X-MEN CINEMATIC UNIVERSE TIMELINE

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26th May 2016
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INTRODUCTION

In the year 2000, 20th Century Fox began the X-Men film franchise, which now boasts an impressive eight motion pictures with a ninth soon to hit theatres. After a well-received beginning, the franchise wobbled in ticket sales and reviews with its middle releases, prompting a soft reboot of the franchise when X-Men: First Class went back in time to a 1960's setting. The soft reboot became hard and fast when X-Men: Days of Future Past explicitly altered the future and cancelled out many of the less-warmly-received aspects of past movies.

As a result, the movie continuity timeline can be a bit complicated to understand. This article intends to put all known dates and events from the X-Men movie universe in chronological order. Effort will be made to identify events that may or may not be true any longer after DoFP. Particular focus will be placed on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a movie which includes multiple contradictions to movies both before and after it in the timeline, to the point where it is virtually apocrypha.

Regarding the actual date of "modern" events, the original movie was released in 2000, but self-identified as being in "the not too distant future". Subsequent modern era movies from 2003, 2006, and 2013 were not clear about their actual date, or how long it had been since the previous movie's events. Some dialogue from X2 indicated it was little more than a month since X1, and the context of X3 (i.e. Cyclops' mourning, the students still being students) doesn't indicate three full years passed between X2 and X3. While it is possible Logan exiled himself to the wilderness for seven years between X3 and The Wolverine, that's not obviously the case either. For simplicity's sake, this article assumes when a movie says something happened "X years ago", they mean X number of years before the movie's release date, but this is us acknowledging that a sliding timescale of some sort is at play.

It should be noted that this timeline only reflects the movies themselves. Additional in-canon movie materials have been released over the years, including comic book and prose novel adaptations, original comics, video games, official websites, and more. Many of these releases successfully and legitimately expanded upon the particular movie they were associated with. However, their tendency to use non-movie comic characters to pad out their casts complicated matters when subsequent movies used the characters in entirely different ways. Because the secondary materials arguably cause as many problems as they solve, this timeline shall not include their history or events.

The first page will be a timeline of all events established in the movies. Standard events are presented in Black, events confirmed overwritten by DoFP are in Blue, and events from X-Men Origins Wolverine are in Red because it was just SO bad (and contradicted multiple events in the timeline of movies releases both before and after it).

The second page breaks down the information by character, with major characters receiving entries that list trivia points relating to their movie continuity and notable differences from the comic.