X-Men fans flocked to theaters to see the merry mutants on the big screen for the first time in 2000, and along with Blade ushered in the superhero movie age with a bang. One complaint I remember hearing about both before the film released and after was that people hated the costumes. Fans waited their whole lives to see Wolverine in the yellow or brown suit, and now we got this leather get-up? What gives man? In a new chat about the film on its 20th anniversary with SYFY Wire, Producer Ralph Winter discussed a little about why the looks in the movie were chosen.
We Still Haven't Really Seen The X-Men Classic Suits
"At that time, we did feel like we did a good job. We limited the amount of time in the wardrobe," Winter shared with SYFY WIRE. "Of course, there's a joke in the movie about yellow spandex, which was directed at the fans. It wasn't to irritate them but to say, 'Hey, we hear you. We understand what you want. We understand you don't like the idea of Wolverine being taller than 5'4". We understand you'd rather have everybody in the traditional garb. But we also have to make a movie that reaches a wide audience to justify the budget. The trick is always to bullseye the hardcore Marvel/X-Men fan, but do it in a way that doesn't alienate an average moviegoer that might enjoy, or start to enjoy, these types of stories."
Again, and this has been said for years and proven time and time again, fans and moviegoers are one and the same. Seeing Wolverine and the X-Men in their comic spandex is fine, as long as you have a strong sense of storytelling and a direction you are heading in. The "broad audience" argument does not hold any water anymore, and now just feels like a completely missed opportunity. The producers probably regret it almost every day.