Awards for Screenplay and then… what is it? Adapted Script from another piece of source material? That is the hardest thing to do - an adaptation. Because the complexity of taking something from a comic that exists…and to put it into script form where it works in the movie universe is not an easy thing to do. That was an incredible education for me: to look at the scene the way it existed - for instance, the cure in the comic - and then how it manifests itself in script form…it really informed my approach to it.

Whether it be a detail of one frame of that comic that had something visual in it, it really helped me tell that story. And I think they did a brilliant job of taking those references - and if you ask me specifically which comic books, I can't tell you that - but to take it from the comic and put it into script form…it's all credible. It's all from a comic book source.

Why not just hire Joss Whedon?

And why hire a hack like Brett Ratner at all?

It looks like X3: The Last Stand will be one movie too far (and who decided the franchise needed a movie subtitle now?)
Well, X2 was X-Men United. If they're smart, they'll make the X3 subtitle not really official, just as the X2 subtitle was, and rely on the X3 moniker. I'm still holding out hope that it will be a good movie.
I thought Joss said that they asked him if he was interested but he opted not to take it because of the lightning fast scheduling they'd have him on.
I don't think the idea of X3 is one movie too far, but the way they're doing it (set-in-stone schedule [yes, the reason Joss passed], uninspired story, and most of all, hack director) sure sets it up to spoil what has been a wonderful franchise.
Oh, c'mon, lay off Ratner. He's never going to win an Oscar, but he's competent enough behind the camera. The quality of his films usually comes down to how decent the screenplay is -- which is what worries me here, since we have the unholy crossing of the writers of Fantastic Four and Elektra.
Im kinda glad Joss isn't working on the X Men movie. He'd probably change the way the film has been, into something that it shouldn't.

Not to say he'd do a bad job, just that it would be too different to what has been set.

I have the same problem with Astonishing X Men aswell :/
I've added another link which has Brett Ratner talking about the comic book influence.
I guess Joss'll be flattered by this?....? Haven't read Astonishing, so least anything they lifted will come as a surprise.

Still hopeful that this won't kill the franchise. Maybe Singer can come back for X-Men 4 assuming it happens. While it feel like Spider-Man movies are almost guaranteed to continue for as long as the studio wants them to ('cause I just can't see a Spider-Man flick not turning an enormous profit), I can't see other Marvel properties being as much of a sure thing. Sure would like another Hulk or two though, from Ang Lee again or another favorite director. Maybe with Brokeback's success...
jam2: I have a LOT of worries about X-Men 3. But " ninspired story" isn't one of them, since the main story elements (Dark Phoenix and Joss' cure storyline) are great. Of course the big big question is, how will the execution be?
The chances of there being an X4 seem to be getting slimmer. From all the comments i've read lately it looks like they want to treat this franchise as a trilogy and move on to Wolverine movies. No doubt that has a lot to do with cast issues.

From what i've seen so far i'm not worried about X3 at all. It seems to be shaping up to be a fantastic final X-Men movie. I can't say that i was too thrilled to hear about Brett Ratner's involvement initially but from the evidence so far i'm going to wait till i see the movie to judge and go into it without any undue bias.
Ratner's a bum, but what scares me more are the script reviews that have leaked online.

Wolverine and Storm getting all lovey?

The death of major characters that absolutely should not die?

Unless things were changed for the shooting draft, I fear this movie's going to disrespect the "X" universe something fierce.

The death of major characters that absolutely should not die?

Yes, that's awful... exactly as awful as Serenity would have been if Joss had killed Wash in it!

The movie storyline is not and should not be restricted to what happened in the comics, in my opinion. Doing so would limit the potential of the movies to tell a good story within the boundaries of it's self contained reality.

Personally i like the variation from the comics. It adds that element of individuality to the story. I've read the comics already, i want something a little different from the movies.
"Wolverine and Storm getting all lovey?"

Like early in Chris Claremont's current run on Uncanny X-Men?

"The death of major characters that absolutely should not die?"

Like Jean Grey, Colossus, Cypher, Warlock, Thunderbird, Professor Xavier, Magneto, Madrox the Multiple Man, Mimic, Blink, Psylocke, Synch, Skin, Moira MacTaggart, Robert Kelly, Graydon Creed, Magik (and practically everyone else even distantly related to Colossus) and a recently dead character with decades of X-history that I won't mention to prevent spoilerage? (And that's only counting people who stayed dead a significant period of time.)

I'm no fan of Storm/Wolverine, but it's not disrespectful to the comics.

Unless they kill off Rogue in X3. Then it'll just be disrespectful. Because... they can't do that. So there. :-P
Eh even if it's complete crap I'll be there to see it opening day and I'll tell you why with 2 words: Fastball Special.
As per Chris Claremont's current run on "Uncanny" ... the less said about that the better, as well.

And, let's face it, death in the funny books and death on the big screen are two entirely different things. In the former, it's easy-peasy for a character dead and buried to rejoin the living, no questions asked. But on the big screen, it would come across as fairly ridiculous (with the notable exception of Jean Grey).

So I just can't understand why they're killing off characters that are essentially the backbone of a franchise that could continue for a long time. (Hey, maybe Joss would consider "X4." But if he doesn't have the appropriate characters to play with...)
With all that said, war_marchine makes a good point.
And now that I think about it, I can't remember Wolverine and Storm hooking up in Claremont's current run. (Of course, with my memory, that doesn't mean it didn't happen.) I do recall Storm and Nightcrawler feeling all tingly in their nethers for each other.
I don't know that resurrecting a character in a movie based upon a comic book franchise that is famous for bringing it's characters back from the dead would be that much of a stretch. Just because it's a movie doesn't change the source material.

However, like i said above, it isn't looking extremely likely that X4 will even happen so i'd rather see a good dramatic end to the trilogy leading into Wolverine's solo story. If that involves killing off a big name character or two then so be it.
Don't be fooled. If "X3" does well enough (let's say $175+ million), "X4" is a lock. Studio execs aren't known for turning down money so that a story can have a natural ending.
Oh, i appreciate that, bobtaylor. However, from what i understand they seem to be happier turning the franchise into "Wolverine" rather than "X-Men" due to the continuing difficulty of scheduling around all of the current cast. Not to mention trying to service the needs of the various actors, regarding desired time onscreen and importance to the storyline.

Having X3 end that trilogy and starting a "new" franchise with just Logan means that the only actor they have to guarantee is Hugh Jackman. They can include other X-Men characters or not as they then wish. Much easier to work around.
Yeah, Vampire, what you say makes sense. But, still, what's even better than one franchise? Two franchises!!! And it seems to me that there are so many good characters in this universe, you could continue the main franchise by just bringing in new characters when other characters are retired (because the actors want to leave the series, the story arcs have dried up, or whatever).

Except, for that plan to work, there are a couple of characters -- especially one -- that should remain a living part of the universe.

We'll see what happens. Things could have changed for the shooting script.
Well, another current rumour that has been getting a lot of coverage is that Magneto may well get a solo movie too so there may well be two X-Men related franchises going ahead at the same time, just not X-Men team specific.

Like you say though, wait and see what happens. This is the movie business, after all! ;)
With all that said, war_marchine makes a good point.

It's clear to me bob that you are a very intelligent and reasonable chap. ;)

Wolverine and Storm hooked up in the 90's cartoon. It was an episode about Legion and in this alternate universe Wolverine and Storm were hot and heavy.

Also in the current run of Ultimate X-Men they are dating. Whether you take the Ultimate universe as canon is up to you though.
Thanks for the background, machine.

No, I don't read "Ultimate X-Men." When it first started, I didn't like the first run of issues, so I quickly gave up on it. I only see those characters when they cross over into "Ultimate Spider-Man."

Despite "Ultimate" continuity and alternate cartoon universes, a Logan/Ororo love affair in "X3" reeks of marketing department interference rather than taking these characters where they need to go.
A little OT, but does anyone know if Beast is the only new addition in X3? Wasn't Gambit supposed to come in too?
Ultimate X-Men got better once the Ultimate universe became more fleshed out. Bendis came on to write some issues and was followed by the excellent Brian K Vaughn. Robert Kirkman just started his
run and though I'm a big Kirkman fan it's so far felt a little blah but I'm getting way off topic now.
A little OT, but does anyone know if Beast is the only new addition in X3? Wasn't Gambit supposed to come in too?
No sign of Gambit sadly (he's my favourite X-Men character, though I'm kind of glad since they've got so many characters already they'd almost certainly end up short-changing him). There is a beefed up role for Kitty (who only made minor apperances in the previous films) and Warren Worthington/Angel is also in. Don't know how big his role is though.

EDIT for spelling and grammar.

[ edited by Paul_Rocks on 2006-02-23 18:16 ]
Isnt there that arch-angel character too in X3? Anyways I am not a comic book afficianado, the first comic I got was Serenity ;). So I just have this one question, if they based alot of the source material on Joss's Astonishing Xmen series, will he get credit for it? Does he get paid somewhat in royalties etc? Or, because its "loosely" based on the comics, they don't have to pay him etc. How does this work? I am just curious, because I would very much like to see Joss credited for the influence on this movie or at least compensated.
Hi. The X-Men are cool. In pretty much... whatever form. I take what I can get. I've heard of these movies being made since I was a child, so I'm stoked that they're still being made. And I've gotten over any sort of changes, because I've started reading comics... and... there are no rules. Comics can change anything they want, so I've started to believe the same is true with the movie adaptations.

Marvel as a company owns the rights to all X-Men characters and stories, no matter who originally wrote them, so they're the only ones getting a paycheck out of it.

As for crediting, it's usually a comic's original creators that are credited when a movie is based on their work, although I'm not sure if that's an honorary thing or there are actual Writer's Guild rules concerning the matter.

The crediting is not necessarily unfair, since movies based on comic books are stitched together from a variety of source material. "X3" features plot points not only from Joss' story but also Chris Claremont's Dark Phoenix epic and god only knows what else.

Much of "X2," incidentally, was taken from the "God Loves, Man Kills" story arc, originally written by Claremont.
Also in the current run of Ultimate X-Men they are dating. Whether you take the Ultimate universe as canon is up to you though.

How does this impact the fact that Marvel is hyping Storm's upcoming wedding to the Black Panther?

Much of "X2," incidentally, was taken from the "God Loves, Man Kills" story arc, originally written by Claremont.

No offense to CC, but this is just further reminder of how good he was before Marvel crushed his spirit. I can't even read his new stuff.
I don't imagine that the events in the Ultimate books will effect the Storm/Black Panther storyline in the true Marvel Universe in any way, zeitgeist. They are two entirely seperate versions of the characters.

From what Joe Q has always maintained the Ultimate books are not even to be considered an alternate reality to the real MU. Simply a completely new version of the stories seen before.

My nephew buys the UK reprints of the Ultimate Spidey and X-Men books. I occasionally read them just to see what the fuss is about and whether i think they live up to the original versions at all. Let's just say that i won't be giving up on the real Marvel Universe characters anytime soon! ;)
what's even better than one franchise? Two franchises!!!

What would the collective noun for franchises be ? A 'greed of franchises' maybe ? A 'hackery of franchises' ?

I'm a bit skeptical about X3, even tho' it's got some good story elements, in large part because of the rushed schedule. I hope it's good tho' and, more importantly (to me), does well, so that the Wolverine solo movie doesn't get shelved. It'd be nice to have a great trilogy of X movies but if I have to settle for the two Singer ones plus one that we can Highlander-2 out of existence then so be it (i'm definitely looking forward to 'Superman Returns' more).
Would you believe I somehow completely failed to notice the word Ultimate in the post that I even quoted? Whee... more sleep must I get ;) Anyone willing to work for brownie points vetting my post for errors a three year old would catch. Ha!
Oh, how i wish we really could erase Highlander 2 from existence. I adore that franchise but even i can't forgive that mess of a botched idea.

If ever there was a great example of why you should never try to mix a fantasy concept with science fiction elements, that would be it!

Immortals were actually aliens and Connor MacLeod was born with that name (not to mention a bad scottish accent) on another world! Riiiiiiight! :p
I looked at the development of X3 with lingering dread. I loved the first two; great stories with great characters, made even better by Bryan Singer's visual flair.

...Then Singer dropped out to go helm Superman Returns, a movie that I thought should've been shelved in the first place. The Superman movies had their run back in the late 70's and early 80's, and the first two were the only ones that anyone actually gave a shit about. But Singer had gained my trust with his two X-Men bonanzas. Then came the news that Eva Marie Saint had been cast as Martha Kent, and that Kevin Spacey was to play Lex Luthor. All seemed well and good.

This all happened while X3 seemed to be crumbling into oblivion. Matthew Vaughn was signed on as director, and never having seen Layer Cake, I was skeptical (actually seeing the film--derivative and flashy junk that it was--some time later did not do anything to quell those fears). Then Vaughn dropped out for family reasons, and Brett Ratner signed on. My soul almost died the day that news broke. Brett Ratner, the genius behind Rush Hour 2. Eventually I remembered Red Dragon, and how I had enjoyed that, but I was still depressed.

Then came the laughable production photos from Superman Returns. Also came the worrisome Beast make-up from the X3 set.

But all of that was settled when the teasers arrived. Both held surprises. Superman Returns' teaser sucked. Despite the usage of John Williams' classic theme, a sadness crept into my heart. The use of Marlon Brando's previous performances as Jor-El for the new film had always seemed like a cheap gimmick to me, and the teaser only proved that. Add to that unexciting imagery and a coating of cheese, and what was had that day was a severe bout of disappointment (not to mention that I saw it before Goblet of Fire, and that movie left me near suicidal). X3's teaser was brilliant. With a nice war beat, great imagery, and something that actually made me respect Brett Ratner...I was in Heaven. Completely unexpected Heaven. Everything since the teaser has just made me happier and happier. Hearing Kelsey Grammer talk about his character, seeing the new posters...everything looks fantastic. And Ben Foster, so great on Six Feet Under, playing Angel is magnificent.

While I'm not too entirely pleased with the film's new title, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, I am eagerly anticipating it. As for Superman Returns, I'll probably end up seeing it, but I am not looking forward to it at all.

Then again, this is coming from the guy who though Peter Jackson's King Kong remake was a weak revision of the classic 1933 film, and who thought A History of Violence was one of the most mediocre films of 2005. Take my two cents however you wanna.
The wise thing for this franchise would be for them to finish this trilogy, then separate each of the principals and give them each a film with the option to do a trilogy IF the first film takes off.

Patrick Stewart could helm a Professor Xavier vehicle that would be a storyline based loosely on his trist with Lilandra Narmani and the whole New Mutants thing. Actually, Xavier's whole 'origin' story and early meetings with the man who became Magneto would be fun, but that alone wouldn't be suitable for Stewart. If they end X-Men 3 with Xavier in space heading back to Earth alone assuming that all the other X-Men are dead, then they could introduce Lilandra Narmani before he gets to Earth, and Cannonball, Mirage, Wolvesbane, Warlock, and Sunspot after he arrives. Then they could have a second X-Men-LIKE franchise in their hands. Work in Collossus, Majik, and Kitty and no one's gonna notice the others are absent.

The Wolverine franchise is a lock, provided Hugh Jackman plays him because the fanbase is large. The storyline? You gotta ask?

I don't personally think there's enough meat with characters like Cyclops or Phoenix to do standalone stories. Although a movie-continuity approach to the X-Force storyline might work. I just don't think there's a big enough market for it.

The character of Storm has a lot of potential, but not under the current production company. They don't know what to do with her. I'm reminded of an awesome storyline where Storm was in the sewers with the Morrlocks and she fought Callista for control of them and when she became their leader she set them free - great storyline. That'd make a good movie.

Anyone other than Halle Berry would need to take on the wig. Halle is a great actress don't get me wrong. However, as Ororo she's completely out of her depth, and I've yet to see enough meat put on that particular bone. "Do you know what happens to a frog that gets struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else." Sw-what?? WTF was that all about?

Y'know what WOULD work though? A tongue in cheek dark action comedy that featured both Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), at first on opposing sides, then they'd have to team up for mutually beneficial reasons, then Mystique turns on Nightcrawler towards the end to a final showdown, where Nightcrawler beats the crap out of her. This wouldn't be more than a one-off but would be a lot of fun, except for Cumming & Romijn, who would have to do those makeup jobs again. In fact I doubt Cumming will ever sign on the dotted line for Nightcrawler again no matter how much money you throw at him, so just hire somebody else.

The thing is though: Except definitely Stewart, Jackman, probably McKellen, and perhaps Paquin, I think you could recast any of these other roles. Especially Storm, Cyclops and Iceman. Those actors just have not made an imprint on the role any moreso than Kristy Swanson did for Buffy. Stewart was BORN to play Xavier and it will be his to take or leave until his death. Same for Jackman. McKellen has an approach to Magneto that no other living actor can match, but a handful of living actors could still take Magneto and re-envision him with varying potential levels of success.

Paquin is not the Rogue I wanted to see in X-Men. I wanted to see the bad girl Rogue who was Mystique's friend, and who stole Ms. Marvel's powers and then slowly learned through grief and guilt the difference between right and wrong. However, I have learned to appreciate the Rogue that Paquin has presented in X-Men, even if she's more like Kitty Pryde than the Anna Marie of the comics. There is room to do a storyline between a more mature Rogue and a Mystique who takes her under her wing. This'd be kinda the reverse of the comics where Rogue started as a bad guy and reformed, but all the elements would be there. I'm afraid though that telling a movie version of Rogue w/o other X-Men in tow would be like the recent attempt to do a Catwoman movie w/o having Batman & Robin in tow, or that horrid and thankfully short-lived tv series about The Huntress, again without the dynamic duo from which she spun.

To make a long story short (TOO LATE!) if they played their cards right the movie house wouldn't have just Wolverine and X-Men. They could have a number of franchises, each featuring one or two key players as leads, thus simplifying the schedule conflicts. No more would an X-Men movie be dependent on getting the whole crew together. You'd just need one or two principals, and then a host of B-talent.
Not a bad Scottish accent VWaG an extremely good alien accent which happened to sound veerrry slightly Scottish at some points ;).

Unpluggedcrazy, the X3 teaser wasn't bad but I thought the Superman one was excellent, Brando, Williams, all superb. And some purty pictures to boot. I'll definitely see them both and hope to be pleasantly surprised by X3 and equally pleasantly vindicated by Superman Returns (plus I liked 'A History of Violence' a great deal tho' I agree about Kong so you can keep about 1 and 1/3 cents ;).

Who knew 6'2" Aussie Hugh Jackman would fit so brilliantly into 5'3" Canadian Wolverine's shoes but fit he did (you know what they say about big feet). And Stewart and McKellan, in fact the whole cast are excellent (except possibly Berry but tho' her delivery was off the toad/lightning line was all Joss so let's share the grief a bit ;). The rushed script worries me tho' as does Ratner so i'm in the wait and see camp.
ZachsMind, i never knew you had such a great knowledge of Marvel's merry mutants. Live and learn.

I pretty much agree with you on all points made, particularly your idea for an Xavier movie. Any movie version of the New Mutants would make me happy. In relation to what you said about Rogue though, i remember reading that she was the character that caused the most problems for the transition to the movie format. Her Ms. Marvel based powers had to be removed due to the decision to distance the movie version of the X-Men from all other Marvel Universe elements. No superhumans in the movie X-Men world obviously meant a radical reworking for Rogue.

Personally i never understood why they couldn't just have created a whole new mutant character that could have fulfilled the role Ms. Marvel played in the storyline and had Rogue simply absorb the strength, flight and invulnerability from him/her instead. I suppose they deemed those elements of her power as being unimportant to the storyline.

Oh, c'mon, lay off Ratner. He's never going to win an Oscar, but he's competent enough behind the camera.

Yes, let's just blame the scripts of all the films he's ever made. That's the easiest thing to do.
"about Rogue though, i remember reading that she was the character that caused the most problems..."

Yeah. And my answer to that has always been, why go with Rogue then, if you could have just used Kity Pryde? Because let's face it, what they essentially did especially in the first movie was take the powers of Rogue and apply them to a character with young Kitty Pryde's personality (who was always my favorite).

At first I didn't warm up to the movie Rogue, feeling slighted that my favorite character was essentially replaced by a Rogue copy. However, Anna Paquin's performance has been sincere and entertaining. Can't slight her impressive effort due to the producers being jerks.
Well, i suppose the obvious answer to "why not have used Shadowcat instead" would be that it would have had to have been an entirely different movie, had they done so.

Magneto's interest in pursuing Rogue was in her ability to channel his power, something that was central to the entire movie, including the payoff. Obviously Kitty wouldn't have been able to do what Rogue did and therefore the entire movie would have been something very different to what we saw. Couple that with the fact that Rogue is a fan favourite and was always going to be a central character in any X-Men movie that got made and you are left with the inevitable decision to use Rogue but in a slightly different form to how we know her in the comics.

Not necessarily a decision that was going to be to the taste of every fan, myself included as i thought that the character was a little too diminished in the movie compared to her comic book self, but probably the only way they could realistically go to please as many as possible.
...that's because they gambled that Kitty Pryde fans would be satisfied with a character that was like Kitty but without her name (since with Ariel and Shadowcat and goodness knows what else Kitty's name has often been kinda unimportant regarding her character) and they gambled that Rogue fans would be satisfied if the NAME was used but not the character, or her affiliation with Ms. Marvel.

When they mentioned Kitty briefly in both the first and second movies I again took that as an insult at first (especially the first movie) but I got over it.


Oh, i don't know. I don't think that they really gambled anything at all in relation to including Kitty in the movie or not. Sure, she is a relatively popular character but hardly one that was a sure thing for inclusion. Characters like Beast and Gambit were way more important to the larger X-Men audience at the time of the first movie and neither one of them got so much as a mention. There was only a minor, fan pleasing mention of Remy in X2, if i remember correctly.

Whilst i've always been a big fan of Kitty Pryde i think that there are many characters that were more likely to have been a real consideration for the movie writers to include than her. Certainly in central roles. The fact that Rogue's adapted character in the movie took on a similar kind of role to Kitty in the comics (young female mutant, close to Logan and new to the world of the X-Men) was coincidental and more likely a natural result of the recreation of the Rogue character than a direct intention to please Kitty Pryde fans, in my honest opinion.
ZachsMind, as much as I liked the Phoenix Saga in the cartoon (and obviously you're implying they'd have to bring Lilandra into the story a different way, since Phoenix is already being done in X3 and most likely won't turn out to be an alien/supernatural entity of its own), do you really think Xavier should go to space? Or that this film franchise should involve space/aliens at all?

I've always gotten the impression that in the comics, the reason they did those crazy, sometimes wonderful/often awful combinations of fantasy/sci-fi/space opera was simply because they could. Because there is no effects budget to worry about and, in the case of the cartoon, the consideration is pretty much the same--as long as the artists/animators can create it. When you really think about it though, X-Men would've been just as great a franchise if they only ever stuck with mutants as the only alternate race, if they were stuck earthbound for the entire series. There's a lot to play with in just that sandbox alone.

Unless X-Men lasts for like ten films or so, I don't see any reason to introduce space and aliens. It would probably be getting a bit too big for itself and, frankly, it'd turn off a lot of viewers. Especially those who love the films but would be scared off by any more weirdness.

And I worry it'd just be unavoidable cheese. The Phoenix Saga/M'Kraan Crystal arc never would've translated directly from the comics or cartoon to live action and I can't really see a way to have people take it seriously or not have it come off as fairly derivative of other apocalyptic space operas. And Xavier going on a mission just to bring Lilandra into the story would be a waste of time and more than a little ridiculous, especially when they could simply make up a human character of the same temperment (and even position, more or less, if they wanted her to be a president or prime minister of one of the more powerful nations in the world) and give her the same name if they wanted.
Vampire with a Gun said:
"There was only a minor, fan pleasing mention of Remy in X2, if i remember correctly."

When Mystique has broken into one of Stryker's facilities and is going through some files to find out info (I think about the plastic prison that Magneto's being held in), she briefly scans a database of mutant names and Remy Lebeau is in there. I'm pretty sure that's one of them, heard it mentioned enough as one--but I've never paused the screen to check for sure.

Another instance that you can barely see is, Gambit's actually on-screen when Xavier is being mind-controlled by Stryker's son. When he's being instructed to kill all the mutants and you can see a bunch of randoms people all red-looking due to Cerebro's graphics, he's in there. They cast one of the stunt men and from what I remember, he looked the part very well. There's his page.
Kris, i was actually talking about the first instance you mentioned, where Mystique was going through the computer files and Remy's name is shown. I'd not noticed the actual physical appearance of the character during the Cerebro scene. I'll be looking out for that next time i watch X2, so thanks! :)
"do you really think Xavier should go to space? Or that this film franchise should involve space/aliens at all?"

Do you really think they can do the Phoenix Saga justice and NOT go out into space?

I mean Jean starts blowing up planets and destroying entire civilizations under the misimpression she's doing the right thing. She starts playing god and the other X-Men have to stop her.

Or am I remembering the whole Phoenix Saga thing wrong? It's been awhile since I read the comics, but some of the X-Men DID go out in space didn't they? They had to go after Phoenix. I remember it being a significant part of the plot. And isn't that how the professor meets his babe? I also remember Lilandra somehow helping him to walk again... Or maybe I just dreamed all this...?

Maybe Lilandra has to be introduced in X3, then would continue with Patrick Stewart in the Professor X spinoff. In a perfect world.
So far I think the films have been a pretty nice blend of made up stories and mythos, and this current one seems to be doing even more of that all which is kind of cool. I actually like their made up version of Rogue even if she is sometimes inconsistent in comparison to the adopted daughter of a shapeshifter who steals superpowers as a former villain and punches things. Some changes (like that theorized death, or tertiary characters of minority background are all of a sudden villains) I don't quite agree with though.

However, I'm really angry about the director mostly since the Rush Hour series I consider an insult to intelligence in general. And Asian minorities but that isn't necessarily as prominent (aside from the fact that pretty much all the Asians in the film aside from Jackie Chan are evil, and he's getting paid LESS in the third film than Chris Tucker is... -_-). Whedon on the other hand may have been slightly more willing to stick to the previously established film's choices but still take the source characterization into consideration.
The problem with the space portion of the Phoenix storyline is that they've already cut that out of the story. She became Phoenix because they were in space..well that didn't happen in X2. They're going with a more evolved mutation story rather than a mystical enity possessing Jean.
As eddy already suggested, the difficulty with the space part of the Phoenix Saga is the same as the problem they had with the Ms. Marvel part of the Rogue story.

The movies have been forced to limit exactly what they use from the larger Marvel Universe due to those with the money wanting them to be non-comic fan friendly. Throwing in elements like the Shi'ar Empire and the rest of the space related elements seen in the storyline would seriously confuse anyone not familiar with about forty years of Marvel Universe history.

Again, i personally wish that the movies could have been made specifically for the true, dedicated X-Men fans who know the story back to front but given that this would probably have meant that they would have lost half of the potential audience by over complicating the story for them i can appreciate why they went the way they did. Hopefully there will be enough of the feel of the Phoenix Saga left in the movie to do the source material justice.

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