X2, 2003

Director

Bryan Singer

Cast

visit the film locations

Vancouver

Flights: Vancouver International Airport

Visit: Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, Colwood

Alberta

Visit: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park near Kananaskis

Trivia

The original X-Men filmed largely around Toronto, while prequel much of X-Men: First Class was shot in the UK

X2 location: Hatley Castle, Vancouver

X2 location: ‘Professor Xavier’s academy’ in ‘Westchester’: Hatley Castle, Vancouver

The sequel to X-Men moves from the East coast of Canada to West coast, forsaking Toronto for Vancouver, with Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) joining forces against mutantophobic militarist William Stryker (Brian Cox).

Stryker’s underground lair was built.in the Mammoth Studios, a former Sears department store and warehouse, which boasts the largest soundstage in North America.

Professor Xavier’s school seems to have undergone a little mutation of its own. It’s now Hatley Castle, Royal Roads University, Colwood (which is also featured in TV’s Poltergeist: The Legacy and Smallville). Built in 1908, Hatley Castle served as dormitory and mess hall for cadets and staff officers at Royal Roads Military College and is now the administrative centre of Royal Roads University. There are guided tours.

And late reshoots meant that the school mutates once again, for the final scene. The exterior is an outtake (of Toronto’s Parkwood Estate) from the first movie, and the interior, with Xavier reading The Once and Future King to the kids, is Littleton Park House, on the lot of Shepperton Studios, southwest of London. As such, it’s not really surprising that the mansion regularly features on screen, in films such as Hamlet, The Omen, The Mummy and Batman Begins. The studio is not open for yours.

Another brief diversion (filmed after the Vancouver shoot had wrapped) sees the pillared court at the west entrance to Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles standing in for the ‘Washington DC’ capital building as the fake Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) morphs back into Yuriko (Kelly Hu).

Pyro (Aaron Stanford) flips out after being provoked by local lads – foreshadowing his defection to the mutants’ militant wing – on a trip to the ‘science museum’. You won’t be able to visit the museum, which was created in Vancouver’s public convention centre, the Plaza of Nations, 750 Pacific Boulevard, on the False Creek waterfront at Concord Pacific Place. Built for Expo ’86, the centre’s future is in doubt and part of it has already been demolished.

Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) and Storm (Halle Berry) head up to ‘Boston’ to track the mutant who invaded the White House. The church in which they discover Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), is St Andrew’s-Wesley Church, 1012 Nelson Street, at Burrard Street, downtown Vancouver. The same church pops up again for the mutant action meeting in X-Men: The Last Stand.

The snowbound ‘Alkali Lake’ dam is between Upper  and Lower Kananaskis Lakes in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park near Kananaskis, Alberta – which was also featured in Brokeback Mountain.

For the dambursting sequence, a 60-foot model was recreated in Van Nuys, just north of LA.




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