Superhero movies go through an extensive planning process than can take months, even years, in the making before anything comes to light. Everything from casting, the script, the production design, and most of all, the costume design that can go through countless different drafts before anything is actually ever set in stone and given the thumbs up to be filmed for print to the final product of the movie. There is no better proof of such an extensive filmmaking process than the X-Men movie franchise, especially in regards to the costume designs for these movies.
From the year 2000, the very first X-Men movie right up until the latest Deadpool sequel which exists in the same canon as the X-Men films, the costumes featured in the X-Men film franchise have often been a prime talking point among critics, fans, and audiences. Sometimes, the franchise hit the nail on the head with their costumes and perfectly emulated classic costumes seen in the comics. Other times, fans hate the costumes so much that that it becomes a controversial moment, and some costumes in the franchise have been bad enough to upset many members of the fan base. We have seen what cam the changes and drafts in the concept art department, and some are better than what we ended up getting, and others that were worse. Here are some examples; from the good, the bad, and the ugliest of designs left in the draft pile.
17. HERO: STORM (DAYS OF FUTURE PAST)
Most audiences who saw X-Men: Days of Future Past would all probably agree that Storm’s costume was forgettable. For those who actually forgot what she wore, we don’t blame you, as it was something like a duller, blacker version of her costume from the original X-Men movie trilogy.
Needless to say, we were not a fan of the look at all, but we are all big fans of the looks optioned in early drafts from the costume designer. It’s fitting that Halle Berry is positioned here as if she were in some kind of vogue fashion line, because she would have slayed the game if she showed up on set wearing any of these outfits.
16. VILLAIN: SENTINELS
If we are being perfectly honest, the look and design of the Sentinels as we saw them in X-Men: Days of Future Past were not all that they were cracked up to be, but they could have looked much, much worse judging by scrapped concept art for the robots — at least what we got in the actual film were somewhat visually interesting.
These models here just look like some generic robot models that we would find in the Robocop franchise. Or worse, like scrapped design concepts for the actual Robocop character before a genius behind the scenes realized how crap this look actually, well, looked.
15. HERO: STORM (APOCALYPSE)
Storm had a really dope look in X-Men: Apocalypse — especially since the film gave us Storm’s classic mohawk from the comics for the first time in live action form — but with a character like a Storm, who has had some truly luscious get-ups in the past, it needed an extra touch. The kind of touch that was there for the scrapped concept art version of Storm.
Ok, we’re not gonna lie, as much as we would have LOVED to see this retro look on Storm, the “BOY TOY” belt buckle might have been just a teensy bit much. However, take that away, and we got a costume that deserved to see the big screen.
14. HERO: JEAN GREY
This next entry is an early draft for Jean Grey’s proposed costume heading into X-Men: Apocalypse. Never mind Elle Fanning as a face model at a time when she was an early candidate for the part (boy, that would have been some excellent casting), but pay more attention to the fact that the costume is a mix between Jean Grey’s ’90s comic book look, and her costume from X-Men: Evolution.
13. VILLAIN: DEADPOOL
Geeks, nerds, and Deadpool fans everywhere around the world were outraged when they saw their favorite Merc with a Mouth lose that very mouth in the climax of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Believe it or not, his costume for that film was almost even worst.
Apparently, in overthinking things, the costume department weren’t sure how to adapt Deadpool’s costume rather than just adapt a spitting image like the 2015 film did. So, they came up with this weird post-apocalyptic-esque get-up where he’s donning raccoon eyes for war paint, a red hood, and a sleeveless jumper to expose his dirty armpits. Looks like trash if you ask us.
12. HERO: OUTFITS FOR THE WHOLE 2000 TEAM
A lot of fans were disappointed when the 2000 X-Men movie rolled around and instead of wearing their signature comic book costumes, the X-Men were wearing matching uniforms that decked them out in leather spandex. It wasn’t a bad look, but fans wanted more unique costumes to distinguish each member like in the comics, but early drafts tell us that the costume designing team had full intentions on doing just that.
No idea why they scrapped those plans, but seeing what Wolverine’s classic yellow spandex get-up, Cyclops’s blue get-up from the comics, and Jean’s somewhat original costume would have looked like is quite the sight for the eyes.
11. VILLAIN: JUGGERNAUT
In an early draft of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Quicksilver was not going to be the mutant enlisted by the X-Men to bust Magneto out of prison, but instead, it was going to be a young Juggernaut. At the time, Blizzard Entertainment concept artist Anthony Jones — no relation to Vinnie — was put to task with creating a costume for Juggernaut and no offense, but its not all that great.
It’s a hooded variation of Juggernaut’s classic armored costume, but unlike his classic costume, the hood serves as no protection in battle. And frankly, a hood mask like this just looks so out of place.
10. HERO: ICEMAN
When Anthony Jones was hired by FOX to come up with concept art for the characters in X-Men: Days of Future Past, one of his better pieces came with designing Bobby “Iceman” Drake. Jones developed a slew of different costumes for Iceman, and all of them look infinitely better than what we ended up with in the final product of the film.
Our favorite look might be his light blue and black color hybrid with some of his ice sticking out of the suit. We also think adding a plaid coat and a scarf is a nice touch in Jones’s other iterations of the character’s costumes.
9. VILLAIN: APOCALYPSE
One of the biggest criticisms against X-Men: Apocalypse was that the title villain looked more like Ivan Ooze than a serious threat. As bad as the character’s design was in the actual movie, it was almost even worse judging by early drafts of the character. Here, he looks like a really boring, deformed, and generic looking obelisk statue.
Also, apparently, judging by his presence in this concept art, The Rock was considered as a contender to play Apocalypse. Which is a weird concept that we struggle to even wrap our minds around — a weirder concept than some of these concept images themselves.
8. VILLAIN: JEAN GREY (THE LAST STAND)
This is less of a criticism against the costume itself since we can barely see it over Jean’s aura here, although we can make out that she seems to be wearing a black tanktop, and more with the optioned color scheme for Jean Grey as The Phoenix for X-Men: The Last Stand.
In the comics, her mutant power aura was always either fire, or just straight up red that represents a fire — like the rising of a Phoenix through burnt up ashes. Here, it looks like there were originally plans to give Jean a gross looking murky mud color for her villainous turn, which would have made for a gross sight.
7. HERO: WOLVERINE
Like most of the costumes seen during the future scenes of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wolverine’s costume was forgettable. We get that these scenes take place in a post-apocalyptic future, but that should not mean that the X-Men forget how to have a little bit of style.
Especially Wolverine, who showed up in a generic looking battle suit. His optioned costume designs from early drafts pop out in our eyes a little better, especially the look where his torso showcases the battle armor and the bottom half of him is sporting some nifty war bound cargo pants — it’s all just a little bit more creative.
6. HERO: BEAST
A common criticism among critics who watched and reviewed X-Men: First Class was that the prosthetic makeup for Beast looks really bad. It got much better in future films, but for First Class at least, the makeup job and his costume looked atrocious.
We think if they went in a direction that was closer to one of these early drafts in the costume designing process — these iterations also looking much more align with the interpretations we are used to seeing with Beast in the comics and shows — then maybe it would have wound up being a better looking Beast for the film.
5. VILLAIN: AZAZEL
While all of these villain entries reflect how a villain looks worse in concept art than they do in the movies, we would be hard pressed to use the word “worse” for this version of Azazel that was originally intended for X-Men: First Class. While “worse” is a strong word, the sentiment still stands — as cool as this bit of concept art looks, we prefer how he looks in the film.
In the film, he looks perfect. Here, he looks too bombastic to be a side player. If he was a main villain, it would be a different story. But as a supporting character, Azazel would have distracted us from the action and the main players if we stuck with this version.
4. HERO: JUBILEE
Ok, this one is kind of cheating considering that Jubilee never made the final cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, but right up until the final draft of the script was turned in, there were plans to include Jubilee in the film as a member of the X-Men during the apocalyptic future scenes.
We’re comparing this Jubilee costume to the one we see in X-Men: Apocalypse — the latter is a little too cartoony and vibrant, while the former has a color scheme that feels just subtle enough to buy into the idea that someone would wanna be caught out in the open wearing this.
3. HERO: WOLVERINE (2000)
We kind of touched on this one a little bit when talking about the uniforms for the X-Men as a whole in the 2000 film, but let us elaborate a little more on what makes this Wolverine costume so great.
One would imagine that Wolverine’s crazy looking bright yellow and pointy eared costume from the comics would not be the easiest thing to try and adapt to live action form in a way that can be taking seriously in cinematic form. Somehow, they nailed it — it’s faithful to the original costume without feeling too cartoony. It is a real shame we did not get this version of Wolverine’s costume instead.
2. VILLAIN: DEADPOOL (AGAIN)
As if the earlier entry of the other concept art for Deadpool’s potential costume for X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not bad enough, there were more models piecing together what The Merc Without a Mouth would look like in the climax. Somehow, it looks even worse than the finished product that we got in the film.
In short, Deadpool’s meat pieface would have looked even uglier and he would have worn an Ant Man-lite version of his suit to conceal it. If fanboys were really in an outrage over how Deadpool during the climax of Origins before, they would have full on rioted if this design actually hit the big screen instead.
1. HERO: HAVOK
As was the case in the first X-Men movie, X-Men: First Class saw the entire team wear identical uniforms rather than separate and unique costumes that would distinguish each member of the team individually. As was the case with the 2000 film, there seems to have been originally plans for each member of the X-Men to have their own one of a kind costume to be featured in the film.
Take Havok for example, who may have our favorite solo unique costume out of all the X-Men hopefuls in the film. The metal source in the middle of his chest is much more detailed here than in the film as well, which is a plus.
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