X2: X-Men United

Release Date: May 2, 2003

I'm thinking of a finger between one and three.

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This sequel to what at the time was the biggest non-sequel opener in history brings back all the talent that participated in the blockbuster X-Men. Bryan Singer will return as the captain of this ship, as he once again wears the hat of producer and director; a writing credit is also possible, but unconfirmed at this point. All the principals return to reprise their roles, and Singer promises a batch of new mutants that will utilize a bigger budget and a more flexible shooting schedule.

The last point is really the key for the film. The biggest challenge for X-Men was to deliver a big action movie in a short period of time, a challenge that ultimately was the cause for most of the criticism regarding X-Men. A movie that was perhaps too short and didn't do enough with all its characters, X-Men still did incredibly well at the box office and pleased its hardcore and not-so-hardcore fan base. X-Men 2 will surely not face this challenge.

Based on one of the most popular comic books of all time, X-Men told the story of a group of mutants, humans whose mutant genes have given them special beyond-human capabilities, who fight for equality within a world that hates and fears them. This premise resonated well throughout different demographics, while also still attracting the hardcore fans who grew up reading the comic books. The heavy social undertones throughout the movie, which basically mirrored the ideological differences between Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were successful in being entertaining as well. The sequel will carry many of the same themes, but promises to be more robust in plot and less focused on character introduction.

Scheduled to begin filming in early 2002 in Toronto, the production will have ample time and money to better flesh out the characters introduced in X-Men. This sequel will have to stand on its own two feet and will not have any time or budgetary excuses to fall back on. The quality, however, will have very little to do with its potential success. The film will be a huge success for Fox studios and the franchise will continue to grow.

Of note: Early word has this movie scheduled for a winter 2002 release, but considering all the factors, including an incredibly crowded 2002 schedule (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and a currently slim summer 2003 season, do not be surprised if X-Men 2 gets a summer release date, for which it might be better suited. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

June 4, 2002
The Scorpion King's Kelly Hu has been cast as Anne, a mutant with human sympathies who also happens to be the sidekick to lead villain Striker. Also recently added to the cast were Aaron Stanford (of the upcoming indie film Tadpole) as the young student/mutant Pyro and veteran actor Alan Cumming in the pivotal role of Nightcrawler. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for X2: X-Men United
Main Cast Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Alan Cumming, James Marsden, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Kelly Hu
Director Bryan Singer
Screenwriter Dan Harris, Michael Dougherty, David Hayter
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating PG-13
Running Time 133 minutes
Screen Count 3,741
Awards Awards page for X2: X-Men United
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for X2: X-Men United
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Spider-Man 5/3/02114.84 119.39 3615 31769.00 31769.0 405.69 421.79 3.53
X-Men, The 7/14/0054.47 60.93 3025 18007.00 19376.7 157.30 175.97 2.89
Batman Forever 6/16/9552.78 73.16 2842 18571.00 24761.3 184.03 255.10 3.49
Lara Croft:Tomb Raider 6/15/0147.74 50.95 3308 14430.00 14813.1 131.14 139.96 2.75
Batman Returns 6/19/9247.72 69.33 2644 18048.00 25223.7 162.83 236.59 3.41
Batman and Robin 6/20/9742.87 56.31 2934 14611.00 18462.7 107.33 140.99 2.50
Batman 6/23/8942.71 64.54 2194 19467.00 28297.9 251.19 379.62 5.88



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