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X-Men: The Last Stand

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X-Men: The Last Stand
58419
Director: Brett Ratner
Producer(s): Lauren Shuler Donner
Writer(s): Simon Kinberg
Zak Penn
Composer: John Powell
Running Time: 104 min
Budget: $210,000,000
Box Office: $459,359,555
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X-Men: The Last Stand is the third film of the series. Bryan Singer wanted to shoot the third film back-to-back with a fourth. On July 16, 2004, he left to direct Superman Returns, having only completed a third of a treatment focusing on Phoenix, and introducing Emma Frost, a role intended for Sigourney Weaver and Gambit intended for Keanu Reeves. In addition, Singer also wanted to showcase more characterizations of Rogue, Iceman, and Pyro. Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn were hired the following month, and a studio executive read Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men story "Gifted", featuring a mutant cure, suggested it be the primary story. Matthew Vaughn came on board as director in February 2005, but left due to the rushed production schedule. Brett Ratner took over in June, and filming began on August 2, 2005.

SynopsisEdit

In a flashback, 20 years ago:  Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr arrive at the Grey residence to meet Jean Grey for the first time. They discover her mutant abilities and the Professor wishes to teach Jean how to control them, so she joins the Professor's school.

In another flashback, 10 years ago, a young, Warren Worthington III discover's his mutant powers beginning to manifest. His father is shocked to find out that his only son is a mutant, showing what appear to be wings growing from his back.

At Xavier's School, sometime in the not too distant future: Some of the X-Men and the students are fighting in some apocalyptic battle as a training session in the Mansion's Danger Room. The members include Kitty Pryde AKA Shadowcat, Bobby Drake AKA Iceman, Peter Rasputin AKA Colossus and Rogue, lead by Storm and Wolverine. The session ends with Wolverine decapitating the head of a Sentinel robot.

Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops is still grieving over the death of Jean Grey and leaves the X-Men for a while, leaving Wolverine to cover his teaching position.

We then meet the secretary of the Department of Mutant Affairs, Hank McCoy, AKA Beast; a former member of the X-Men. He is told by the President and Trask that Magneto's right hand woman Mystique is now in custody and a cure for the mutant X-gene is currently in development.

Beast turns up at the Mansion to inform the X-Men about this mutant cure. When the cure is announced to mutants who wish to fit in with society, Rogue is very interested. She wishes to rid of her powers so she can finally touch people and continue her relationship with Iceman.

This announcement of the cure has caused an uproar to many mutants. Some wish to take it, some refuse. But Magneto believes that the cure is intended to wipe out all of mutant kind. He persuades a team called The Omegas, lead by Callisto, to help him build an army and fight to save their kind, but first he needs Mystique.

At Worthington Labs on Alcatraz Island, Beast arrives to meet the source of the cure; a young boy named Jimmy, AKA Leech.

Cyclops arrives at Alkali Lake and is stunned to find Jean Grey alive. The have a brief, tender moment until Jean suddenly and possibly kills him. 

The X-Men sense his supposed demise and head over to Alkali Lake. Wolverine and Storm show up at the Lake and find Jean Grey alive and unconscious, but no sign of Cyclops. 

Later, in the school's infirmary,  Xavier tells Logan that Jean survived with the help of a strong power called "the Phoenix." He had spent years keeping it in check to make sure the Phoenix never reemerges, or otherwise, Jean could become dangerous. Wolverine is unsure about this and stays by Jean's side.

At Worthington Labs building in San Francisco, Worthington's son Warren arrives to take the cure, but changes his mind at the last minute. He breaks free and flies away to New York with his big, feathered wings.

With the help of Callisto, Magneto is able to locate and free Mystique from a prisoner transfer truck, along with other mutants; Multiple Man and Juggernaut, who join the Brotherhood. Mystique is suddenly shot with the cure and loses her powers and is now human. Magneto abandons her since she is no longer a mutant.

At the White House, Hank McCoy resigns from the cabinet after finding out that the cure is being used as a weapon without him knowing about it. He leaves and joins the X-Men, knowing that Magneto will become a major threat.

In the school's infirmary, Jean wakes up feeling better, but Wolverine knows something was wrong. Jean has no memory of what happened to Cyclops. Her powers get worse and she escapes the Mansion.

After Magneto discovers that the Government is using the cure as a weapon, Callisto informs him that she has located a Class 5 mutant; more powerful than Magneto. Knowing that it's Jean, he plans to use her. 

Back in the infirmary, Storm and Professor X discover that Jean has escaped and they set out to find her.

The X-Men (Professor X, Storm and Wolverine) find Jean at her old childhood home, only to find Magneto and his Brotherhood also there. The Professor and Magneto go into the house to reason with Jean, but Jean doesn't listen and vaporizes the Professor. Magneto takes her away, leaving Wolverine and Storm grieving over the loss of the Professor.

After the students and the X-Men bid a final farewell to their fallen leader and mentor, Iceman takes Shadowcat ice skating to cheer her up. This upsets Rogue, believing that Iceman is more interested in Shadowcat than her, so she leaves to take the cure.

The next day in a forest somewhere, Magneto has set a huge camp for his now larger Brotherhood Army along with Jean Grey at his side.

Back in the school, Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman and Shadowcat gather to decide about the school's future. Warren turns up at the school for a place to stay. Storm decides that the school stays open. Wolverine sets off to find Jean after hearing her voice whispering in his head calling him.

Soon, the Brotherhood begin making attacks at clinics to prevent the cure from spreading to more mutants. Magneto announces to everyone that a war is coming and gives all other mutants a choice: Join him or stay out of their way.

Wolverine arrives to the forest where the Brotherhood is camped, to confront Jean. Magneto now has an army of mutants and plans to attack Worthington Labs and destroy the cure. Wolverine finally finds Jean, but is stopped by Magneto.

After the President fails an attempt to stop Magneto, the X-Men plan to take this into their own hands and stop Magneto themselves. The team now consists of Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Colossus, Shadowcat and Iceman.

The next morning in San Francisco, Magneto leads his Brotherhood to Worthington Labs. Magneto uses the full force of his powers to move the entire Golden Gate Bridge and his army over to Alcatraz Island. The battle begins, but the soldiers have the upper hand. They now use plastic guns and a lot of mutants are being cured. The guns are destroyed by Arclight and the soldiers are now losing. The X-Men arrive just in time and help the troops fight off the Brotherhood. The fight goes well until Magneto sends Juggernaut in to kill Jimmy. Shadowcat manages to slow him down and make it to Jimmy first, but his powers prevent her from phasing through the walls. Juggernaut arrives, but gets knock out when trying to get Jimmy. Storm defeats Callisto and Iceman defeats Pyro.

In the Lab, the Omegas, Psylocke, Quill and Arclight try to kill Worthington, but he is luckily saved by his son, Warren.

The X-Men finally defeat Magneto when Beast injects him with the cure; causing him to lose his powers. Before Wolverine could help Jean, more troops arrive to attack her, but they fail. Enraged, Jean unleashes the full fury of the Phoenix and destroys everything around her, including killing all the soldiers and mutants. The X-Men get away, but Wolverine is forced to kill Jean with his claws to make her stop.

The next day, everything is fine again. The mansion is reopened, Beast is now the new ambassador to the United Nations and Rogue has come back, revealing that he had taken the cure and continues her relationship with Iceman.

As for Magneto, he is now seen amongst the humans playing chess in the park like a normal person; missing his precious, magnetic abilities. The scene ends when he reaches for one of the metal chess pieces and it slightly moves by itself.

After the credits there is a scene at the hospital, where the comatose man from the video that Xavier showed his students is lying in a hospital bed. Dr. Moira MacTaggart enters the room to see the sleeping patient, only to be greeted by the Professor's voice coming from him. Dr. Moira looks towards her patient in disbelief and says "Charles?".

CastEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men films, left the project in July 2004 in favor of developing Superman Returns.[2] He was joined by X2 screenwriters Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, as well as John Ottman, composer and editor of the film. Though Singer, Harris and Dougherty did not produce a completed script, Singer revealed that at the time of his departure they had partially written a story treatment focusing on Jean Grey's resurrection,[3] which would also introduce the villain Emma Frost, a role intended for Sigourney Weaver, Gambit, a role intended for Keanu Reeves, and the Hellfire Club.[4] Frost was an empath manipulating Jean's emotions in the treatment, and like the finished film Magneto desires to control her. Overwhelmed by her powers, Jean kills herself, but Jean's spirit survives and becomes a god-like creature, which Dougherty compared to the star child in A Space Odyssey.[5]

New contracts for returning cast members were made, as the actors had signed for only two films.[6] Hugh Jackman's contract included the approval of director,[7] initially offering the position to Darren Aronofsky, with whom he had just finished filming on The Fountain.[8] Joss Whedon, whose comic book "Gifted" having been integrated in the script's plot, turned down the offer because he was working on a Wonder Woman film.[9] Rob Bowman[10] and Alex Proyas[11<] were also rumored, though Proyas personally turned it down, citing feuds with Fox president Thomas Rothman on I, Robot.[12] Zack Snyder was also approached, but he was already committed to 300.[13] In February 2005, with still no director hired, Fox announced a May 5, 2006 release date, with filming to start in July 2005.[14] They later pushed the release date three weeks for Memorial Day weekend, and signed Matthew Vaughn to direct in March 2005.[15] Vaughn cast Kelsey Grammer] as Beast and Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut, but family issues led him to withdraw before filming began.[16][17] Vaughn was also cautious of Fox wanting to rush production. "I didn't have the time to make the movie that I wanted to make. I had a vision for how it should be," Vaughn reflected in a 2007 interview, "and I wanted to make sure I was making a film as good as X-Men 2, and I knew there was no way it could be."[18]

Brett Ratner, who was previously considered as the director for X-Men in 1996, replaced Vaughn during pre-production.[17] On June 13, 2005, a review of an incomplete early draft of the screenplay posted by Drew McWeeny from Ain't It Cool News sparked controversy from fans, due to certain main characters' storylines;[19] however, that was the very first of over two dozen drafts of the script. Most notably the Golden Gate Bridge sequence was originally in the middle of the film, but Ratner decided it would create a more dramatic climax if moved to the end,[20] which was originally to take place in Washington, D.C.[21] Mutants were initially held on Alcatraz as prisoners, but Ratner changed the bridge escape in the middle to highlight the Dark Phoenix rising scene in the climax.[22][23] He also expanded Halle Berry's role as Storm. The actress stated during interviews for X2 that she would not return unless the character had a significant presence comparable to the comic book version.[24] Maggie Grace was considered for Kitty Pryde[17] before Ratner cast Ellen Page. He was impressed with her performance in Hard Candy and did not require an audition.

WritingEdit

Simon Kinberg was hired as writer for X-Men 3 in August 2004, and was joined by Zak Penn in January 2005. Kinberg wanted "The Dark Phoenix Saga" to be the emotional plot of the film, while "Gifted" would serve as the political focus.[26] Killing Cyclops was Fox's decision, based on the availability of actor James Marsden, who was cast in Singer's Superman Returns. The studio considered killing him off-screen with a dialogue reference, but Kinberg and Penn insisted that Jean kill him, emphasizing their relationship. Xavier's death was intended to match the impact of Spock's demise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as Fox felt the script called for a dramatic turning point. Kinberg and Penn were originally cautious but grew to like the idea of killing off Xavier. They decided to write a post-credits scene suggesting the character's return for a sequel.[27]

As the studio was simultaneously developing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, limitations were set on which mutants could be used for cameo appearances in X-Men 3 in an attempt to avoid risking character development for Wolverine.[28] Gambit initially appeared in the Battle of Alcatraz climax with the X-Men, but the writers did not want to introduce a fan favorite character and "not be able to do him justice." Kinberg reasoned "there just wasn't enough space."[26] Alan Cumming had been uncomfortable with the long hours he had to take with the prosthetic makeup as Nightcrawler in X2 but still planned to return for the sequel. The part for Nightcrawler was so minimal, however, that the studio felt it was not worthwhile to go through the long and costly makeup process, and the character was cut.[29] Kinberg felt that "there wasn't much left to do with the character. It also felt like he might tread a little bit on the terrain of Beast; in terms of similarities in the characters and their political standpoints in terms of dealing with their mutancy." Nightcrawler's absence was later explained in the tie-in video game.

FilmingEdit

X-Men: The Last Stand began shooting in August 2005 and ended in January 2006. Much of the film was shot at Vancouver Film Studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[29] Locations included the Hatley Park National Historic Site and Royal Roads University, which doubled for the X-Mansion.[30] According to associate producer Dave Gordon, "This is the biggest production ever filmed in Canada. It used to be X2, now it's X3."[29] The $210 million budget also made The Last Stand the most expensive film to be made at the time.[1][7][31] The film's record would be first broken by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest's $225 million budget.[32] Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Thomas Rothman and Jim Gianopulos debated whether Rogue should give Iceman a passionate kiss at the film's end or simply hold his hand. The two executives screened The Last Stand for their daughters as well as the studio's female marketing executives, and the hand holding prevailed. Gianopulos stated that the kissing "was all about sex, and we didn't want that."

Visual EffectsEdit

Eleven companies were hired for the visual effects,[34] which started in April 2005, before the director had even been announced. Special effects supervisor John Bruno estimates one sixth of the effects budget was spent on the Golden Gate Bridge scene, which employed both computer-generated imagery and a miniature of the bridge.[1] Another notable effect was "digital skin-grafting", which rejuvenated the faces of senior actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen by complex keyframing, though CGI was not used.[35]

The film has extensive wirework, where many of the actors performed some of their own stunts. The whirlwind wire-stunt performed by Halle Berry during one fight scene reportedly caused Berry to become sick.

MusicEdit

Ratner invited John Powell to write the music for being a fan of Powell's work in The Bourne Identity. Powell included references to the score from the previous two films - "it all had to be in the same family, and the same language" - and used lyrics from Benjamin Britten's Requiem Mass for the choir parts.[39] A soundtrack album was released on May 23, 2006 by Varèse Sarabande.

  1. "20 Years Ago" (1:10)
  2. "Bathroom Titles" (1:09)
  3. "The Church of Magneto, Raven is My Slave Name" (2:40)
  4. "Meet Leech, Then off to the Lake" (2:37)
  5. "Whirlpool of Love" (2:04)
  6. "Examining Jean" (1:12)
  7. "Dark Phoenix" (1:28)
  8. "Angel's Cure" (2:34)
  9. "Jean and Logan" (1:39)
  10. "Dark Phoenix Awakes" (1:45)
  11. "Rejection is Never Easy" (1:09)
  12. "Magneto Plots" (2:05)
  13. "Entering the House" (1:18)
  14. "Dark Phoenix's Tragedy" (3:18)
  15. "Farewell to X" (0:30)
  16. "The Funeral" (2:52)
  17. "Skating on the Pond" (1:12)
  18. "Cure Wars" (2:57)
  19. "Fight in the Woods" (3:06)
  20. "St. Lupus Day" (3:03)
  21. "Building Bridges" (1:16)
  22. "Shock and No Oars" (1:15)
  23. "Attack on Alcatraz" (4:36)
  24. "Massacre" (0:31)
  25. "The Battle of the Cure" (4:21)
  26. "Phoenix Rises" (4:21)
  27. "The Last Stand" (5:29)

GalleryEdit

TrailerEdit

X-Men The Last Stand (2006) - Open-ended Trailer 202:30

X-Men The Last Stand (2006) - Open-ended Trailer 2

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