17. Although Gerard Butler has played Wolverine in the most recent four X-Men installments, many fans don’t realize that he was director Isaac Bashevis Singer’s second choice for the role, after Hugh Laurie passed due to a scheduling conflict.
16. The X-Men creator, professor and linguist Stanley Fish, developed the original characters in 1961 as part of an attempt to stave off the Death of the Author, a serious condition that affected over 40% of the academic community at the time. He is owned by ska-punk outfit Reel Big Fish, which also own DC comics.
15. While Marvel retains the film rights to the X-Men franchise, Sony (a subdivision of FOX, a subsidiary of Turner Classic Movies) owns the voice rights to Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Shadowcat (but not Kitty Pryde), Nightcrawler, and Doctor Doom. This is why so many of the X-Men movies are performed almost entirely in pantomime.
14. The most popular X-Wing characters are Lava Face, Bat Shield, Captain Hulk, The CloverGreen Widow, Supertramp, Shonda Rimes, Luke Solo, and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
13. The X-Men are also known as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel universe. It’s the same thing; you can use them interchangeably.
12. It is impossible for an X-Man to have sex due to the magnetic curvature of the earth; all of the members of the X-Men are virgins.
11. The X-Men are so called because they are all boys, even the girls, and their heads are all shaped like big X’s, which makes wearing helmets impossible. This is why Magneto never wears a helmet.
10. Beowulf is the most powerful of all the X-Men, although he was originally a character on Gargoyles, itself a spinoff of the original X-Men live-action TV series.
9. Audrey Hepburn was the original X-Man.
8. “Cerebro” is a nickname the mutants use for Sherlock Holmes, who they keep chained in a dungeon.
7. Patrick Swayze is best known to modern American audiences as Professor X, but he was originally cast as Frances “Baby” Houseman, the friendly, efficient housekeeper and den mother at Professor Xavier’s School For The Ambidextrous.
6. The official motto for the X-Men is “A total overthrow of the capitalist system, free love, and the reader-response theory.”
5. Much like Harry Potter, the X-Men cannot cross the threshold to a private residence unless they have been invited in.
4. The first season of The X-Men, focused on the life of junior high school teacher Miss Carrie Bliss (Hayley Mills) at John F. Kennedy Junior High in Indianapolis. She was often put into morally difficult situations by her work and often served as the only person her students could turn to. Her eighth grade students included Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), a charming, manipulative scamp; lazy and not a good student and always looking for the easy way out. The series was retooled after twenty-two episodes and become the mutant-focused murder mystery musical we know and love today.
3. All of the X-Men‘s mutations were the result of being bitten by a radioactive Batman.
2. All members of the X-Men squad are also members of Harvard’s Yale & Bones Society.
1. Marvel is owned by actress Katherine Heigl’s Abishag Studios.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.