The X-Men franchise that launched the comic book movie craze back in 2000 is officially dead following the release of Dark Phoenix. Fox has merged with Disney, so Marvel Studios has the rights to the characters back and they’re going to reboot them all. That means there are dozens of characters we’ll never get to see again.
By the way, Deadpool doesn’t count, because we won’t have to miss him. Disney is still committed to making R-rated Deadpool movies with Ryan Reynolds in the role. Anyway, here are 5 Characters From Fox’s X-Men Franchise We’ll Miss (And 5 We Won’t).
10 We’ll miss: Storm
Halle Berry was the perfect choice to bring Storm to the big screen, since she captured the fierceness and heroism of the character. Storm was even one of the characters that the newer movies were getting right. In the last couple of movies, Alexandra Shipp was just starting to make the role her own.
It would’ve been interesting to see Shipp continue to play Storm (in movies that were a little better, ideally) and flesh her out. Marvel will undoubtedly be rebooting Storm and possibly telling her origin story all over again, but they should consider keeping Shipp on for the part.
9 We won’t miss: Magneto
Ian McKellen brought the perfect amount of gravitas to the role of Magneto in the earliest X-Men movies, making him one of the most memorable and iconic villains in comic book movie history. In fact, as one of the earliest comic book movie villains, he set the template for the rest of them.
Although Michael Fassbender is one of the finest actors in Hollywood today, his Magneto has never been particularly exciting, because he’s never really been given anything to do. He’d show up, lift a sports stadium with his powers, and then get quickly defeated by the X-Men. He’s been one of the dullest villains in recent memory.
8 We’ll miss: Jean Grey
As much as the fans and critics alike have hated Dark Phoenix, Sophie Turner was a strong choice to play Jean Grey. It’s hardly surprising, since she went from playing one powerful female character in a beloved pop culture franchise to another.
The script for the latest (and final) installment of Fox’s X-Men franchise might have been flimsy and disjointed, due to the film being planned as a two-parter and being retroactively turned into a one-parter by the studio, but Turner did as good a job as she could with the material. Jean Grey is a mutant who can’t control her own powers, and Turner played that well.
7 We won’t miss: Beast
Neither incarnation of Beast in the X-Men franchise lived up to the awesomeness of the character. He’s basically Smart Hulk before there was a Smart Hulk. Beast has the physicality of an ape, but the intellect of a full-blown genius.
There’s an opportunity to brilliantly portray this character in a future movie, but not if he’s played by Kelsey Grammer or Nicholas Hoult, like he was in the Fox movies. It’s a huge relief, actually, that Disney will be rebooting this character (potentially), because his depiction in the Fox movies started out as misguided and devolved into a complete mess.
6 We’ll miss: Quicksilver
The MCU has been doing pretty much everything better than the X-Men movies recently, but one thing the latter did better was depicting Quicksilver.
Whereas Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron came and went as a boring character without making the slightest impact on the audience, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver – introduced in X-Men: Days of Future Past – made a huge impact on the audience. He was the most memorable part of any of the recent movies, and his portrayal was the first to make super-speed look as cool in a movie as it does on a comic book page.
5 We won’t miss: Cyclops
In the comics, Cyclops was conceived as the antithesis of Wolverine. He wasn’t gruff or cynical or reluctant to head into action; he was an inspiring, all-American hero to counteract the rest of popular culture at the time of the Vietnam War. James Marsden’s portrayal of Cyclops in the early movies showed some promise, but Tye Sheridan’s version from the recent movies has left a lot to be desired.
Avengers: Endgame co-writer Christopher Markus pointed out what was wrong with Fox’s version of Cyclops when he put in his bid to reinvent the character for the MCU: “I’ve always thought, ‘Yeah, you could make Cyclops into a real hero, as opposed to a kind of punching bag.’”
4 We’ll miss: Kitty Pryde
Kitty Pryde is one of the X-Men fan base’s favorite female characters, and Ellen Page always played her faithfully in Fox’s movies. The character was never brought into the newer movies with a younger actor, probably because they’ve been prequels and Kitty has always been characterized as the “kid sister” to the older X-Men, so she hadn’t been born yet.
But that’s a good thing, because Page nailed the character and casting a new actor for the part in the soft reboot of the franchise would’ve ruined that. Page probably won’t be asked back for the MCU, but hopefully, the character will still make it to the new franchise.
3 We won’t miss: Mystique
It’s telling that when the Dark Phoenix trailer revealed the shocking death of Mystique, fans weren’t too bothered. The reaction was confined to how strange it was that the studio included such a flagrant spoiler in their movie trailer.
Jennifer Lawrence is one of the finest actors working right now, but then so are James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender – it’s how they’re characterized in the movies that makes them uninteresting. The newer X-Men movies didn’t really know what to do with Mystique. With her shapeshifting ability and healing factor, she’s far more dramatically useful as a villain than as a hero.
2 We’ll miss: Wolverine
We’ve already been missing Wolverine for a couple of years. He isn’t a casualty of the Fox/Disney merger. He went out on his own terms back in 2017 when Hugh Jackman was done with the character. Unlike most of the other characters in Fox’s X-Men franchise, Wolverine got a proper send-off, and if anyone in this franchise deserved one, it was him.
He’s been with these movies since the very beginning, he’s only ever been played by Jackman (his agelessness meant he was unaffected by the baffling timeline changes), and frankly, he’s the only reason most people go to X-Men movies.
1 We won’t miss: Professor X
Not the Patrick Stewart version – we started missing him the second we saw him get killed by Wolverine’s evil clone – the James McAvoy version. As terrific of an actor as McAvoy is, he never lived up to the extremely high bar set by Stewart. Plus, he never really felt right for the role of Charles Xavier.
He’s better suited to intense roles like David Percival and Kevin Wendell Crumb, and Xavier has too firm a grasp on his mental state to ever lose it like that. McAvoy called his younger version of Xavier “an ego-fueled, sexed-up, self-serving dude,” which simply isn’t who the character is.