15It Pioneered the Modern Comic Book Movie
In the mid-’90s, Marvel Entertainment Group found itself on the brink of financial ruin. The media juggernaut had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing money through the declining sales of their comic book and trading card properties. As a last resort, they agreed to sell the exclusive
movie rights of their X-Men characters to 20th Century Fox, brokering the deal which would lead to the first major comic book adaptation of the modern superhero movie era.
Prior to 2000, the face of the comic book movie was primarily DC. Fans had familiarized themselves with Richard Donner’s Superman and Tim Burton’s Batman, but a big ensemble cast of heroes still felt light years away. Although other comic book alum had crept their way into the mainstream with films like Blade and Spawn, superheroes were still considered too unrealistic to break ground in a major way. What director Bryan Singer would do with X-Men permanently changed that outlook, grounding his cast in a real world setting that didn't feel too distant from our own. It was the start of bigger productions branching out from Singer’s success, including such hits as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy as well as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films.