By Nick Romano
July 24, 2020 at 03:20 PM EDT
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It's been 20 years since the first X-Men movie came on the big-screen scene and introduced the likes of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier, and Ian McKellen as Magneto. A lot has changed since then.

The Hollywood franchise as we've come to know it has shuttered; The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of 21st Century Fox properties brought the cinematic rights to these mutant heroes under their umbrella, but the focus is now expanding the Avengers universe. That means, as Scarlet Witch once famously said in the comics, "no more mutants" ... at least, not for a while at this point. But Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, and all the other gifted characters hold a place in hearts and minds to this day.

As part of EW's Fandom Week to accompany the virtual Comic-Con@Home, we're running down 10 behind-the-scenes tidbits that will hopefully offer a deeper appreciation for this cast of characters.

1. It can only be fate

Few can imagine anyone other than Jackman playing Wolverine on-screen. But Jackman was actually a last-minute replacement. The original actor to play the part was Dougray Scott, who had to drop out after an injury on the set of Mission: Impossible 2.

2. A man of range

Jackman has appeared as Wolverine in nine X-Men movies, the most out of any of his franchise co-stars. He also appeared in Deadpool 2 through archived footage, and Ryan Reynolds wore a paper Jackman mask in Deadpool, putting Jackman’s Wolverine appearances at 11 total.

3. Cutting it close

X-Men: The Last Stand had a domestic release date for May 26, with even earlier reveals at Cannes and in Europe. The last shot filming the CG effects-heavy bridge scene was completed on May 8, only 2 weeks prior to opening.

4. Don't rush to the salon

When James McAvoy was originally cast as known baldy Professor X for X-Men: First Class, he came to the set with a completely shaved head... not knowing director Matthew Vaughn wasn't going to have the character be bald in his origins debut. McAvoy ended up having to wear a wig.

5. Maybe CG would have been faster

When Rebecca Romijn played Mystique in X-Men, she had to be painted blue head-to-toe. It took 7-8 hours in the make-up chair to complete this look.

6. The merc with the biggest mouth

The highest-grossing film out of the whole X-Men film series is Deadpool 2, grossing $785.8 million at the worldwide box office. The total worldwide gross for the franchise is $6.02 billion.

7. It's not just a superhero movie, it's art

The film that is rated the best out of the whole franchise on Rotten Tomatoes is Logan, with a Tomatometer ranking of 93 percent and an audience score of 90 percent.

8. He's so quick, he jumped franchises

Quicksilver is the only X-man to appear in both the X-Men and Avengers franchises. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the character was played by Evan Peters. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, he is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

9. A secret romance to spice things up

According to Halle Berry, a deleted scene in Days of Future Past revealed a kiss between Logan and Storm. Though no longer found in the film, Berry says she and Jackman kept the romantic history for their characters' backstories.

10. It's all about the theater experience

McKellen once stated, "I don't always understand the plots of these films until I actually see them with an audience."

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