SPOILER ALERT: This article contains SPOILERS for all of the ‘X-Men’ movies including ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. If you haven’t seen all of them, proceed with caution.
20th Century Fox’s ‘X-Men’ movies are ensemble films. Even the “solo” movies are peppered with guest appearances from additional comic book characters. As such, certain characters get shorted when it comes to screen time or treatment. Sometimes it’s a matter of juggling a large number of characters. Other times, what winds up on screen bears little to no resemblance to what readers embraced on the comic book page.
Case in point:
Perhaps the best example is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘. In the comics, Deadpool is known as “The Merc With A Mouth” in reference to the never-ending stream of non-sequiturs and wisecracks constantly spewing from his gob. It was well-known at the time that ‘X-Men Origins’ was made that Fox planned to spin Deadpool off into his own movie, so WHY did they REMOVE The Merc With A Mouth’s MOUTH?! What was the next movie supposed to be like? Him grunting through his nose?! What sense did that make?
Of course, ‘Deadpool‘ eventually did get his own movie which completely ignored the events of ‘X-Men Origins’ and lo and behold, became the top grossing ‘X-Men’ film of all. That’s why he doesn’t rank on this list. His first appearance definitely deserves it, but his own film made up for that in spades! (But ‘Deadpool’ wasn’t enough to keep one character off the list, although it helped.)
But there are still many other X-Men characters from the films that have gotten, shall we say, poor treatment. Who are some of the worst? Check below:
10. The Blob – Kevin Durant/Giant Gustav Claude Ouimet (‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’)
The Blob may have an odd power… being fat. But he’s actually a fairly major villain in the comics, with super strength and the power to control his flabby flesh. He’s been clashing with the X-Men since the sixties (he debuted in ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #3) as well as other Marvel heroes. But in the films, he’s gotten a short shrift. In ‘X-Men Origins’, he made an extremely short cameo, in which it was revealed that his mutant power was to turn fat when he was in fact average size.
That film has been wiped out of continuity and he made a return in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, played by Giant Gustav Claude Ouimet, in another tiny cameo in which he has his ass beaten by Angel. Shame.
9. Colossus – Daniel Cudmore (‘X-Men 2: X-Men United’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’)
Colossus is one of the most popular and important X-Men in the comics, but his role in the films has been minimal. I don’t even remember Cudmore uttering a single line. Despite his power to turn into a steel powerhouse, Colossus was a background character, who never really amounted to squat before he was beheaded in ‘Days of Future Past’.
The character got a redemption in ‘Deadpool’ portrayed by CGI and voiced by Stefan Kapicic. For the first time in the movies, Colossus had an appropriate Russian accent and was a towering metal man-mountain. Here’s hoping THIS version is the one we see from now on.
8. Emma Frost – January Jones (‘X-Men: First Class’)
Let’s be honest, the casting of the ‘X-Men’ movies has been… spotty. Oh sure, we got Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender and some other GREATS, but then again, we got that bitchy wooden plank from ‘Mad Men’ depicting one of the most charismatic characters from the comics, i.e. January Jones as Emma Frost.
Not only did she sleepwalk through ‘X-Men: First Class’ but Emma Frost is one of the most visible, significant characters in the comics, yet the film version was unceremoniously killed, off-camera in between ‘First Class’ and ‘Days of Future Past’ meaning there’s little hope we’ll see this sultry mastermind in another film unless they reboot the whole shebang.
7. Rogue – Anna Paquin (‘X-Men’, ‘X-Men 2: X-Men United’, ‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand’)
I know what you’re thinking: WHAT?! Anna Paquin’s Rogue was the main character (besides Wolverine) in all of the original X-Movies! This is true. But she was never really allowed to reach her full potential.
Some, including Paquin herself, have complained that the movie Rogue didn’t have the powers she stole from Ms. Marvel in the comics: invulnerability, super strength, and flight. But since the movies decided to focus on her MUTANT powers, those abilities weren’t included. (Understandably.)
But the movies actually didn’t even depict her comic book powers accurately. She is shown as being able to drain others of their life force, but in the comics, she can absorb other mutants’ powers. At no point did she ever duplicate Storm’s weather-controlling powers or Nightcrawler’s teleportation. She could have been a jack-of-all-trades… but wasn’t.
And honestly, the fact that she willingly gave up her mutant powers to be “normal” in ‘X3’ flies in the face of the message behind all of these movies! And it was for a BOY!!! Booo!!!
And let’s not forget she had her scenes completely cut from the theatrical version of ‘Days of Future Past’.
6. Kitty Pryde – Ellen Page (‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’)
Ellen Page is a fantastic actress and it was a real coup to land her for the ‘X-Men’ movies. Yet her depiction of Kitty Pryde was squandered in ‘X3’ as she was reduced to being “the other woman” in a love triangle with Rogue and Ice Man (Shawn Ashmore).
She played a pivotal role in ‘Days of Future Past’ but not as important a role as her comic book counterpart. In the comic book story, it was Kitty Pryde who went backward in time to right the course of history. In the film, it was Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine who performed that stunt. It makes sense. Jackman/Wolverine is a bigger, more bankable star. Still, Kitty kind of got screwed.
Plus, they never explained exactly how she was able to project people backward in time. What’s up with that?
5. Jubilee – Katrina Florence, Kea Wong, Lana Condor (‘X-Men’, ‘X-Men 2: X-Men United’, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’)
Once. Twice. Three times a mutant. Jubilee has appeared in three different X-Movies and has failed to pop one firework in any. In ‘X-Men’ she was just a background character, slipped in for true fans. In ‘X2’ she was one of the students kidnapped by Stryker. (Storm even called her by name.)
Fans thought she would finally get a chance to shine (literally) in ‘Apocalypse’ with Lana Condor doing a spot-on depiction of the comic book character. But for whatever reason, while Nightcrawler, Cyclops, and Jean escaped young Stryker and helped save the day, Jubilee was knocked unconscious and did… nothing. Supposedly her major scenes will be included as extras on the BluRay release. Which means they are about as important as bloopers or TV spots.
4. Storm – Halle Berry (‘X-Men’, ‘X-Men 2: X-Men United’, ‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’)
Once again, “Wait WHAT?!” But c’mon. There’s an excuse for why Rogue didn’t fly, but Storm? Uh, not enough money? It’s true. The first ‘X-Men’ was made on a relatively low budget. (Keep in mind it was the first real modern superhero movie.) But after that? They kind of let her fly in ‘X3’, while spinning around like a cyclone. Then when she returned in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, Berry was pregnant in real life, thus her part in the movie had to be cut down.
But worse than her weakened powers– what was up with those wigs. Those were the worst Party City wigs Ev. Er. That was seriously the best they could come up with?
At least Alexandra Shipp’s had an accent and could fly. If she returns, I have high hopes.
3. Havok – Lucas Till (‘X-Men: First Class’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’)
Technically, most of the cast of ‘X-Men: First Class’ could be listed as they were unceremoniously killed off between films. Havok, a.k.a. Alex Summers, actually survived, but he only returned for a brief cameo in ‘Days’. Then, in ‘Apocalypse’, he was tasked with introducing his younger brother Scott (played by Tye Sheridan) to Professor Xavier and the students that would form the X-Men. Alex is then killed off trying to stop the title villain from kidnapping Xavier. His death inspires his sulky, surly kid brother to get over himself and become a hero.
Havok never really got a chance to shine. His powers were rendered as dopey hula hoop looking effects in ‘First Class’. They looked better in ‘Apocalypse’ but then he died before he could really amount to anything. In all, Havok was squandered potential in the X-Movies.
2. Cyclops – James Marsden (mostly ‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand’)
James Marsden is pretty… mild. Which made him a great match for the X-Men’s by-the-numbers leader Cyclops. Though he was upstaged by Wolverine in the films, his romance with Jean Grey was a pretty important element in the films, especially in ‘X3’ when she became Dark Phoenix. And her first act as this new omnipotent entity was… killing off the man she loved.
Okay, folks die in superhero stories. That’s par for the course. But the truth is that James Marsden took a role in ‘Superman Returns’ from rival studio Warner Brothers, so in retaliation, Fox had Cyclops killed off. Take that, turncoat!
At least he was restored in ‘Days of Future Past’ but of all the X-Men deaths, his was the most petty.
1. Angel, Angel and Angel – Ben Foster (‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand’), Ben Hardy (‘X-Men: Apocalypse’), Zoe Kravitz (‘X-Men: First Class’)
Angel is a tough sell to begin with since his only power is flight. (But considering the movie versions of Rogue and Storm couldn’t do it, maybe that’s nothing to sneeze at.) In ‘X3’, Angel is essentially tacked on, since his father is involved with finding a cure for mutations. But he really does very little in the film and could have easily been omitted entirely.
In ‘Apocalypse’, Ben Hardy played a younger Angel who gets turned into Archangel by Apocalypse, complete with metal wings that fire razor sharp feathers. But even with these enhancements, his powers pale in comparison to Magneto’s and Storm’s. He does put up a decent fight against the X-Men, but then he is callously killed off when the X-Jet crashes with him inside it.
Once again, Angel might have had potential (not much, but some), but he doesn’t really amount to much and could have easily been swapped out for a more powerful/interesting character.
And in case you forgot, Zoe Kravitz played another character named Angel in ‘First Class’ but like most of her fellow castmates, she was revealed to have been tortured and killed in between that movie and ‘Days of Future Past’.
So there you have it. Sure there were plenty of characters who only made brief cameos that could have done more, but the characters listed had fairly big parts only to, well, get screwed.
Do you agree or disagree? Was there anyone that should have made this list that didn’t?