James Marsden Talks X-Men 4 & 5, Off Camera Death in X-Men 3

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:10 am,

james marsden talks x men 4 and 5 James Marsden Talks X Men 4 & 5, Off Camera Death in X Men 3

The first three X-Men films were incredibly successful, if not always universally loved. And while X-Men: First Class is technically a part of that franchise, it also exists on its own – separate from Wolverine, Cyclops and bad-wig-wearing Storm.

It was recently announced that Fox was actively developing X-Men 4 and 5, perhaps to be directed by Bryan Singer. Now, the man who played Cyclops, James Marsden (Hop), is talking about whether or not he wants to participate in the sequels and how he felt about his death in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand.

On the subject of whether or not he would like to take part in the new X-Men sequels, Marsden said in his interview with Movie Line:

“Yeah, I would love to! Honestly, people ask me more about that than anything and it’s almost embarrassing how little I know about what’s going on with X-Men: First Class. But I guess it’s obviously a prequel and it takes place before our movies, so I’m excited to see it, and I’m excited they’re making it. I think they’re smart, they know they can make X-Men movies as long as they want. There are plenty of characters and plenty of backstories, so I’m happy that they’re continuing the mythology. And I’m happy to have been a part of it at some point. But it would be great to get Hugh [Jackman] and Famke [Janssen] and Patrick [Stewart] and Ian [McKellan] and Halle [Berry] and everybody back together again to do another installment, our next chapter.”

When asked if he was disappointed about not receiving a proper “send-off” in the universally-loathed X-Men: The Last Stand, Marsden laughed and said:

“Well, the thing is I appreciate all the fans that have said that he didn’t get his due, or whatever. But for me it’s very difficult to look back on that experience with any sort of disappointment or regret. I feel really lucky to have been in those movies and feel very proud of what I do in those movies; it’s difficult when you have however many — 12, 15 — new characters that you’re trying to introduce to an audience in 90 to 120 minutes, to give everyone their due. That’s one of the reasons you’re seeing so many spin-offs, because every character could have a spin-off. You could have a Cyclops spin-off, you could have a Jean Grey spin-off — there’s an enormous wealth of backstory and character that you could make a franchise out of each of these characters. So in our X-Men they were always written from Wolverine’s standpoint. He was the lead protagonist. But that could have easily been Storm’s, or Beast’s — it just so happens that the ones I was a part of were very much focused on Wolverine, who was a very popular character in the comics. But I think there’s a lot more story to Cyclops, there’s a lot more depth that exists in the comics. But again, I’m also really realistic about the challenge of introducing and bringing all that depth to however many characters there are within the average running time of a movie.”

I have to say, as much as I hated X-Men: The Last Stand (and truly, there are few movies I enjoy less), killing off Bryan Singer’s Cyclops was one of the few things I felt the film did right. There wasn’t a moment in either X-Men or X2: X-Men United where I felt that the character had a single shred of emotion or…well, character. Whereas the comic book version of Cyclops has become an incredibly complex, zero tolerance badass, the movie version can only be described as boring, boring, and really, really boring.

X-Men: First Class hits theaters 2011. Hop, starring James Marsden and Russell Brand, hits theaters tomorrow. For more X-Men 4 and 5 news, keep your eye on the main page.

Source: Movie Line

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Ok, if they do an X-Men 4 & 5, it would almost have to be a prequel to #1/2/3. Which is OK, I guess, but I want to see Cyclops as the main attraction. Not Wolverine, not Magneto. And I want to see a fight against the Sentinels. The rest is up to the writers.

    • Why exactly would it “almost have to be a prequel”? That makes no sense at all.

      • Well Cyclops, Jean, and Professor X being DEAD and all…

        Yeah, I know the Prof is “alive” but not HIS body.

        • This is from comics. they can find a smart way to bring em back… Maybe Phoenix put them in another dimension. we never saw their dead bodies. maybe its a way to introduce a villain from another dimension.

          • I think the “Alternate Dimension” route is reasonable. I had mentioned in a previous article how that was done in the cartoon series. The characters thought Phoenix was killing everyone until later when she brought them back from being stranded in an Alternate Dimension… similar to how Azazel traps people in an alternate dimension in the comics.

          • I came up with the idea that the Phoenix in the movie was some sort of herald of Apocalypse. And when the Phoenix killed Xavier and Cyclops, she kinda recruited them as Horsemen for Apocalypse. I mean, she didn´t kill them but sort of teleported them to Egypt. I´d love to see Apocalypse in X-Men 4+5.

  2. I agree. Cyclops is one of my favorite characters and the movies made him seem like an un-fleshed out footnote. I am excited at the prospect of a 4th or 5th film though.

    • I agree with the article that is.

    • agreed cyclops is awesome

  3. dont normally say this – but – james is a class act – now, enough with the man love.

    ratner is a hack on par with boll.

  4. What if Prof X’s waking up at the end of X3 was used as a jumping off point for X4, but from a “It was all a dream” point of view… That would be awesome…

    • Uhhhh….

    • That would be cheap, but probably the best way to fix what X3 did, imo.

  5. well, it is a comic book movie and in the comics they ‘kill’ people and bring them back all of the time. When anf if this ever happens they will find some way to bring him back whether it be a dream sequence like you guys are saying or a horrible subplot that consists of them retrieving him from another or realm or the old ‘surprise I’m not dead’

  6. Cyclops may well have been boring in the films but that doesn’t make his send off in X3 something the film did right. Nothing excuses lazy writing/editing.

  7. they really need to expand on the summers family and sinister and apocalypse that would be the best way to bring about his character and cable in the most badass light. 4 and 5 should focus more on that story line i mean what eles is there? messiah complex? second coming? waay to much bs to put into 2 films they could do an awsome movie but i guess we’ll have to wait and see..

  8. Apocalypse, Gambit, Psylocke, and Dazzler.
    Make it work, Marvel.

    • Thats the one of only two things i liked about the Wolverine movie we got to see Gambit and Deadpool.

  9. One thing I really wish for the installments of these films is that they drift off from Wolverines point of view, especially now that they have the Wolverine movies. James was right; there’s alot of character’s and its difficult to introduce every single one of them, because there’s so much stoy behind each, so the series of X-men itself could really live on forever as it has in the comics and cartoons.

    To me, Xmen 1 was definitely an introduction piece, but mostly for Wolverine, the school, and rogue. I felt X-men two could have continued that in maybe developing the other characters more that were already present in part 1, which they tried to do with Jean and so on. Plus, the introduced more characters. X-men 3 to me, was an epic fail in my opinion, because I hated how they handled such a great character arch in the series, which is Phoenix, and Jean’s story with that. Plus, they suddenly added all these other characters, twists, and turns that were supposed to be suspenseful or whatever, that just all together made me feel cheated more than anything. Nothing was eliminated as it should have been as much as I saw what they may have wanted to achieve.

    I say they need to use X-men 4 and 5 to not introduce new characters but to build their current characters and recover from the mess I personally believe X-men 3 made. X-men 3 killed characters, took others powers, the story wasn’t strong and had several plot holes, whereas I felt X-men 1 and 2 were forgivable enough to rework things so it can eliminate enough to feed an audience. Use it to fill in the whole and give us the much anticipated story and character developments we’ve long awaited for. Make it strong. The biggest thing will be from there is tying the movies together (prequels and spin offs, plus the three xmen movies) so we can be satisfied enough to know who Wolverine came from or the Professor, and whoever else. You have to do that, because as the audience and fans we can’t ignore that they’ve been made otherwise we’ll forever be in a WTF view about it or stuck in film introduction phases and the films will be repetitive and boring.

    Every comic, story, character view will never be satisfiable to every person in the world, but god, I believe they can piece things together to the levels of maybe, dare I say, “Nolan’s level”. I’m basically saying they have to be really smart about it, that’s all. Be smart about it, because X-men has unfortunately had a lot of un-smart moves to me as far as plot and eliminating a story. They need a good script and director to lead this to all its capable of being.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to X-men First Class! Lol

    • Oh, and I mean, no new character introductions unless it were a suitable villain and such. They have the xmen that were all introduced and mentioned in all the films, including the prequels and First Class (Gambit, Banshee,Emma Frost,Etc.). That’s enough. They had to hold their own to introduce these characters. All Xmen 4 and 5 could do is build on them if it works. Make them who they are in the comic story that works best for the movies.

    • They have boxed themselves in with these movies at this point and it’s hard to figure they will ever get on a steady course since there never seemed to be a definitive direction after the first movie. Even as a huge Wolverine fan I felt they took both the team story and the Wolverine story in the wrong direction by trying to cram all that stuff together in the second movie. Jean, Cyclops and Storm never were really fleshed out much and they just kept tossing people in the mix and not really giving people any reason to care.

      The one exception seemed to be the whole Iceman/Pyro rivalry that nobody was really dying to see. Add to that the romance with Bobby and Rouge (who was horribly underpowered and uninteresting in these movies) and you have screen time that could have been used way better.

      • silly Slayer. Rouge is overpowdered.

        • How was she overpowered in the films ? She didn’t have the strength, invulnerability and ability to fly like so many people are used to seeing her in print, on TV and in video games. And she actually did not use her main power in the movies to do anything.

          • I think he was making a joke. Rouge, instead of Rogue, being makeup.

            • Ah, didn’t even catch my mistake. Hope they don’t come up with a character who can alter their make-up now. If they do I want my check….

  10. they already ruined my favorite villain being Juggernaut and him fighting Wolverine when he should’ve fought colossus and Alan Cumming has already come in as Nightcrawler for only one movie because he hated the makeup they’ve already used Gambit, for only about ten minutes I might add, in that horrible XMOW movie so they won’t bring him over to the X=Men now since they’ve already used him. I think they should give this franchise the Old Yeller treatment and let the right revert back to Marvel

  11. a time machine/alternate reality plotline perhaps? this series is looking unfixable.

  12. They never showed Cyclops die… EVER. EVER. EVER. It didn’t happen on screen. Period. No argument… Easy fix. Floating sunglasses do not a dead Cyclops make.

    • Correct. There is that, and the fact that if everything burns up (Skin and clothes) when Phoenix kills you, how did Cyclops’ glasses survive the incineration?

      • incineration, who said he was incinerated, i thought she merely broke him down cell by cell like Xavier, did you see him set on fire I didnt i saw him broken down , she could have transported him some where else, I mean look at xaviers past anyway the guy has been presumed dead more then any other character out there

    • They didn’t? I’ve only ever seen X3 once and I *thought* it was pretty definitive. But I don’t remember the details of the scene.


      • maybe they were teleported to another dimension.. incidentally it would be a great way to introduce Mojo, for an interesting first half of the movie. The Xmen try to rescue their friends. Cyclops and Prof X with some other mutants namely Longshot have to get their ass out of this Gladiatorial dimension.

  13. Marsden seems like a cool guy. He got shafted in all 3 X flicks but it’s nothing they can’t fix.

    They just need to hammer out a cool storyline involving Sinister or Apocalypse and bring Jean and Scott back organically that way. Or at least bring back Cyclops.

    They already have prof. X alive in another body.

  14. i don’t care if he died or not. i really would just like to see a fourth X-Men film. all the original cast should come back. but i’m thinking that maybe Halle Berry and Ian McKellan don’t even want to come back but hopefully they all do

  15. Cyclops was my favorite X-man back when I first read reprints of the Lee and Kirby comics. My first intro to X-men. He’s always been Mr. X-man. But, yeah I don’t feel he’s been given his due.

    Actually I think Nicholas Hoult looks like a good Scott Summers in the pics from First Class. That’s the way Kirby drew him. And don’t interpret that as a complaint of First Class’s lineup.

    I like James Marsden and appreciate what he said about the difficulty of having all the characters. But in a way they kind of demonstrated how difficult it would be to bring Cyclops to screen because the actor can’t use his eyes. But it could still be done if they’re careful.

  16. Yes, Cyclops v. the Sentinels. In the comics, Cyclops is doper than therest of the Xmen. He puts Charles in his plce, Wolverine, Magneto. If they make a prequel or sequel with Scott, it’d have to be written good. He’s amart and a great leader.
    “Not wonders, Scott Summers, so dont make me take off my stunners”

  17. To me a great solution to ignoring the last stand would be to introduce cable and the pieces of the x-ecutioner song story line. Time traveler attempting to execute professor x. Wouldn’t be exactly like the book but it would be a great way to dismiss the last stand and reboot the pheonix character properly. Also introduction of apocalypse and archangel would be EPIC.

    Any thoughts?

    • How could Cable exist if Scott and Jean are dead?

      • Cable isnt Jeans son, Madelyne Pryor is Cables mother, he was sent into the future in the original X factor series,by ship

  18. Cyclops is hands down my favorite X-Man and he has gotten a horrible movie treatment. I really would like to see him done right on film. But unfortunately this cannot be done until this franchise gets rebooted and they can start from scratch.

    I got into the X-Men by watching the movies THEN I read the comics. Before I read the comics I, like many average movie goers, thought Cyclops was lame. And it makes me sad that so many people do not know just what an awesome character and leader he is because the movies made him look like chump who’s not cool like Wolverine is.

    He can be so awesome if they do him right and I’m hoping that someday the world can know just how great he is without having an extensive comic book knowledge.

  19. What i always liked about X-men that no other comic of its time could proclaim (and what i think is missing from the movies)is the soap opera element. So much emotion, controversy…just like the real world or first season of jersey shore lol.

    Think about: This is the true story of 7 mutants picked to live together in a mansion. Find out what happens when X-Men stop being polite and start getting real lmao.

  20. Well, Ben, I think the original Cyclops was a little more like Marsden than the ‘badass’ guy you see now. He was a level-headed, objective Model student…some might say almost bland. He was a sharp contrast to Wolvie’s rashness which created the friction. If he’s ‘badass’ now it’s just a reflection of the present times. Controversy sells better than goody-two shoes. The Xmen comics also became Wolvie-centric when he was introduced and grew popular in the comics. The movies only towed that line. I remember being frustrated with that back then so I stuck to Avengers as my fav team comic. X3 tried to remain Wolvie-centric too along with introducing too many new characters. I guess that’s why it didn’t come out well for many who expected more. Personally I’m one of the few who liked X3. Though it lacked depth in dialogue like Singer’s two, it still had some memorable X scenes like Magneto’s display with the bridge and locking the kid’s door for good measure and humour. The incident with Magneto and the trailers, Beast, Prof X’s death -all these were well done in my view. Sorry I speak for the minority who can’t find voice in the presence of such overwhelming X3 criticism. It wasn’t an easy movie to pull off.. Joss Whedon needs to be wary of high Avengers expectations. It will surely come.

  21. In reality, as a leader of a mutant team and with the lethal power at his disposal, Cyclops can’t afford to be ‘badass’. That would be an indictment to Prof X’s sense of judgment and his skills as an instructor and counsellor.

    • I guess you havent read and Xmen comic lately, that exactly what Cyclops has become , he isnt afraid to kill not anymore, and Beast actually left the team because of how Scott has become, in fact he put together X force as a first strike team to take out their targets before they can be a threat. He also gave them a license to kill .

  22. I thought James Marsden was an excellent Cyclops. He’s also a very capable actor. It’s not his fault his character was horribly ignored and under-developed. Just saying.

    • Agreed. It wasnt James fault that the studio screwed up the x-men. He acted as he was DIRECTED to act, and he didnt write the script.

  23. Hmmm, I wonder if Fox read my ideas for X4 & X5 on here,lol.

  24. Didnt Marsden demand to be written out of the series to supposedly help his career?

    I guess the film roles didnt come flooding in.

  25. 3 ways to bring him back…
    1- claim that he did not die in the 3rd X-men…I mean nobody aside from Jean grey saw it and she was under the influence of Phoniex aka insane
    2-Time Travel: cool but very complex unless they time travel before the events of the third to save prof X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and all the mutants that died. I think that if they did this within the first 20 min o fteh movei that it would be pretty cool and that it would rectify the prob’s with the 3rd film.
    3-Pretend the third film never happened and continue off of the second film, essentially reboot just the third. Think about it, why reboot a whole franchise when you can just reboot the worst film in it. Singer already showed us what he had in mind for the third and the studio can go from there.

    I’d like to see time travel personally because I think, if done right, it can open a whole new relm to the X-men franchise, much like what it did for Star Trek. In time travel we can see younger versions of mutants and see fix story arcs. It would be pretty cool.

    Lets see what happens

    • @ tasouli

      I like the time-travel idea, though like you said it would be complex. But it be awesome to see Stephen Lang as Cable if it involves time-travel.

      • EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!! Days of Future Past!!!! Bishop and Cable in a movie where they time travel to change everything we know now would be great. Or is that just my fan boy coming out? I dont know but I would pay to see it.

    • It was only implied that Cyclops died. Jean thought she killed him, but was also dealing with a duel personality at the time. It can be easily fixed.

    • She sent him to the shi’ar , and they have him , in the 4th and 5th they go into space to deal with the Shi’ar empire and get Scott back, and to deal with the M’Kraan Crystal, they can then use Darwin from First ass and can introduce the third Summers child Vulcan, the could also bring in the Star Jammers.

    • I don’t hate the idea of time travel, especially if they introduced someone like Fitzroy, Magik or Scarlett Witch with the time travel power. It’s hard, but Harry Potter and Star Trek pulled off time travel movies in their franchises. They love obscure characters, so how about Switchback.

    • I like the idea of redoing the 3rd movie with the original intention. It would be kind of like Richard Donner’s cut of Superman 2. He went in and filmed his original ideas and we had his cut. Then we could have xmen 3 the Brian Singer Cut.

  26. Cyclops was my favorite X-Man simply because I enjoyed the concept of a team leader with laser eyes as a superpower. I think the first X-Men movie adequately portrayed Cyke, as he was written to be slightly younger and less of a veteran than he was in the comics – and furthermore I think X2 was successful in further developing Cyke along just a little bit.

    But as Marsden said here, the story always centering around Wolverine as the protagonist definitely hurt Cyke’s status in these films.

    However, I strongly disagree that killing him off was the best way to go in X3: The Last Stand. Teams split up ALL the time in the comics, usually with Cyke serving as one squad’s leader and Storm as the other squad’s. I remember Marsden having commitments to Superman Returns at the same time and just as I didn’t like Singer leaving the franchise for another one before the third movie, I also didn’t like Marsden leaving either. They should have found a replacement for him AND if they really HAD to give Cyke a smaller role, have him disappear due to complications with Jean Grey, just as he did in the comics. Don’t just KILL off a character for no reason. There is a large reason why that film failed as a whole, and that’s just one of them.

    I would prefer to see a replacement for Cyke if they do bring him back, and a much better role and add some emotional weight to his character in the script. Explain better through his scenes (and not just by somebody else’s vague explanation, as in the first X-Men movie) why he is always so aloof. Early in his career he had to be disciplined and in total control of his emotions to keep himself from being a danger to society. In short, he was a human version of Spock, however, being also pressured by being a leader of a team with an important humanitarian agenda, as well as tactician of a superhero team beset by all kinds of dangers, and throw in his relationship drama with Jean, Wolverine (and later on, Emma), he’s not going to be as successful as Spock was in having a handle on his emotions. That should have made for an interesting subplot to the movies, but it was largely forgotten in favor of showcasing Wolverine’s own problems instead.

    For example, they SHOULD have borrowed a classic scene from the comics, where Cyke was so upset (over a teammate’s death, as in the comics) that he just took off his googles and blasted away at anything without a care, causing devastation in his wake everywhere he looked (he was in a forest at the time). And then have him recoil in horror at what he had done – and thanking his lucky stars he was in a remote area and hadn’t killed anybody who would have been very unlucky to be there at that particular time. This would have succinctly shown why Cyke is Cyke, and why he has to be the way he is.

    Honestly, these X-Men movies ought to be and should be much bigger films in their length and scope. People will watch them. There is no reason to condense them. They have a huge, interesting, and popular mythology worthy of the attention and time paid to the LoTR franchise. So for goodness’ sakes, give it to them!

  27. I’m not sure if anyone has even addressed this yet, but technically Cyclops is not dead..
    I know The Last Stand was terrible we get that! At the same time I don’t know if anyone else wasted there time to sit after the credits like I did. I thought it was just a waste of time, but actually not. If anyone remembers if not pop in the waste of money DVD or even look for a video on the Internet anywhere. “Post Credits” of the X-Men: The Last Stand, they go to a hospital in Paris(I think or remember) and they have a certain voice that comes up and it’s only a one of kind voice that stands alone. Non other than Patrick Stewart aka Professor X talking to a young woman….

    ..And we all thought he got obliterated by Jean Grey. Actually she just sent him else where and if you remember there were no actual evidence that Cyclops had died other then his glasses being there…So was he killed off to make room for other X-Men or was he simply just sent somewhere where X4 could possibly pick up at?????

    Just a thought :)

    • Actually, Professor X’s mental abilities are soo strong that HE, not Jean, was able to transfer his mind into another.

      I keep reading where people are thinking that Dark Phoenix transferred people to other realms but if I am remembering correctly (and I’m probably not), she did not have that ability. In fact, if you go by the comic, Phoenix was just a clone of Jean Grey; the Phoenix force took a sample of her DNA and created a perfect replica. Phoenix was never a power Jean had from childhood. These people totally screwed up Phoenix. In the comic (and the cartoon), Dark Phoenix devoured solar systems. That thing in the movie was just some demon possessed thing.

      • I think in the comic that twin was a sister Xavier transferred his mind into.

        As for Phoenix transporting people to another dimension the only place those people went is where ghosts dwell. She destroyed a whole planet in the comic and I doubt she sent all those people at the end of X-3 into some dimension to take a nap.

        Notice how Jean Grey clones go crazy and try to kill everyone (Goblin Queen)?

  28. I loved Marsden as Cy but his death was no good for me. He should have had more of a leadership role as the movies went on, but he simply got more and more away from that role. I am hoping that we see Cy back in 4 and 5 with a good explanation of where he has been and what actually happened on the lake in X3. Let him come back as the leader he should be….with Wolverine on the sidelines bitching and griping about orders but playing ball because he knows Cy is a great leader. And the Phoenix being dead by stabbing….yeah right. Heres to hoping….

  29. I’m not so sure I’d want Bryan Singer involved in these new ones at all. He under-developed several characters, not just Cyclops. I mean, what did Rogue do in any of the movies aside from whimper and moan about her plight? Sabretooth had next to no personality, and mostly growled his way through the first movie. Cyclops was a complete no-show, and hardly shown as the leader of the team he is in the source material. Same with Storm. Her most memorable line in the entire series is only because it’s laughable (“The same thing that happens to everything else..”).

    I want a director/team that are going to represent the source material; it doesn’t have to be word for word, but the characters should come through. Singer’s X-Men largely did not.