X-Men existed as a comic for decades, and had a hit 1990s animated series, before being adapted into a big-budget feature film on this day in movie history.
The film, directed by Bryan Singer, starred Patrick Stewart as Professor “X” Charles Xavier, Ian McKellen as Magneto, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and James Marsden as Cyclops among others. It adapts the Marvel comic book created by Stan Lee in 1962 about a team of teenagers and young adults with special mutant powers learning their place in humanity while also trying to save it from evil mutant threats.
The film has its own version of an early tale of the comics involving the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The film made nearly $300 million on a $75 million dollar budget. It launched a franchise of movies that included direct sequels, spin-offs, prequels and more.