Original X-Men movie cast member Famke Janssen believes that there are no plans for her to return to the franchise - with the property now entering its seventeenth year of existence and the second generation of X-Men actors firmly established.
With X-Men: Days of Future Past serving as a ceremonial passing of the torch from the old generation of X-Men actors to the First Class generation, it appears we've seen the last of the original cast in the franchise. Days of Future Past's retconning of X-Men: The Last Stand allowed these older actors, whether their characters were previously dead or alive, to have one final curtain call before the franchise moves forward without them. Barring another retcon or appearances in spinoffs/other in-universe films like Deadpool 2 or New Mutants, the last appearance for any of the original X-Men actors will have been the dramatic performances of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in Logan.
Janssen, who has played the extremely powerful telepathic Jean Grey/Phoenix in five X-Men films thus far, has handed off the role to Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner. Turner's Jean Grey was introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse and will now get her chance at the Dark Phoenix storyline that Janssen brought to life in The Last Stand. With her time in the franchise most likely behind her, Janssen reflected on the amazing experience at a panel at Denver Comic-Con over the weekend (h/t Comic Book):
"That was so amazing. I never knew - I don’t think any of us had any understanding of how popular our first movie was going to be and that it was gonna live on for 15 plus years. And then I certainly didn’t realize – I mean I knew Jean Grey could turn into Dark Phoenix, obviously, and that Phoenix rises from the ashes, but the fact that as Jean Grey or the Phoenix they’ve killed me, I’ve come back, I’m like a cockroach. They can’t get rid of me."
Despite her amazing positive experiences with the franchise, Janssen acknowledges that her time as Jean Grey has probably come to an end:
“It’s the gift that keeps on, kept on giving I think we’re done, but it was really great while it lasted and it lasted for a long time. It's been nothing but a pleasure working not just as Jean Grey, which was such an honor because comics were so fantastic already, but then the entire cast who I got to play with, all my fellow actors, thespians who are so talented. It was just a wonderful experience. I’m very grateful.”
Janssen clarified later in the panel that she would be open to reprising her role if Fox and the creative team had plans for her to return, but it seems the franchise has closed that chapter and won't be revisiting it for a while. Having actors likes Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence have helped soften any potential turmoil in turnover from old to new cast members that may have occurred, but it's probable that few people would complain if Janssen and the other original X-Men actors were given a good reason to return from "retirement" in the future.
Source: Comic Book
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018