While always revolving around the same core group of characters, the X-Men franchise has shifted back and forth in time, often to give us insight into the origins of our mutant heroes. The storyline of X-Men: Days of Future Past then effectively erased the events of the original X-Men movie timeline, leaving the door open to all sorts of changes — including whether some X-Men lived or died.
One character who was resurrected (again) for a happy ending in Days of Future Past, with the also now-undead Scott Summers/Cyclops (James Marsden), was the telepathically and telekinetically gifted Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Sacrificing herself to save the team at the end of X2, she reappeared as the unstable Phoenix in The Last Stand. Ultimately she asks Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to kill her, to save the world from her uncontrollable destructive powers.
With a potentially infinite number of future films in the X-Men universe picking up with the rebooted timeline created by Wolverine’s recent time travel, Janssen is reportedly hoping that Days of Future Past cameo isn’t the last time her version of Jean Grey appears in the story. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Radio, Janssen expressed excitement at seeing Sophie Turner’s younger version of the character in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, but wasn’t as happy that her original male costars still get to play in the X-Men sandbox.
“In the X-Men series, they’ve been doing this for years. Although women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions – or more mature, whatever the politically correct version of that is – are never to be seen again. Whereas the men are allowed to be both ages. Sexism. I think that I should be back along with my younger version and the way that we’ve seen it with Magneto and Professor X.”
While there are male actors who haven’t had a chance to reprise their original roles, either, it’s understandable how Janssen could be perturbed that Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen have continued to be a bigger part of the franchise. Jean Grey isn’t a mere peripheral character in the X-Men world, and Janssen could conceivably have been worked into more of Days of Future Past in particular.
The door isn’t closed for her character, either. While there’s some disagreement between filmmakers Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer about whether that Days of Future Past final reality is the true destination of the newer films, it’s certainly possible to have Janssen and other original actors appear in future stories, or ones that may connect the new past and new future. As Singer himself says, with the time travel element, “anything can happen.”
Janssen did say that she’s pitched the idea to the X-Men producers, but so far it’s been “radio silence.” That may be because there’s just no answer to the question yet. It also may be related to Singer’s perception that the young actors in the upcoming X-Men: Apocylypse represent the “true birth of the X-Men,” and that any additional films will have the current performers simply aging into their “future” roles over time. Let us know in the comments if you’d prefer to see Janssen reprise her version of Jean Grey, or are happy with Turner taking over indefinitely.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters May 27, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Source: Entertainment Weekly