While the Marvel Cinematic Universe will get all of the praise for bringing Marvel's characters to the big screen in an interconnected shared universe, it was the X-Men movies that first created its own mini universe in the early 2000s. Even with Disney's purchase of Fox likely to go through in 2019, this franchise stood on its own two feet and produced high-quality films over nearly two decades. In fact, can you even imagine anyone else but Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine?
Of course, like any movie adaptations, certain liberties were taken and not all characters ended up looking like their comic book counterparts. In some instances, they were drastically changed, while in others they were actually pretty good. Since this franchise has produced 11 movies to date, there's a host of superheroes and villains to explore.
As such, we decided to narrow it down to the more memorable characters of the bunch and see who pulled it off and who flopped hard. Just keep in mind that this doesn't have anything to do with the actor in question, but only the appearance of the character.
With that said, let's take a peek at the 10 X-Men Actors Who Look Nothing Like Their Characters (And 10 Who Are Spot On).
20 Looks Nothing Like: Oscar Isaac - Apocalypse
To our graves, we'll defend Oscar Isaac's performance as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse. While the movie had its issues, Isaac's portrayal wasn't one of them. The first released images of the infamous villain, though, seemed to doom the movie from the start. It was uninspiring and looked like a train wreck ready to happen. In fact, he looked a lot like Ivan Ooze from 1995's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
The problem with a character like Apocalypse is that he's better suited to the comic book medium than film, since he's so over the top. Like Juggernaut in Deadpool 2, the villain might've worked better had he been CGI and not a man in a suit.
19 Spot On: Patrick Stewart - Professor X
Back in the days of X-Men: The Animated Series, fans would often discuss dream castings for a live-action adaptation. In every playground you'd hear at least one kid suggest the guy who played Captain Picard in Star Trek for Professor X. Everyone would agree how that would be the perfect casting.
As it turns out, the fact that Patrick Stewart had become so identifiable with Jean-Luc Picard resulted in him turning down the Professor Xavier role at first. Explaining to MTV (via CinemaBlend), Stewart said that a director once told him that he was a terrific actor but why would he want Picard in his movie? Bryan Singer had to convince him about how different his role would be in X-Men. Once convinced, Stewart accepted.
18 Looks Nothing Like: Aaron Stanford - Pyro
Pyro was never a major villain in the comic books. In fact, his biggest arc arrived in X-Men: The Animated Series, where he appeared in a number of episodes as a part of the Brotherhood of Mutants, along with Mystique, Blob, and Avalanche. He wore a red, orange, and yellow suit, and sported blonde hair.
Pyro appeared in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, as portrayed by 12 Monkeys actor Aaron Stanford. In the movies, he looked nothing like the character from the comic books or animated series. In fact, he didn't even wear a costume, looking more like the lost member of a '00s boy band stuck in the middle of a recession. At least he joined the Brotherhood, though.
17 Spot On: Famke Janssen - Jean Grey
If you look back at 2000's X-Men, it's arguably one of the best cast comic book movies in history. Almost everyone looked identical to the characters from the source material and fans found little to complain about in terms of the appearances of the actors. In Famke Janssen, Bryan Singer found the picture-perfect Jean Grey.
Unfortunately, her time with the franchise seems to be up, according to her. Chatting to US Weekly, Janssen said, "I didn't give up, they gave up on me. There's a big difference," she said. "It was their [producers'] decision, you know? It's like what happens in life. Just like men trade women in for a younger model version. It's like that."
16 Looks Nothing Like: Anna Paquin - Rogue
When Anna Paquin was cast as Rogue in Bryan Singer's X-Men, there were a few raised eyebrows. In the comic books, Rogue was a voluptuous temptress. Paquin was the girl next door and was only 18 years old when the movie was released. As we now know, Singer introduced the teenage version of Rogue known as Marie. Fortunately, Paquin did get the trademark white streak in the hair, but that was about it.
In an interview with Variety, Paquin explained how she thinks her time with the franchise is up. "There’s been so many spinoffs and reboots and TV shows, so I'm not sure where Rogue or the other original characters fit into the current plotlines, so it's probably not going to happen," she said.
15 Spot On: Kelsey Grammer - Beast
Bringing Beast to the big screen has all the potential of being laughable. We've all seen those practical effects from old-school werewolf movies where the characters are so obviously fake that you can't help but laugh at them. In X-Men: The Last Stand, though, not only was the casting of Kelsey Grammer as Hank McCoy on point, but the producers also got his look just right.
Grammer is a fan of Beast, too, and made a further appearance as the character in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Grammer insisted that he'd love another shot at playing the blue X-Man. "Beast was a riot, I think he was underused... I believe that they should have done another Beast movie, you know with my Beast."
14 Looks Nothing Like: Vinnie Jones - Juggernaut
Hearing that tough guy Vinnie Jones was playing Juggernaut made our hearts go giddy. Think about it: on paper, Jones has the snark and charm to play such a wild character. While his version of the Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand provided us with an unforgettable meme, his appearance gave us nightmares.
Who in their right mind thought this was a good costume for the character? Had Brett Ratner ever read a comic or watched the animated show before he took this project? Jones looked nothing like the classic Cain Marko and he only added to the absolute disaster that the film was. We're glad the timeline jumps have since tried to reverse this movie's events from continuity.
13 Spot On: James Marsden - Cyclops
The role of Cyclops was always going to be difficult to cast. You'd need an actor who looked like an every day guy and had the ability to hide himself under a pair of shades or a visor for the whole movie. Step forward James Marsden, who's arguably the quintessential Cyclops.
Marsden is appreciative of his time as the character. "It was great to be a part of those movies, people loved them – it's still the thing I get recognized for the most – but I feel like because there were so many cast members in this 90-minute movie, there was never enough time to give him the depth that other characters had," he told Entertainment Tonight, adding that he'd really like to see a solo Cyclops movie.
12 Looks Nothing Like: Kevin Bacon - Sebastian Shaw
Getting a name like Kevin Bacon for X-Men: First Class is quite the coup – and he did a tremendous job as the leader of the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw, in the movie. His performance aside, he didn't really look like the famous villain. Bacon himself said he wanted to portray the character as more of a Hugh Hefner-type than the source material.
In fact, the director of the movie, Matthew Vaughn, suggested that if Bacon had looked more like the Shaw from the comics, he would've come across as an Austin Powers villain rather than as a legitimate threat. Maybe it's true, but there's no escaping the fact that the character's appearance was radically altered in the movie.
11 Spot On: Josh Brolin - Cable
There were many names thrown around for the part of Cable in Deadpool 2. The biggest question was, could the actor look the part? After all, Cable is one of those characters that has a specific appearance and you'd hate to upset the fans by changing it. David Leitch picked Josh Brolin and he decided to mostly respect the source material – sans the abundance of pouches that Rob Liefeld included in his original design of the character.
Speaking about Cable's look to Flickering Myth, Brolin said, "There was a haircut Leitch had, which was similar to Cable the way you see it. I felt like we needed to go further with it and it's not necessarily exactly like it was in the comics [but it worked]."
10 Looks Nothing Like: Liev Schreiber - Sabretooth
Let's get one thing straight here: Liev Schreiber's Victor Creed/Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a million times more superior than Tyler Mane's. While Mane's version of the character looked a lot like his comic book counterpart, he had the personality of a ham sandwich. Schreiber added more menace and deviousness to Creed.
Unfortunately, the costume designers must've been on holiday when they planned his look. He literally looked like Schreiber in a coat and with fingernails that should've been cut a few days ago. There was nothing about his appearance that indicated he was Sabretooth. While director Gavin Hood didn't need to go too far down the rabbit hole of comic books, he could've at least added a little something to the character's look.
9 Spot On: Halle Berry - Storm
When you think of Storm, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are Halle Berry. She's become synonymous with Ororo Munroe and it's become difficult to imagine anyone else in the role – she literally looks like the character from the comics. (Nonetheless, Alexandra Shipp does deserve a special shout-out since her interpretation is also growing on us.)
Although, there's one thing that Berry thought the movie never did: give Storm a little romance. "I joke in the movies, I'm like, 'How come nobody's loving on Storm.' Like what's wrong with Storm? Nobody is checking for Storm," she told Entertainment Weekly. "So, we decided that Storm and Logan had a thing, and then Jean came and messed that up."
8 Looks Nothing Like: Nicholas Hoult - Beast
Do you remember Teen Wolf with Michael J. Fox? It was a hilarious comedy movie from 1985. Well, Nicholas Hoult's Beast looks exactly like Fox's Scott Howard when he's transformed into the werewolf. The problem is, the X-Men movies aren't comedies and you shouldn't be laughing at Beast's appearance.
It's incredible to think that Hoult's Beast came after Kelsey Grammer's, yet the design of the character seems like a step backwards. How do you go from a look that was universally praised to something that could be out of a low-budget fan film? Sadly, Hoult's Beast has never been a hit with the fans and it's unlikely to ever be one in future movies either.
7 Spot On: Oliva Munn - Psylocke
Here's a fun fact: Psylocke actually appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, as portrayed by Meiling Melançon, but the character was so irrelevant (and looked nothing like Psylocke) that everyone missed it. So, when Olivia Munn was cast as Betsy Braddock in X-Men: Apocalypse and fans saw her in the costume for the first time, it was like a dream come to life.
Chatting about the costume to Collider, Munn said, "I think my first thought was it has to be purple, because we were going up against time and making it. It was black at first because that's the way to — the latex [and all the armor] is in black and it's just easier – but I was like, 'You've got to make it purple.'"
6 Looks Nothing Like: Taylor Kitsch - Gambit
Every time the name "Gambit" is mentioned, the proposed movie gets delayed by another year at Fox. It's astounding how the popular X-Man has been largely absent from the films, bar a one-time appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as portrayed by Taylor Kitsch.
The Ragin' Cajun wasn't quite raging. Kitsch simply didn't look like Gambit, and fans were none too pleased about it. "Um… no, I didn't have a go [at returning to the role]. Ever since we finished the movie, it's never really been an option," he told The Daily Beast (via Screen Rant). "It was a fun character to play, and I learned a lot working with Hugh [Jackman] and had an amazing time in Australia."
5 Spot On: January Jones - Emma Frost
The casting of January Jones as Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class was welcomed by most fans. Not only did Jones have the required look for the fan-favorite character, but she also had built up a solid name for herself as an actress on Mad Men.
"When I heard that this instalment of X-Men was going to take place in the '60s I was like, 'Oh my God, you must be kidding me!' But I read the script and familiarized myself with the character of Emma Frost," Jones told the LA Times (via NME). "It's a lot of very body-conscious stuff. If you look at the comic book, she's barely dressed. She's got quite the bod, which is very intimidating."
4 Looks Nothing Like: Tye Sheridan - Cyclops
Tye Sheridan is one of the biggest young actors currently in Hollywood. You only need to watch Ready Player One to see how he's poised to become the next big thing in the industry. However, his casting as Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse didn't convince us that he's the right replacement for the previous Cykes in the franchise. Even in a more comics-accurate costume than his predecessors, Sheridan just doesn't look like Summers.
Before Sheridan, James Marsden and Tim Pocock had portrayed the character in the X-Men movies. Undoubtedly, both of those actors looked more like Cyclops than Sheridan did. It's no slight on his performance, because that was great, but he just didn't look the part.
3 Spot On: Sophie Turner - Jean Grey
Replacing Famke Janssen as Jean Grey was never an easy feat. Yet, Sophie Turner proved to be the perfect replacement. Not only does she look like the fiery redhead from the comics, but her outfit at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse was a nice throwback to X-Men: The Animated Series.
Speaking about the costumes to EW, Turner said, "You know, it's funny, you're supposed to kind of be able to do anything in them. But a lot of the time we kind of felt like grandparents when we couldn't kneel down properly and we'd all be like, holding our backs, and like kneeling being like, 'Ugh oh!' So mobility-wise, they weren't the best. But at least we looked cool."
2 Looks Nothing Like: Hugh Jackman - Wolverine
Make no mistake: Hugh Jackman is Wolverine. It's impossible to imagine another actor as the Ol' Canucklehead. That said, Jackman doesn't exactly look like the feral X-Man from the comic books. For one, the original Wolvie is much shorter than Jackman and he's as ugly as he's vicious.
Second, Jackman never wore the iconic yellow and black suit in the movies. Speaking about it to EW, Jackman said, "I never really thought it was a possibility. I had no idea how the hell it would be done. We flirted with it at one point with The Wolverine, but we just couldn’t find a way to do it and be in keeping with the tone of the film. Sorry, guys."
1 Spot On: Ryan Reynolds - Deadpool
After X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it appeared as if the Deadpool ship had sailed. Fox had Ryan Reynolds as the right man for the Merc with a Mouth, yet the studio messed up its first interpretation of the popular character. Fortunately, Reynolds and his conspirators fought hard for a solo movie, which would be much more accurate, and it happened in 2016.
All good things come to those who wait, and we received many good things in Deadpool. The costume was outstanding and Reynolds proved he was the only logical choice. In an interview with Variety, he said, "I would love to play Deadpool for as long as they would let me play Deadpool. We have outlines and stories for a number of different films."
Are there any other X-Men actors who look like their characters? Are there any others who don't? Let us know in the comments!