In Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975), writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum introduced a new team that starred in a revival of The X-Men, beginning with issue #94. This new team replaced the previous members with the exception of Cyclops, who remained. This team differed greatly from the original. Unlike in the early issues of the original series, the new team was not made up of teenagers and they also had a more diverse background. Each was from a different country with varying cultural and philosophical beliefs, and all were already well-versed in using their mutant powers, several being experienced in combat. The "all-new, all-different X-Men" were led by Cyclops, from the original team, and consisted of the newly created Colossus (from the Soviet Union), Nightcrawler (from West Germany), Storm (from Kenya), and Thunderbird (a Native American of Apache descent), and three previously introduced characters: Banshee (from Ireland), Sunfire (from Japan), and Wolverine (from Canada). Wolverine eventually became the breakout character on the team and, in terms of comic sales and appearances, the most popular X-Men character. However, this team would not remain whole for long as Sunfire quit immediately and never really accepted the other members, and Thunderbird would die in the very next mission. Filling in the vacancy, a revamped Jean Grey soon rejoined the X-Men under her new persona of "Phoenix". Angel, Beast, Iceman, Havok, and Polaris also made significant guest appearances.
Bryan Singer , who had directed the two previous films, X-Men (2000) and X2 , decided to leave to work on Superman Returns , as he had not even defined the storyline for a third film. Matthew Vaughn , who was initially hired as the new director, left due to personal and professional issues, and was replaced with Ratner. Filming took place from August 2005 to January 2006 with a budget of $210 million, and was consequently the most expensive film at the time of its release. It had extensive visual effects created by 11 different companies.