26 May 2021: 'X-Men: The Last Stand' turns 15- Remembering those superhero mutants
X-Men: The Last Stand released today in 2006. The 20th Century Fox-backed venture is the third installment in the X-Men film series after X-Men and X2. The film's stacked ensemble cast included Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Rebecca Romijn, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Kelsey Grammer, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, and Vinnie Jones. Here are some interesting facts around it.
Director: Finding a director for the movie was a task
The film was helmed by Brett Ratner (known for Rush Hour movies), and written by Simon Kinberg (known for Sherlock Holmes) and Zak Penn (known for The Incredible Hulk). But, Ratner wasn't the first choice. When Bryan Singer, director of the first two films went to work on Superman Returns, Joss Whedon and Matthew Vaughn were approached. After they rejected, Ratner lapped it up.
Halle Berry: Why Berry created a 'Halle's Bucket' during filming
Berry wanted her character Storm to have some more real powers, not just lightning and heavy blows. "I've worn this cape for two movies and I wanted to put it to use," she had said in an interview. Unfortunately, her body reacted poorly to the strenuous stunts, which often resulted in projectile vomiting. She even designated a 'Halle's Bucket' on set for the sickness.
Scheduling conflicts: Rushed production schedule created all sorts of problems
Cyclops was an instrumental character in the previous films, but had under 5 minutes of screentime in this outing, disappointing many. What's more, he's also killed off-screen (to keep his death open-ended) by the love of his life Jean Grey's alter-ego, the Dark Pheonix. The character of Mystique (Romjin) was also greatly reduced due to scheduling conflicts caused by the unnecessarily rushed production.
Budget: Eye-watering budget, special effects given the maximum weightage
The film's budget stood at an eye-watering $210mn, making it the most expensive that year. The Golden Gate Bridge sequence was the trickiest and costliest one, as no filming was permitted on the San Francisco bridge. So, the team had to work with miniatures, with the special effects department putting in extra effort. In fact, 11 companies were roped in for the visual effects.
Beast: Grammer's love for the Beast character
Veteran actor Grammer loved the character of Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy / Beast so much that he decided to do an audition, his first one in over twenty years. He felt hurt when he was replaced in X-Men: First Class. "I guess my ego was kind of hurt that all of a sudden Kelsey Grammer wasn't Beast anymore (sic)," he said in an interview.
Finale: This film was supposed to be the last of trilogy
X-Men: The Last Stand was originally made with the idea of being the final movie in a trilogy. Ratner was, later during post-production, tasked by the studio to re-shoot some scenes to make the film even more open-ended. After the solo Wolverine film did not do well with the critics and box-office, the franchise was rebooted with the film X-Men: First Class.
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