They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with a unique genetic mutation, which at puberty manifested itself in extraordinary powers. In a world filled with hate and prejudice, they are feared by those who cannot accept their differences. Led by Xavier, the X-Men fight to protect a world that fears them. They are locked in a battle with former colleague and friend, Magneto, who believes humans and mutants should never co-exist.
Mutants live among the population and while their existence is feared by many, they too, fear being discovered. Two powerful mutants and old friends Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McEvoy) and Eric Lensherr (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender) have differing views over their powers. Professor X, a powerful telepath, turned his home into an educational institution called Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters where he teaches mutants to co-exist peacefully with the rest of humanity. On the other hand, Magneto, the master of magnetism, believes that mutants are superiors and should rule over normal human beings.
Another telepath and Professor X’s protégé Jean Grey (formerly Famke Janssen, now Sophie Turner) helps in running the school together with her love interest Cyclops (formerly James Marsden, now Tye Sheridan) and Storm (formerly Halle Berry, now Alexandra Shipp). Magneto’s allies include shape-shifter Mystique (formerly Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, now Jennifer Lawrence), Toad (Ray Park) and Sabretooth (Tyler Mane, now Liev Shrieber).
Aside from introducing the comic characters to the cinematic world, X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer, also features the background of how Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin) found each other and joined the X-Men. Jackman’s Wolverine became one of the most well-loved and popular characters of the franchise and went on to star in a standalone trilogy.
X-Men was followed by X2 in 2003 which delves into the backstory of Wolverine and shows the mutants under attack by a military taskforce led by Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox). He also plays a big role in making Wolverine who he is at the present time.
X-Men: The Last Stand shown in 2006 shows the growing division between mutants who either choose to be on Magneto’s side of Professor X’s side. The film also features the full power of Jean Grey as her telekinetic and telepathic abilities turn her into one of the most powerful mutants, called Phoenix.
Another series of films introduced new set of actors and actresses and a revamp of the X-Men universe in 2014 with X-Men: First Class. The fourth installment of that is scheduled to be shown in 2018.