15 Wasted Cameos In The X-Men Movies

The Brotherhood of Mutants in X-Men The Last Stand

One thing that separates movies from most other forms of entertainment is a need to be focused. TV shows, comics and video games have hours upon hours to tell their stories, and don’t necessarily need to keep things as concise - movies, on the other hand, have roughly two hours to introduce their settings and move through the story. More often than not, adding in something like extraneous characters or pointless cameos just drags the whole thing down.

Sadly, the X-Men movies never really figured that out. It’s understandable why there are so many cameos - with so many iconic characters, anyone would be tempted to cram in as many mutants as possible. The problems start when the cameos start to distract from the story, and it’s happened quite a few times throughout the franchise’s history.

If you ever thought that it’d be impossible for an X-Men movie to have too many mutants, buckle up - here are 15 Wasted Cameos From The X-Men Franchise.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Jubilee's cameo in the first X-Men movie (2000)
Start Now

15 Jubilee

Jubilee's cameo in the first X-Men movie (2000)

Appeared in: X-Men

Let’s set the record straight: we’re not saying that Jubilee is anyone’s favorite mutant. Throughout much of the ‘90s, she was the basic damsel in distress, yelling and screaming until one of the ‘actual’ X-Men came in and saved the day...but that’s also part of the reason why her cameo in the original X-Men film feels so out-of-place.

Her character might not have been all that complex ( know, good), but Jubilee was a defining part of the modern X-Men mythos up until the first film’s release. The relationship between Jubilee and Wolverine was a huge part of both the comics and the animated TV show, and to see such a dynamic get tossed out so unceremoniously is a strange decision.

Is anyone going to argue that Jubilee should have taken Rogue’s place in the final cut? No, not at all - but for a character that played such a big role in the series’ identity throughout the ‘90s, Jubilee deserved more than sitting in the corner of some classroom.

14 Bolivar Trask

Bolivar Trask talking to the President in X-Men The Last Stand

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

Anyone who saw Days of Future Past will remember Peter Dinkalge’s performance as the menacing Bolivar Trask. Dinklage managed to bring the perfect amount of suave cunning and underlying malice to the role, and his performance stands out as one of the strongest points in an all-around great movie.

One question, though: if the Trask that everyone knows and hates made his debut in Days of Future Past, who is the Trask that popped up momentarily in X-Men: The Last Stand?

Supposedly, the Trask present in The Last Stand is indeed based of the villain that would eventually appear in Days of Future Past...though you’d hardly know by watching the film. Apparently, the writers of The Last Stand were perfectly happy to throw away one of the comics’ biggest villains on a few throwaway lines that didn’t add anything to the plot.

Then again, as the rest of this list will show, Trask was hardly the only throwaway cameo in The Last Stand...

13 Various non-speaking cameos

The Omegas gather to meet with Magneto, X-Men The Last Stand

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

Yes, there are so many pointless cameos in the third X-Men movie that it’s better to just lump them all together and get it over with.

For those who haven’t seen it (or tried to forget it), most of The Last Stand plays out like a poorly-written, overly-long toy commercial. The filmmakers were so desperate to cram as many different mutants as they possibly could into the script, even if that meant that some of of the series’ most popular characters only got a few lines of dialogue.

Or, for characters like Ash, Phat, Glob Herman, and Lizard Man, no lines at all. Seriously, all four of those characters simply show up and then leave. What’s even worse is that those are just a few minor examples - there are so many unnecessary cameos tucked away in the corners of The Last Stand that it almost feels like the writers were trying to upset the fans.

12 Artie Maddicks

Artie Maddicks in the museum scene in X2 X-Men United

Appeared in: X2: X-Men United

Of course, The Last Stand wasn’t the only X-Men movie to cram in a few pointless cameos. Remember, back when the franchise was really picking up steam, good comic book movies were still few and far between, even something as beloved as X2: X-Men United wasn’t perfect.

Enter Artie Maddicks: during the museum scene near the beginning of the movie, a young human girl sticks her tongue out at Artie. Artie then reciprocates the gesture, only his tongue is all lizard-y.

That’s it. That’s his entire purpose in the movie - to stick out his tongue and scare a normal human girl. The punchline is that the bratty human got what was coming to her, but the only thing it really does is reinforce just how obnoxious kids in general can be...and, let’s be honest, the only reason the scene exists was to show off some 2003-era CG effects.

It’s about as pointless as cameo as you can get, and it stands out as one of the few things in X-Men United that hasn’t really aged all that well. Hey, at least the opening White House action sequence still rocks!

11 Stepford Cuckoos

Brief Stepford Cuckoos appearance in X-Men The Last Stand

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

There’s a good chance that most moviegoers have no idea who the Stepford Cuckoos are, much less know that they appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand. Their cameo is about as brief as it possibly could be: the three telepathic sisters appear in the background for a few short seconds, and then they’re gone. There’s no mention of them anywhere throughout the film, and they’ve never appeared in any subsequent X-Men movie.

The problem is that, by labeling these three seemingly random students as the Stepfords, the writers introduced an entirely new can of worms into the X-Men movie mythos. For the uninitiated, the Stepford Cuckoos are the genetic children of Emma Frost, one of the most powerful mutants on the planet. They were engineered as part of the Weapon Plus program - the very same program that gave Wolverine his adamantium claws.

Basically, their very presence would have had the potential to spin off into any number of new stories...and yet, it went absolutely nowhere. As if fans needed another reason to hate The Last Stand.

10 Quill

Quill shows off his mutation in X-Men The Last Stand

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men is hardly the first franchise to introduce characters as a way to show off special effects...but, in a movie already stuffed with so many extraneous characters, adding in yet another mutant for the sake of a few scant effects shots probably wasn’t the best idea.

So, of course, the filmmakers went ahead and added in a ton of different characters whose only purpose was to show off the effects budget. There are almost too many names to list, but Quill stands out the most: aside from the main cast, Quill appeared in quite a bit of promotional material, seemingly hinting that he had a significant role in the film. In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth: Quill appears in a few different scenes before being killed off-camera during the big finale.

It was a strange move, especially given how much screentime Quill had gotten during the promos - though, to be fair, there was one other mutant that got nearly the same exact treatment...

9 Arclight

Arclight unleashes her powers during X-Men The Last Stand finale

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

Nobody knew who Arclight was before The Last Stand‘s first trailer dropped. In the comics, Arclight served as a B-grade villain throughout the ‘80s before being unceremoniously dumped into Marvel’s giant vat of forgotten mutants. So, even before The Last Stand hit theaters, people were wondering why such a no-name villain was getting put front-and-center throughout the trailers.

Whereas Quill was inserted into the movie simply to throw some CG projectiles around, Arclight had another purpose: looking different. For whatever reason, instead of differentiating the two sides of the conflict with an interesting color choice or cinematic style, the filmmakers simply decided to give all of the mutant characters ‘edgy’ looks like they spent every waking hour at a Hot Topic.

At the end of the day, Arclight suffered the same fate that most of the other worthless Last Stand cameos - dying off-screen in a big-budget CG explosion. All things probably should have seen it coming.

8 Sunspot

Sunspot battling Sentinels in X-Men Days of Future Past

Appeared in: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Like most of the other Days of Future Past cameos, the fact that Sunspot is in the movie isn’t inherently bad... it’s just that his appearance is entirely unnecessary.

One of the better arcs throughout the original X-Men movies was the rivalry/friendship between Iceman and Pyro. Watching as the two friends eventually came to hate each other was a little corny by the end, but it was one of the few emotional throughlines that actually came to fruition.

So, if the writers of Days of Future Past needed someone who could shoot fire...why not use Pyro? Why introduce a new character with the exact same powers when including an established character would have reinforced the themes that the film was trying to convey?

To be fair, there could have been production reasons why Pyro wasn’t included, but...for a movie with such an all-star cast from both sides of the franchise, that seems like a long shot.

7 Siryn

Siryn repels Hydra troops in X2 X-Men United

Appeared in: X2: X-Men United

When people think of mutants with voice-based powers, most will likely gravitate towards Banshee: a mutant with a voice so powerful, he could literally fly through the air by screaming.

Siryn, admittedly, isn’t as well-known. Despite the fact that she’s Banshee’s daughter and features an almost-identical set of powers, she never really got much time in the spotlight. In the comics, Siryn frequently appeared as part of the X-Factor and X-Force teams, though rarely in a leading role.

Surprisingly, the films were even more harsh: her role in X-2: X-Men United consists of a few seconds of screaming, then getting shot with a tranquilizer dart and disappearing until the movie’s climax. It’s one of many small references back to the comics, but ultimately, Siryn’s fifteen seconds of fame add absolutely nothing to the film’s story. Sometimes, throwing in a cameo for fanservice’s sake just isn’t worth it - especially when said cameo features a B-list character at best.

6 Blink

Blink preparing to defend the X-Men in Days of Future Past

Appeared in: X-Men: Days of Future Past

First things first: Blink’s role in Days of Future Past isn’t bad. In fact, the fight scenes that make use of her ability to create portals make for some of the most creative action sequences in the franchise. No, the problem with Blink is wasted potential.

Remember how the movie took its time to develop Blink’s character? No, because that didn’t happen. Remember when Blink gave that huge speech that rallied the X-Men together? No, because that didn’t happen either. Remember when Blink got to do something more than glare at the camera or open up portals? No, because - well, you get the idea.

It’s a shame, too, because Blink could have done a lot more: in the comics, Blink doesn’t just teleport, she can throw miniaturized energy javelins that act like long-range portals. If the movie wanted someone that could teleport around the room, they could have stuck with Nightcrawler - instead, fans were stuck with a half-baked cameo for a character that deserved more.

5 Blob

Blob losing his fight against Angel, X-Men Apocalypse

Appeared in: X-Men: Apocalypse

Alright, look - the Blob is hardly anyone’s favorite X-Men character. His mutant power is literally being fat, and after the travesty that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, no one’s in any rush to put Blob back in the spotlight.

...which is why it’s strange that Blob made a short cameo appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse. For the sake of context, the Blob only appears as part of a brief cagefighting scene which doubles as Angel’s big introduction. What’s weird about it is, well - why introduce the Blob for such a throwaway role? His only reason for appearing in the movie is to get whooped by Angel, why so not just use some random thug instead?

The worst part about the entire thing is that the scene is over so quickly, there’s really no time to take advantage of the fact that Angel is fighting the Blob. Sure, throwing in a fat joke or two might not have been the most progressive way to make the scene work, but it would have at least been more entertaining than watching an extremely obese mutant fall over on his butt.

4 Toad

Close-up of Toad's SFX and new look in Days of Future Past

Appeared in: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Though few would think of Toad’s role in the first X-Men movie as anything special - he mostly just sits around and gets struck by lightning - it nevertheless made a lasting impression on those who saw the film when it first debuted.

...but we’re not talking about that.

Toad’s appearance in Days of Future Past is a strange one. It does serve as a solid bit of character building, as it shows Mystique’s dedication to her cause as she rescues him, but it introduces so many different narrative contradictions and plot holes that it’s hard to understand why the writers decided to use Toad at all.

Is this is the same character that fans saw in the 2000 movie? If it is, how was he able to serve in the Vietnam War? If it’s a different character, is he related to the Toad from the first film? Why bother using such a similar character if there are literally hundreds of other mutants to choose from?

To be perfectly fair, it’s a great scene, and it’s not as if Toad’s cameo really detracts from the overall film...but, for anyone still trying to put together a concise timeline for the X-Men movie franchise, Toad is just one more conundrum to solve.

3 Psylocke

Psylocke with the Omegas in X-Men The Last Stand

Appeared in: X-Men: The Last Stand

If anything, Psylocke’s appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse was a solid apology. After years of not being included in the films, despite the fact that she was an extremely popular character, seeing Olivia Munn in the classic costume was pretty great...even if her character wasn’t all that important to the plot.

If only Psylocke’s film debut had been so well-done. Introduced in X-Men: The Last Stand, Psylocke was positioned as a powerful mutant that could have potentially become a huge threat further down the line. If anything, the movie seemed to hint that the filmmakers had bigger plans for her further down the line.

...and then, during the film’s climax, she gets killed off for no reason whatsoever.

Really, Psylocke’s cameo in The Last Stand is representative of everything wrong with that movie: it sacrificed a coherent story for fanservice and merchandising. It was so packed with needless fluff that it almost killed the franchise - that’s something that few other movies can claim.

2 Kitty Pryde

Kitty Pryde standing alongside Iceman and Colossus, The Last Stand

Appeared in: X2: X-Men United

What do you do with a mutant who can walk through walls? Apparently, absolutely nothing.

At least, that’s what happened in X2: X-Men United: for one brief moment, fans get to watch Kitty warp through one of the walls in the X-Mansion before being captured and sitting the rest of the movie out. It’s a cool scene to watch, but given what Kitty’s powers can do, such a minor scene feels like a lot of wasted potential. What’s the point if she only gets ten seconds of screen time?

X-Men: The Last Stand didn’t treat her much better: for whatever reason, the writers decided to shoehorn a love triangle between Kitty, Iceman and Rogue into the script. It went nowhere, and the only thing that most people remember about Kitty’s role in the movie is when she outwits the worst version of the Juggernaut ever.

Well, at the very least, Ms. Pryde got a bit more time in the spotlight once Days of Future Past finally hit theaters. Oh, and speaking of...

1 Bishop

Bishop, as he appears in X-Men Days of Future Past

Appeared in: X-Men: Days of Future Past

If there’s any one thing that the entries on this list represent, it’s missed potential. Whether it’s a background cameo for the sake of introducing a new character or wasting an established personality on a few lines of dialogue, the cameos on this list all have one thing in common: they never truly took advantage of their characters. There’s no better example of this than Bishop from X-Men: Days of Future Past.

On the surface, Bihsop’s role in the movie isn’t all that bad: he’s a stoic warrior hellbent on saving the future. Sure, he doesn’t have that much to do, save for fighting a few Sentinels, but the few scenes that Bishop is in do a fine job of showing off his energy manipulation abilities.

The tragic part is that Bishop could have played a much bigger part in Days of Future Past. As far as time-traveling superheroes go, it’s hard to find a bigger name in the Marvel Universe than Bishop, and the character has been the central focus of a number of different storylines throughout the years. In fact, his original home in the comics was based on the idea that the Sentinels had wiped out most of mutantkind - the same idea that Days of Future Past based its entire conflict on.

Look, it’s entirely understandable that Fox wanted to bank on Hugh Jackman’s marketability, but - if you’re going to include such a popular character with so many easy ties to the plot, can you at least give him more than a few short action scenes before killing him off?

More in Lists