Why is the first X-Men movie so important to the rebirth of superhero genre

After the poor reviews and terrible response from the fans of Batman and Robin movie in 1997, it put the superhero genre in limbo. It put such superhero movies in development such as Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Superman, etc.. either delayed or put in development hell.

Then Fox asked an unlikely person to direct X-Men, Bryan Singer, a director who was known at that time for directing The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil. Singer then took even more risks during pre-production of the movie with the cast of actors he assembled, not using the costume look of the comics, and with a script that took elements from different X-Men comic book storylines and characters to create something unique and different that would change the genre forever.

When the movie was finally released in July 2000, it was critically acclaimed by both critics and audiences and-resurrected the superhero genre. Movies like The Punisher, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Batman, etc.. were put back into active development at different movie studios.  The resurrection of the superhero movie genre took time as in the next few years, only Spider-man 1 and 2 and X2 were successful by both audiences and critics. All of that changed with Batman Begins and set the bar even higher for superhero movies afterwards.

16 years later (2016), superhero movies are now viewed in a much different light than the superhero movies of the 1970’s to 1990’s. They are taken much more seriously than being labeled as goofy or campy with the exception of Batman and Batman Returns. Some of the movies are dark in tone like The Dark Knight or Man of Steel and some of them are light in nature such as Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel and DC have their own movie universes. Fox has the X-Men movie universe. DC has even their own animated direct to DVD movie universe.

As a superhero fan, I am thankful for the first X-Men movie and why I think that it’s more important than Batman Begins or Iron Man in resurrecting the superhero movie genre.  Thank you so much for reading…


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