20th Century Fox has provided X-Fan with a copy of the official production notes for their upcoming mutant movie sequel, X2. Please be aware that much of the information may be considered by some as "spoiler" in nature.
20th Century Fox has provided X-Fan with a copy of the official production notes for their upcoming mutant movie sequel, X2, due to open in theaters in the U.S. on May 2, in the U.K. on May 1, and in Australia on April 30. The film has been given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.

Please be aware that much of the information below may be considered by some as spoiler in nature. We here at X-Fan ask that you be sure to use spoiler tags when discussing any of the notes in the subsequent thread.


Bigger. Better. More. X-Men director Bryan Singer was determined to make X2 all that and, well, more. Singer's ambitions for the new film came as no surprise to the studio or to the film's producers; his respect for the comics characters - the seriousness and weight, as well as enormous fun with which he approached X-Men - had earned the respect of the multitudes of loyal comics fans and millions of moviegoers new to the X-Men universe.

Singer played the genre for real, giving X-Men a three-dimensional tone and style that served as a template for and inspired the reemergence of films based on comics properties. "Bryan grew to really love the X-Men characters and their universe, so there was no question about him directing X2," says producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who began developing the first X-Men film nearly a decade ago. Echoes producer Ralph Winter: "Bryan has great insight into what makes the series such a popular piece of pop culture. And his ability to make these characters real - like they live next door - even though they possess incredible and sometimes dangerous powers, is pretty extraordinary."

For X2, Singer would be painting on the huge canvas of big studio, event moviemaking, enjoying a larger budget and longer shooting schedule than was available for the first film. X2 also would ramp up the action, effects, locations and stunts that had captivated the comics enthusiasts and new fans.
Singer had much more in mind for X2 than a traditional sequel. Using the formidable resources at his disposable and no longer constrained by having to introduce the characters and their powers, he wanted to delve deeper into the X-Men mythology, and into their abilities and relationships. "X2 is not a sequel," he notes. "It's the next adventure in a saga - an evolution from the first film. We not only follow up with the principal characters from the first picture and their respective journeys, we introduce a new generation of X-Men, as well as some new villains."

"Like any good comic book, the X-Men universe is designed to expand," Singer continues. "These stories can go on forever. This continuation of the saga has provided me with an opportunity to expand the storylines and the characters - and to have a lot more fun. X2 is edgier, darker, funnier and more romantic than its predecessor."

X2 continues to deal with the themes of tolerance and fear of the unknown, which have been part of the X-Men universe since Stan Lee created the comics 40 years ago. "It's still about misfits, prejudice, about being an outsider and not being understood," notes Donner. Adds Singer, "The X-Men films pose the questions that we all have: Am I alone in the world? Why am I so different, and how am I going to fit in? These questions are universal and timeless, particularly among adolescents. We've all felt at times like mutants."

A new theme in X2 is "unity", as two generations of X-Men join forces with a most unlikely ally to combat a new and very human menace. As the story opens, mutants are continuing their struggle against a society that fears and distrusts them. Their cause becomes even more desperate following an incredible assassination attempt on the President of the United States by an as-yet-undetermined assailant possessing extraordinary abilities. All signs point to the work of a mutant.

The shocking assault renews the political and public outcry for a Mutant Registration Act. Leading the anti-mutant movement now is William Stryker, a wealthy former Army commander and scientist who is rumored to have experimented on mutants.

Stryker's mutant "work" is somehow tied to Wolverine's mysterious and forgotten past. As Wolverine searches for clues to his origin, Stryker puts into motion his anti-mutant program beginning with a full-scale military offensive on Xavier's mansion and School for the Gifted. Magneto, newly escaped from the plastic prison, proposes a partnership with the X-Men to combat their now common and formidable enemy, Stryker.

With the fates of Xavier, mankind - and mutantkind - in their hands, the X-Men and their allies stand united to face their most dangerous mission ever.


So warns Magneto to his once-and-future friend and ally, Professor Charles Xavier. When news of the attempted assassination of the President of the United States by a mutant reaches the two men, they realize this is a defining moment in the future of mankind.

"War results from actions that trigger irreversible conflict," says Singer. "X2 opens with some startling action, which sets into motion a chain of events that could ultimately lead to the destruction of a part of humanity."

X2 takes the central conflict in X-Men - Xavier's belief in the possibility of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants, versus Magneto's doctrine of mutant supremacy - to the next level. In the new film, the threat comes not from a powerful mutant, but from a human. "One of the things I wanted to introduce into the story was a human element as the villain," Singer explains. "That menace is a danger to all mutants and, subsequently, to mankind. The conflict is a bold reminder of the prevailing themes in the comic book lore; in this movie, one man's fear of the unknown could lead to a level of intolerance of catastrophic proportions."

The one man posing such a formidable threat to the X-Men is William Stryker, a character that ups the ante and makes the stakes higher than they ever were in the original X-Men.

Stryker's insidious plans are revealed when his forces attack Xavier's School for Gifted Children, also know as the "X-Mansion". That scene springs from the end of X-Men, where Xavier and Magneto are seen facing off over a game of chess, in the plastic prison designed to serve as Magneto's final home. Magneto poses a disturbing question, "What will happen if they pass that stupid law [the Anti-Mutant Registration Act] and they come to your mansion and take your children?" To which Xavier replies with steely determination: "I pity whoever comes to that mansion looking for trouble."

"Well," says Donner, "Stryker and his soldiers are definitely at the mansion and there is definitely going to b
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