Summary

  • Fox’s original
    X-Men
    trilogy starred several notable actors, while launching the careers of many others, some of which have been rumored to be reprising their roles in the MCU proper.
  • Several actors from Fox’s X-Men Universe have already reprised their roles in the MCU, including Patrick Stewart, Evan Peters and Kelsey Grammer.
  • Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman will be returning as Deadpool and Wolverine, respectively, in
    Deadpool 3
    .

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The original X-Men trilogy developed by 20th Century Fox featured several high-profile actors in the roles of Marvel Comics’ legendary mutant superhero team. After 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to Marvel Comics’ mutants and the X-Men in 1994, plans were immediately set in motion to develop a live-action film series bringing these iconic characters to life long before Marvel Studios’ MCU. Fox’s X-Men Universe began with 2000’s X-Men, beginning the first trilogy which included X-Men, 2003’s X2 and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. This trilogy brought some of the most recognizable superheroes to wider audiences, starring many notable performers in some of the most coveted roles in modern-day cinema.

Even though Marvel Studios has now begun development for the MCU’s X-Men reboot, there are still hopes that some of the actors from Fox’s X-Men Universe will reprise their roles in the MCU to bid a final farewell. Fox’s X-Men Universe was effectively canceled following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019, though actors such as Patrick Stewart, Evan Peters and Kelsey Grammer have already made appearances in the MCU. More, including Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, will be following suit in 2024’s Deadpool 3, though other iconic X-Men actors likely won’t be returning – but many have gone on to do amazing things after portraying Marvel’s mutant characters.

Related

All 8 Fox X-Men Actors Who Have Returned To The MCU

Eight actors from Fox’s X-Men Universe have confirmed appearances in the MCU, reprising their roles, or a variation of, as the X-Men prepare to debut.

12 Anna Paquin Played Rogue In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Rogue going for the cure in X-Men The Last Stand

Rogue was a crucial character in Fox’s original X-Men trilogy, as she acted as the catalyst for the introduction of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and Wolverine being recruited into the X-Men. Canadian and New Zealand actor Anna Paquin portrayed Rogue in all three films in the X-Men trilogy, and went on to have roles in other projects including 2011’s Margaret, 2015’s The Good Dinosaur and 2019’s The Irishman. Paquin starred in HBO series True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse, and reappeared as Rogue in the Rogue Cut of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. More recently, Paquin appeared as Julie Watson in 2023’s Netflix series True Spirit.

11 Kelsey Grammer Played Beast In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Kelsey Grammer's Beast in X-Men The Last Stand

Kelsey Grammer rose to fame as Dr. Frasier Crane in NBC sitcom Cheers in the 1980s, and its 1990s spinoff Frasier. Star of stage and screen, Grammer portrayed Dr. Hank McCoy, a.k.a. Beast, in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, a role which he reprised in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Grammer has continued his work in sitcoms with projects including 30 Rock, Modern Family and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, while he has also been known for his voice roles in The Simpsons, Anastasia and Toy Story 2. Kelsey Grammer returned as Beast in the post-credits scene of The Marvels in 2023, bringing his X-Men hero officially into the MCU.

10 Daniel Cudmore Played Colossus In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Daniel Cudmore's Colossus in X-Men trilogy

Canadian actor and stuntman Daniel Cudmore debuted as Piotr Rasputin, a.k.a. Colossus, in 2003’s X2, a role which he reprised in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Cudmore’s built physique made him perfect for the metallic X-Men hero, while this has also helped him in a career in The CW’s Arrowverse. Cudmore portrayed Jackhammer in Arrow, Gridlock in The Flash, David Fuglestad and Bizarro’s armored form in Superman & Lois, and made an appearance as a bodyguard in Supergirl. Cudmore turned down the role of Colossus in 2016’s Deadpool, after learning his voice would be dubbed over by another actor, Stefan Kapičić, who will portray the character again in Deadpool 3.

9 Rebecca Romijn Played Mystique In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Prior to Jennifer Lawrence taking on the role of Raven Darkholme, a.k.a. Mystique, in Fox’s X-Men prequel series, Rebecca Romijn debuted as the enigmatic shape-shifting villain in the original X-Men trilogy. Since portraying Mystique in Fox’s X-Men Universe, Romijn portrayed Joan in 2002’s The Punisher, which was also based on Marvel Comics. Romijn more recently starred as Una Chin-Riley in Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, while also lending her voice to DC’s Lois Lane in the DC Animated Universe. Romijn currently hosts CBS reality romance series The Real Love Boats alongside her husband, Sliders​​​​​​​ actor Jerry O’Connell.

8 Aaron Stanford Played Pyro In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Aaron Stanford's Pyro in X-Men The Last Stand

Aaron Stanford took over from X-Men’s Alexander Burton as John Allerdyce, a.k.a. Pyro, in X2, and reprised the role as a villain in X-Men: The Last Stand. Stanford later appeared in Travelers, the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes, Live Free or Die and Mad Men, before assuming a starring role in The CW’s Nikita in 2010. Between 2015 and 2018, Stanford starred as time-traveler James Cole in Syfy’s TV adaptation of 12 Monkeys, and he has also made appearances in popular shows including Fear the Walking Dead, Westworld and Star Trek: Picard. More recently, Stanford performed alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Jenna Ortega in 2023’s crime thriller Finestkind​​​​​​​.

7 Shawn Ashmore Played Iceman In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Shawn Ashmore's Iceman in X2

Shawn Ashmore rose to fame as Bobby Drake, a.k.a. Iceman, in Fox’s original X-Men trilogy, a role that he reprised in The Super Hero Squad Show and X-Men: The Official Game. He guest-starred alongside his twin brother in Smallville, and had starring roles in Animorphs and In a Heartbeat before being cast in the lead role of young wizard-in-training Ged in Legend of Earthsea. More recently, Ashmore made a recurring appearance in The Boys season 2 as Lamplighter and appeared as Wesley Evers in 2022’s The Rookie: Feds. Ashmore reprised the role of Iceman in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it’s unclear whether he’ll return in the MCU proper.

6 James Marsden Played Cyclops In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

James Marsden's Cyclops in X-Men trilogy

Following a series of guest starring roles, James Marsden rose to fame as Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, in 2000’s X-Men. Marsden’s portrayal of Cyclops is widely regarded to have been wasted in Fox’s X-Men Universe, so there have been calls for him to reprise the role for redemption in the MCU proper. Marsden later appeared in a series of comedy projects including The Notebook, 27 Dresses, Hairspray, Enchanted and Sex Drive, before taking on roles in a number of independent projects. Marsden joined the main cast for shows including Westworld, Dead to Me, The Stand, and more recently, 2023’s reality hoax series Jury Duty​​​​​​​, in which he plays himself.

5 Hugh Jackman Played Wolverine In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

2000’s X-Men marked Australian actor Hugh Jackman’s breakout role, appearing as James “Logan” Howlett, a.k.a. Wolverine, a role that he reprised in most of the live-action projects in Fox’s X-Men Universe. Since then, however, Jackman has become a highly-acclaimed actor, and has taken on a variety of roles in projects including The Prestige, Les Misérables, Prisoners, The Front Runner and The Greatest Showman. Jackman is also well-known for his roles in theater, but Wolverine is by far his most iconic role. Despite retiring as Wolverine after 2017’s Logan, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was confirmed to be returning in 2024’s Deadpool 3 opposite Ryan Reynolds’ titular Deadpool.

4 Famke Janssen Played Jean Grey In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Famke Janssen's Jean Grey in X-Men trilogy

Before starring as Jean Grey in Fox’s X-Men Universe, Dutch actor Famke Janssen appeared as Xenia Onatopp in 1995’s GoldenEye opposite Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond. After X-Men: The Last Stand ended in Jean Grey’s demise at the reluctant hands of Wolverine, Janssen went on to portray Lenore Mills in the Taken trilogy, as well as taking on roles in Hemlock Grove, Nip/Tuck and How to Get Away with Murder. She is set to portray a main character in the live-action adaptation of anime Saint Seiya. Outside her acting, Janssen made her directorial debut with 2011’s Bringing Up Bobby, and was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity by the United Nations.

3 Halle Berry Played Storm In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Halle Berry's Storm in X-Men trilogy

Halle Berry began her career as a model, but began acting with roles in Boomerang, The Flintstones and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. For her role in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, Berry became the first – and so far only – woman of color to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, helping to established herself as one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. Her role of Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm, in Fox’s X-Men Universe was celebrated, with many hoping she’ll return in the MCU. Berry has had more recent roles in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and Moonfall, and made her directorial debut with 2020’s Bruised.

2 Ian McKellen Played Magneto In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Ian McKellen's Magneto in X-Men trilogy

Ian McKellen’s remarkable acting career spans decades of performances on stage and screen in a variety of projects from Shakespearean drama to science fiction epics. He has been a frequent collaborator to X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart in British theater, and has achieved worldwide acclaim with film roles including Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Mr. Holmes, Gods and Monsters, The Good Liar and, of course, the X-Men trilogy, in which he appeared as Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto. The iconic X-Men villain would later be played by Michael Fassbender, but there has been speculation that McKellen will be reprising the role in Deadpool 3​​​​​​​ or beyond.

1 Patrick Stewart Played Professor X In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy

X-Men (2000), X2 (2003) & X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Similarly to Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart’s acting career has spanned seven decades of projects on stage and screen. Stewart’s role of Charles Xavier’s Professor X in Fox’s X-Men Universe delivered an iconic iteration of the X-Men founder and leader that will be difficult to replace in the MCU proper. Since portraying Professor X, Stewart has appeared in a number of comedy roles along with television films based on Shakespeare’s plays, while also reprising his 1990s role of Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard. Most recently, Stewart appeared as Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and is rumored to be reprising the role in the MCU’s future.

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