X3 (X-men 3) Discussion Thread - Spoilers Allowed

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Tabula Rasa, Jan 20, 2006.

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  1. ComicDiva Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2004
    star 4
    Zak Penn answers questions from the fans. The comments are my own.


    http://www.thexverse.com/community/s...p?t=762&page=4

    - Were your hands tied as to whether or not Cyclops lives or was that a creative decision that you came up with?

    * When Simon and I came onto this movie, we were told that Cyclops wasn't going to be in the film. We thought this was crazy and argued vehemently against it. I don't know what prompted this decision; scheduling conflicts with Superman, a genuine story choice, desire to foreground Wolverine, whatever. I don't know. What I do know is that we were boxed into a corner and we came up with the best solution we could for the story. Not an excuse, just a fact. And please don't ask me to tell you more than that about the backstage politics, because I can't and I won't.

    - Many of us feel that the way Cyclops' death was handled was disrespectful to the character. Little mourning was done in his loss and the other characters' reactions could almost be described as indifference. His death was not seen on-screen and no time was spent looking for him, despite the lack of a body. What can you say to defend your treatment of this character?

    * I think we should have spent more time dealing with what happened to Scott. Forget disrespectful, it was not great storytelling. As I said, we did not win every fight. But my name's on the script, so it's my responsibility.

    That said, I don't think the scene at Alkali Lake is disrespectful in the least. And Logan reveals he loves Jean, but does Jean reveal the same about Logan? Watch again. Watch what happens when Xavier says that Jean "killed the man she loves."

    This won't please anyone who wanted the original Dark Phoenix saga to stay intact, but the seeds of Logan taking over Scott's role were planted in the first film. There was simply no way Cyclops was going to be the main character in this film, not if Bryan directed it, not if Spielberg directed. Wolverine, particularly onscreen, is a far more popular character. You can blame me or Simon or James Marsden or Hugh Jackman or Chris Claremont but that's the way it is. I know many of you Cyke fans are nuts about this, but the movies aren't the comics. Period. That is not an excuse for s@#$ty writing. Exclamation mark.

    - Why do "cured" mutant criminals such as Mystique simply move on to roam free (or work as a Government secretary, as in her case)? When a criminal is arrested, their weapons are removed yet they still go to jail. The "cure" doesn't change the person's mind or intentions, so why are they not held accountable for their actions?

    * Mystique did not roam free. She was taken back into custody. Unless I'm missing something. You're missing Magneto. Why at the end of the movie he's playing chess in a park. Shouldn't he be in jail?

    - Why did you choose to portray Phoenix as a confused, almost zombie like being? Many of us feel that this did not truly portray just how powerful a being Phoenix is supposed to be. Nobody was expecting a direct translation of the Phoenix saga with the shi'ar, Corsair etc. But I didn't feel that this portrayal truly represented the character.

    * Probably my biggest criticism of the film is the way Jean stands around in the final act. But up until that point, I think it's incredibly unfair to say she appears as a zombie. I think she is frightening and shows a startling range of emotions in the scenes with Scott, Logan, Xavier and Magneto. You mean confused, more confused and pissed off? Yup. Startling.

    - Several times, we were promised that we would be blown away by the "Phoenix effect" that was going to be a part of the movie. This turned out to be a misleading statement as many of us were expecting to see the firebird effect, but instead we got the "vampire ashing" effect from the Blade Movies. Was this decision made by you, Brett, or the FX team?

    * First of all, I don't know who promised you that, but it wasn't me. I didn't see the Phoenix effects until a few weeks ago. As you have probably seen already, we wro
  2. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Yeah, I'm not so pleased with many of those answers - partly because some are dodges, partly because I can't get over how terribly Fox handled the movie

    I think we should have spent more time dealing with what happened to Scott. Forget disrespectful, it was not great storytelling. As I said, we did not win every fight. But my name's on the script, so it's my responsibility.

    I'm glad he admits to this.

    This won't please anyone who wanted the original Dark Phoenix saga to stay intact, but the seeds of Logan taking over Scott's role were planted in the first film. There was simply no way Cyclops was going to be the main character in this film, not if Bryan directed it, not if Spielberg directed.

    I think that's BS. Even if X1 had, as Zak claims, planted seeds of Logan taking Scott's role (which I don't see - if anything we've got that line from Cyke telling the Prof that he'll look after everyone) Singer's films also planted the seeds of the Dark Phoenix Saga. From what I've read Singer threw in a hint as far back as Liberty Island when Jean feels affected by Magneto's machine.

    Therefore, there is no reason the Dark Phoenix Saga should have been half-a$#ed here.

    And I'm miffered at the claim that "There was simply no way Cyclops was going to be the main character in this film, not if Bryan directed it".

    First off, no one ever wanted Cyke in the lead - that's the point of a team. But he should have played an important role - in this film more than the others. So I don't get where Zak is trying to go with that - smells like a dodge to me.

    Second, if Singer had stayed (along with his team of writers) I don't think Cyke would have been so mistreated. He would have still been slighted to favor Logan - but not this badly. Singer would have had some weight after making the first two films - he even stated that he wanted to make an X3 and X4 together and include the entire Hellfire Club scenario: I think he'd have been able to get some justice for Cyke.

    Not that I blame Singer - I think Fox was jerking him around and delaying on the production of X3 and that was why he left.

    Hope he answers more questions though. I posted some for him and Simon. [face_whistling]
  3. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    I enjoyed the action movie - I think you guys are being a little critical over minor plot points.
  4. one_armed_scissor_14 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    Absolutely not. I don't have the time to waste covering every reason why this is important, while Fox can kiss my ass and Brian Singer is a God, and why Zak Penn is a fool, so why don't you just list what you think was a minor quibble and I can reply to those, mkay?
  5. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    well, everything I've read in the past couple of posts really.

    What you were given was someone else's interpretation of the x-men franchise - if you don't like their ideas then you are out of luck really.

    It's easy to be critical from afar, but what was produced was an excellent action movie using comic-book characters in the central roles. That's it really - there's no golden rule that they have to remain faithful to any particular set of comic books, or their spin-offs, or the spin-offs of spin-offs.

    It's a simple action movie with a straight forward plot - good guys and bad guys, lots of running around, big finale fight sequence, bad guy defeated but in the last shot you see him back to his old ways. It's the same plot used in every other comic book movie ever. This one had excellent action seqeuences and a good selection of characters to keep the movie fast paced, and some excellent acting from Stewart and McKellan.
  6. one_armed_scissor_14 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    But I think you missed the entire point that everything set up by Singer was ignored or didn't reach full fruition in this film. I guarantee he had bigger plans for Phoenix. You know why? He began setting it up in the first one in that shot right after the machine is destroyed. He also would have kept a better Cyclops.

    The fact is that the film was rushed. We know it, and for you to deny it is to blindly submit to what they want you to think. The fact is that, while the film is fine, we are arguing because it should have been so much better and does not live up to the first two when in fact this would have been an easy feat.

    You actually think this was the best they could do?
  7. Sn4tcH Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2004
    star 4
    Well calling people "morons" and "fools" seems a bit overly critical to me.

    Yes the movie was rushed. Yes it could have been better. But this could have been worse.

    Look at Batman Forever.
  8. one_armed_scissor_14 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    But the true merit of a film will vary depending on the opinion and/or zeal of those who saw and know it.

    I'm angry about this just as people are up in arms over the O-OT: because I've read the comics, know what it should be, and know by how far it missed the mark.
  9. Sn4tcH Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2004
    star 4
    I felt the same way when I saw X-men though. After that I knew what to expect, a series of movies that aren't anything like the comic I know and love. And trust me... I am a HUGE comic fan. But I was very very underwhelmed by the first X-men film. (Seriously, who wasn't pissed that Wolverine and Sabertooth had no connection?) But then X2 came out and that one rocked my socks off, only because it was more faithful to the feel of the comics. Not only that, but they used one of my favorite stroylines (God loves, Man kills). And while X-men 3 isn't perfect it still fits with the other two. Because the other two weren't like comics either.

    The characters were done well, For every ten people complaining about Callisto, there's one person sticking up for that fact that they NAILED Beast.

    I still think this one was more like the comics than X-men. But I never have liked the first movie anyways.
  10. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    I've been reading X-Men comics for 15 years. I've read The Dark Phoenix Saga, as I'm sure all of the big time X-Men fans in this thread have as well. Were you actually expecting them to follow it to the letter? I'm glad they didn't try to fit in any of the outer space stuff into the movie. Same with the Hellfire Club. It's all too big to be put into a two hour movie, or even a four hour movie. Every movie that's ever been made that's been based on previous written material has to take certain liberties to make the story fit on the new format. Even LOTR, which everyone praises has aspects that are waaaaaaay different from the novels. It's impossible to make it exactly the same. Deal with it. I think that Ratner and the rest of the crew did a fantastic job bringing it to the screen. Were there somethings that I would have changed had I made the movie? Absolutely. But that didn't make it that less enjoyable for me.

    And for the record, Zak Penn has a story credit for X2. He didn't write the screenplay, but he was involved with the overall plot. So don't think that it was a whole new team that came on for X3.
  11. Walken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2004
    star 4
    Batman Forever was slightly better IMO, and Malkie, I still think that just as an "action" film this movie was poor.
  12. one_armed_scissor_14 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    I didn't even expect all of that, I expected the Phoenix to actually be a viable character with a decent amount of screentime. I guess that was too much.

    The one before him (sorry, forgot the name)--fair enough, even though I didn't even think this lived up to the first two.
  13. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Well here's my two cents on why I'm upset with this film (not that I hated it - there were parts I enjoyed):

    For me the message of the Dark Phoenix Saga is self-sacrifice: despite the allure of the Phoenix Powers, Jean Grey ends her own life to protect those she loves from the dangerous powers she cannot control. The end of the story says it all: Jean Grey could have lived to become a god, but it was more important to her that she died as a human.

    IMHO there is no point to adapting the story unless you craft the adaptation around this basic premise - it's the heart of the story.

    This is not what I saw on screen. I saw a Jean Grey who was a victim of her own powers, who in her briefs states of lucidity could only beg Wolverine to end her nightmare - sorry, not good enough for me.

    I can forgive no Phoenix Effect, bigger roles for Wolverine and Storm, Rogue taking the cure, Pyro as a goon, Magneto brushing off Mystique.

    But I can't forgive this.

    [I can't forgive the general handling of Cyke either (he should have been Jean's anchor, not her first victim), but at least he could have gotten the shaft without the entire story getting it with him.]

    Just my opinion though - so y'all get where I'm coming from.[face_peace]
  14. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    That's actually a very good point. I hadn't really thought about that aspect of it. [face_thinking]
  15. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    Thanks. ;)


    So I got a heads up on this from SHH - check out some cool Phoenix Concept At at this site:

    http://www.alpaltiner.com/alp_navigation_html/alp_xmen.html

    such as this:

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v655/bookwormdarlin/xmen3_concepts_019.jpg]

    It's clear the artist was working with different approaches - some I like, others not. Oh and check out the nugget about 3/4 down: Phoenix Force vs. Golden Gate Bridge.
  16. Walken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2004
    star 4
    I saw that today off another site that does not exist.....
  17. Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 6
    i thought it worked well as an action movie. but we still should've had some more development with the characters. especially cyclops.
  18. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    I personally enjoyed it more than I did the first two movies - I think I perfered the characters in the latest movie over the previous ones. I also felt the plot had more depth, and if anything, they didn't expand on the philosophical debate around using medication to 'cure' someone of something they don't consider a disease (compare to a 'cure' for homosexuality, should one exist). However, this sort of depth is never going to come from an action movie.

    It's easy to say you could have done it better, or *it* could have been done better. Everyone is going to have their opinion on what should have been included but wasn't (this isn't a new concept - visit any LotR forum, or a HarryPotter forum). You simply can't fit hours and hours of material into a 2 hour movie slot.

    What they cut it down to was a movie which was easily accessible to the general public without needing a PhD in comic-book back stories and character-interactions.

    You can't keep everyone happy, and the end product was a real winner.
  19. Jedi_Master_Conor Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 6
    for some reason this movie also had more of a comic book feel to it then the others even if it didn't faithfully follow the comics in some areas
  20. Yodas-evil-twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 5
    Couldn't agree more. If I had to rank the films, it would probably something like: 1. X-3, 2. X-2, 3. X-Men

    I had to use Wikipedia to get most of the comic backstorys, and the only one I've ever read was "Return to Weapon X", so it was great that I didn't need to look up every single plot line in order to understand the characters.

    I felt that the cure plotline seemd to include a form of the abortion debate into the mix.
  21. ComicDiva Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2004
    star 4
  22. DarthPhelps Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    An interesting discussion, and I think both sides make good points.

    As far as Scott Summers goes, and the deviation from the comics - it was noted somewhere (heaven help me I can't recall if it was at the JC or somewhere else) that in the comics people 'die' and come back all the time.

    We never saw Scott die. In some future X-Men movie he may very well return and state that he sensed Phoenix and Jean battling each other mentally, and that Jean told him telepathically that she would make it seem to Phoenix that Scott dies but Jean rather puts him into a deep telepathic sleep (eyes closed - no need for glasses). Scott gets discovered and is revived.

    Problem solved.

    Someone else noted that a phoenix dies and rises from the ashes - a good point. They certainly can play games with that too. ;)
  23. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    I've been thinking that Cyclops is still alive since I first saw the movie. It's like the first rule of comics that if there's no body, they're still alive. Just look at Prof. X. ;) :p
  24. ComicDiva Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2004
    star 4
    If I was James Marsden, I wouldn't come back to these people after the way they treated my character like it was totally expandable.
    Although after always playing "the other guy" you'd think maybe for once he'd want to be in the spotlight. I actually believe Marsden could make a damn good Cyclops if Fox didn't insist on shoving Wolverine down our throats.
  25. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    That's some pretty flawed logic that makes a lot of assumptions. First off, we're talking about the character, not the actor. Who says that Marsden feels a huge connection to Cyclops? Maybe he views it as (shocker) just a job?
    This may come as a shock but not everyone who was involved in the movies holds the characters and the books as close to their heart as many fans do. By your logic every actor who ever had a small part or had their character killed off would refuse to come back if needed ever again. That's fairly egotistical, especially for James Marsden who is, let's face it, not one of the bigger names in Hollywood.

    Amd you even wrote in your own post earlier that one of the reasons he wasn't in it as much could have been scheduling conflicts with Superman. That would make it his decision wouldn't it? Granted it was a quote from another source but you do read what you write correct?

    I'm actually surprised that they got as many people as they did to put on repeat performances. Fox bended over backwards to get Halle Berry to keep coming back. IIRC she said it was her last time as Storm after each movie. Yet they kept getting her. I would have had no problem with a recasting for her. In fact, the only characters I feel can't/shouldn't be recast are Magneto, Prof. X, and Wolverine. And maybe Beast too. Anyone else I feel is fair game for a recast. It may muck up continuity a bit but I would rather see Cyclops come back with a different actor than have him dissapear forever.
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