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X-Men 2: Beasts and Crawlers and Other Designs

By Heidi Meeley     October 23, 2002

Sidebar: Entertainment Weekly was given an X2 Exclusive with the publication of seven new publicity shots from the movie, and an additional eight images as online exclusives. Here is a sampling of those images.

Thanks to Adam, David and Grant

On October 18,on a visit to the X-Men 2 set, Comics2Film was allowedaccess to character designs and ideas in the conference room of the Productionoffices at Vancouver Film Studio. Production Designer Guy Dyas led us throughinspirations and ideas that did and did not make the current production.

The first thingdiscussed was the character Beast and his subsequent exclusion from this sequel."Beast did have a small part in the film, at certain points in the script... and that was enlarged upon in this film, but at a certain point just gotdropped," according to Dyas. The character sketches beckoned to Jim Lee'stake on the character at the point that the second X-Men series started back in1991.

Colossus, on theother hand, will have a role in the sequel. The sketch Dyas had on the wall wasan interesting cross structure of how a doctor's office picture of muscle wouldlook, and very similar to how a cut body builders arm and shoulder would appearif constituted of metal.

Lady Deathstrike(Kelly Hu's role) had a number of sketches, from her appearance in X-Men comiclore to a more modern X-Men One movie feel. Dyas had the biggest challenge inmaking her hands appear talon-like as it had in the comic. Depending on thescene, she would wear either steel or rubberized talons, as did Wolverine (HughJackman). The sexy aspect of the Lady Deathstrike character was subdued, and amore military bent is the focus.

Likewise, theGeneral Stryker character was outfitted in grays and khakis as befitting his ageand military stature. His military personnel were also in khakis and darkertones.

Perhaps Dyas'biggest character challenge was Nightcrawler, the blue-skinned, part elf, partdemon X-Man. Dyas used classic images of the comic character, especially thosedrawn by Adam Kubert, a good friend and popular comic artist. The variousmake-up applications in the film are based on the circus lore aspect of thecharacter, and his attempts to disguise his appearance, since he can'tautomatically change and blend in like the Mystique character.

Dyas also"upgraded" Cyclops visor, reducing the amount of material on eachside, to make it less "Princess Leia" and more sleek. Dyas said actorJames Marsden was pleased with the reduced bulk, as it enabled him to be moreexpressive with areas of his face that were covered up before.

Other designsthat were not talked about, but were displayed were new costumes for some of theestablished characters. Jean Grey's outfit remains very similar to the first,but with more of a jacket and pants combination rather then a body suit. Roguealso had an interesting costume design reminiscent of her appearance in thecurrent X-Treme X-Men comic series. It was a two piece outfit, with a cut outshirt and tight black leather pants. Other characters had variations on theircurrent outfits, but what will be used isn't certain yet.

A neuralinhibitor design for Professor Xavier was also on display. What part this willplay in the film has yet to be determined, but there were two different designs.Both were metal and clamped to Professor X's head, but in different ways. Dyassaid it was a bit difficult to figure out which to use as he didn't haveunlimited access to Actor Patrick Stewart, so there was a bit of improvisationas to which would fit better. Dyas was able to use a head scan of Stewart andput it in the computer so that he could be as accurate as possible withoutaccess to the real thing.

The X-Manoutfits were still very much the black leather of the first movie. The conceptwas brought forward because of the fan's positive response, and the ease ofmovement provided by the simple design. Dyas did redesign the uniforms a bit sothat each character had a different color of piping, i.e. Wolverine's was gold,etc.

Look for more for the X2press conference all week on C2F!

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