Generation X (film)
by Scott Lobdell
Generation X is a made-for-TV film directed by Jack Sholder, which aired on FOX on February 20, 1996. It is based on the Marvel Comics comic-book series Generation X, a spin-off of the X-Men franchise. It was produced by New World Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment.
Emma Frost (Finola Hughes) and Banshee (Jeremy Ratchford) are the headmasters of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. They recruit Jubilee (Heather McComb) and Skin (Agustin Rodriguez), and introduce them to their fellow students; M (Amarilis), Mondo (Bumper Robinson), Buff (Suzanne Davis) and Refrax (Randall Slavin). The students are learning to cope with their mutant powers, and come into conflict with the "townies" who mock the students. Emma Frost worked previously with a mad scientist named Russel Tresh who felt that he could extract part of mutant's brains to develop psychic powers, and Russel is back and wants to use Skin's brain in his experiments.
- Finola Hughes as Emma Frost / White Queen: She runs the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters with Banshee. She takes her job very seriously and wants to make sure the students are sufficiently trained for any situation. Part of the reason for this may be because in her past she trained another group called the Hellions who were lost, something she blames herself for. Before her teaching duties Emma worked as a researcher on a project to develop a "dream machine" to access the dream dimension, she came into conflict with fellow researcher Russel Tresh. Her powers include mind control.
- Jeremy Ratchford as Sean Cassidy / Banshee, an Irish mutant, runs the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters with Emma Frost. Sean is much more laid back in his teaching approach than Emma, and wants to make sure that the students bond as a team. He can produce a sonic scream that can stun people.
- Amarilis as Monet Yvette Clarisse Maria Therese St. Croix / M, one of the students at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, she claims that she is the perfect mutant; super intelligent, enhanced physical abilities and "level eight invulnerability".
- Heather McComb as Jubilation Lee / Jubilee, the newest student at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, she is highly intelligent, and very curious. She can generate brightly colored bursts of plasma energy which she can fire from her hands. She also seems to have some psychic abilities.
- Bumper Robinson as Mondo, one of the students at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, he is hot-headed, and gets into fights easily. He has the ability to take on the properties of any organic or inorganic matter he touches. Consequently, he doesn't like Jell-O, (though this is also a reference to Bumper Robinson's first acting role: a Jell-O Pudding Pop commercial).
- Agustin Rodriguez as Angelo Espinosa / Skin: He has skin that can stretch in a variety of different ways, including the ability to wrap himself around objects. He has a younger sister, whom Russel Tresh threatened if Skin didn't obey him. He seems to have some psychic abilities.
- Suzanne Davis as Arlee Hicks / Buff, one of the students at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, she is a friendly likable person, whose mutation increases her muscle mass and strength. She is insecure about her new physique and wears loose clothing to cover it up. She replaced Paige "Husk" Guthrie as Husk's powers were too expensive to portray within budget.
- Randall Slavin as Kurt Pastorius / Refrax, one of the students at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, his eyes emit radiation giving him X-Ray vision and heat beams. He is a practical joker who has a crush on Buff. He wears special glasses to control his powers and is best friends with Mondo. He is most likely based on Chamber and/or Cyclops.
- Matt Frewer as Doctor Russel Tresh, an unethical scientist and researcher who is investigating subliminal and psychic powers. He worked on a project with Emma Frost, who got him fired for his unethical behaviour. Following this he put his talents towards the advertising industry where he uses the money to build a machine to access the "dream dimension".
The following is a prologue quote that appeared at the beginning of the movie, which was later emulated in the X-Men theatrical films with similar defining quotes on mutation and evolution, respectively, albeit in voice-over rather than on-screen text:
Mutation: n. 1. The act of being altered or changed. 2. The illegal genetic condition [US Statute 5504178], first apparent in puberty, caused by the X factor located in the pineal gland of the brain.
The mansion used for the Xavier Institute is Hatley Castle, which was also used as Xavier's school in the films X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand. It also served as the Luthor family mansion on the television series, Smallville, and as the Queen family mansion in early seasons of the television series Arrow.
Jubilation "Jubilee" Lee was not portrayed as a character of Asian descent, despite the X-Men comics and broadcast series have always portrayed her as Chinese American. Two new characters, Buff and Refrax, were created for the movie to replace the characters Husk and Chamber from the comics, whose flashy powers would have been too expensive to produce on the film's budget.
The British version and the United States version contain slight differences:
- In the British version, Jubilee is forced to strip for a full body print. While this scene did not appear in the later showings of the U.S., it did appear in the original broadcast.
- In the British version there was significantly more swearing and racial slurs. After discovering the Dream Machine, Jubilee and Skin compare notes, when Jubilee uses three profanities. These were edited out of the U.S. version.
- When Skin encounters Russel Tresh in the Dream World, Tresh calls Skin an "interdimensional wetback" and threatens to mind-rape Skin's sister if he doesn't help get Tresh back into his body. This scene was edited to remove the racial slur and mind-rape wording in the U.S. version.
- "Marvel In The 90's: GENERATION X". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
- "The History of Wolverine and the X-Men on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Fox Tuesday Night at the Movies Generation X". Variety. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Marvel In The 90's: GENERATION X". Twitch. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- "Exclusive: Director Jack Sholder on Fox's Generation X, controversial castings and the X-Men effect". Blastr. Retrieved 15 December 2014.