The X-Men movie franchise dates back to a time when superhero films were more of a risky undertaking than the box office juggernauts they are today. When Fox snapped up the rights to the Marvel series, there were fears it wouldn’t take well to cinema, not least because spandex-clad mutants sounds like the stuff of bad B-movies.
The filmmakers took the bold decision to alter the character designs as seen in the comics, a move that was supported by Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, and for the most part, they successfully reimagined these heroes and villains for the big screen.
What works on the page doesn’t necessarily work well in cinema, and understanding that has been the key to the success of the X-Men film franchise, which has since grown into a fully-fledged cinematic universe. The majority of the design changes have worked well, but not all of them have been a triumph.
To help these characters make the jump from the page to the screen, concept artists draw up a series of sketches and the best ones are selected as the basis for their celluloid form. Often the powers that be select the right design, but occasionally, better alternatives have surfaced online long after the movie has hit cinemas…