At some point in the last six months, you've sat in a theater watching a terrible movie that took $200 million to make and said to yourself, "Why the hell did they ever think this would be good?"
The reason is that lots of bad movies looked like good movies in the early stages. It takes a whole bunch of people to make a movie, and often the finished product is only as good as its shittiest element. That messy process is how we wound up with ...
6X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men: The Last Stand was the unforgivable follow-up to X2. We say "unforgivable" because the second X-Men movie was widely regarded as one of the greatest superhero flicks of all time, if just for one scene.
You know, the stabbing scene.
Yet, despite coming hard on the heels of that success and boasting a larger budget than most nations' militaries, The Last Stand somehow managed to spit in the face of just about everything the X-Men franchise had going for it. Everyone's favorite characters from the first two films were either killed off, depowered, reduced to cheap gags or, in Nightcrawler's case, completely left out.
"Audiences just can't root for a blue protagonist."
If you followed the debacle that was the third X-Men movie, you probably blame Twentieth Century Fox or the departure of director Bryan Singer. But the truth is that all the film's problems can be traced to one equally bad movie that steered both franchises into a kryptonite iceberg faster than a speeding bullet.
Nice work, dickface.
Singer left The Last Stand in July 2004 to direct Superman Returns, but also brought with him two of X2's screenwriters, his longtime editor/composer John Ottman and actor James "Cyclops" Marsden. Fox had no choice but to step in and make sure their dismembered picture beat Superman to the finish line over James Marsden's dead body.
Which it did.
The Awesome Movie We Missed Out On:
If you're not a comics geek, that is an issue from one of the greatest story lines ever: "The Dark Phoenix Saga." And, sure enough, this was precisely where Bryan Singer wanted the third movie to pick up from, as it was exactly where X2 left off.
According to X2 screenwriter Michael Dougherty, The Last Stand was supposed to come off as a goddamn monster movie: "The idea was that you open up with Alkali Lake but it's completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky." You know, such as ships getting torn in two ...
... and San Francisco getting fucking destroyed:
Instead of being shoved into the corner like Jennifer Grey, the second coming of Jean Grey/Phoenix was supposed to be heralded as if "a very god-like force had entered their reality ... causing disruptions around the world." In nerd terms, instead of X-Men: The Last Stand, you would have gotten X-Men: The Best Movie Ever, with a three-way war for control of Phoenix between the X-Men, Magneto's Brotherhood and the same Hellfire Club that would eventually be recycled into X-Men: First Class.
And someone traded that film for Superman Returns.
At long last, Superman fans can watch his son play piano.