Before Marvel Studios existed as an independent studio, and before Sony even began the Spider-Man franchise, there was one movie which kickstarted the genre, proving to the world that comic book movies with superheroes (in costume) could dominate the box office: X-Men.
Since the debut of Bryan Singer's story about mutants back in 2000, the X-Men film franchise has continued on with the release of four additional films, and two more in development, beginning with The Wolverine next July, and X-Men: Days of Future Past the following year. Bryan Singer has just officially stepped in as director of Days of Future Past and he's bringing with him costume designer Louise Mingenbach.
Having worked with Singer on many of his past films, including X-Men 1 & 2, Apt Pupil, Superman Returns, The Usual Suspects and even the pilot of House for which Singer directed, Mingenbach brings with her plenty of experience and know-how with the comic book movie genre. When the first production images came out for X-Men, like with most movies involving adapting costumes from comic books, there was fan uproar over the black leather, seemingly Matrix-inspired designs. It even reached a point where the books themselves made poked fun at them, but they stuck around for the entire X-Men trilogy, and grew to be (mostly) accepted.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn't involve the team costumes, but with Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn's quasi-prequel X-Men: First Class, costume designer Sammy Sheldon (Kick-Ass, Hellboy II: The Golden Army) embraced a retro approach in suiting up the mutant heroes. With the film set in the '60s, and being based around the origins of the X-Men team, the film utilized the classic yellow and blue designs reminiscent of the original X-Men Marvel Comics, with a hint of practicality thrown in since they were inspired by NASA and military uniforms of the era.
Comparing the above images of the casts in costume, there's an obvious disconnect in design between the time periods, and we wonder what that means for the costumes coming in the time travel-focused X-Men: Days of Future Past, since it's bringing the designer of the black leather outfits back. For the concerned, Singer tweeted the following last night:
For those of you wondering...no leather suits. #xmen
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) November 15, 2012
He's undoubtedly specifically referring to the black leather outfits, but we wonder if there will even a part of the film where everyone suits up in traditional costumes, knowing the story of X-Men: Days of Future Past from the books. We expect the film to draw ideas from that storyline but that it'll be quite a bit different in how it brings together the worlds (and casts) of First Class and the original trilogy. But I can't say I wouldn't want to see Hugh Jackman suit up in his modern costumes from the books (and they can be done in leather):
The yellow and blue, the brown and tan, and even the grey and black X-Force outfits from the comics were all unlockable costumes for Hugh Jackman in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine tie-in video game and looked great in action (the game is better than the film). Perhaps this is the one opportunity where Fox can make that happen in live-action. Do you want to see costumes faithful to the books in the next X-Men team-up mvoie?
Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Days of Future Past with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jason Flemyng, who could be joined by the return of Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore. Stay tuned!
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013 and X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.