'X-Men' at 20: The cast of the iconic 2000 Marvel movie, then and now
With 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix closing the curtain on the main timeline of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men series. It’s made us feel nostalgic enough to look back to the first instalment in the franchise which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, to see where that significant film took its cast.
So, pull on your leather jumpsuit, prepare a joke about lightning and toads, let’s travel back in time to 2000, before jumping into the near future, to find out what happened to the X-Men 2000 cast.
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier / Professor X
When he signed on for X-Men, Patrick Stewart was already an icon on the convention circuit thanks to his starring role as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He made his final appearance in Fox’s take on the franchise with 2017’s elegiac Logan.
Between the original X-Men and Logan, he managed to fit in a lot of animated voiceover jobs, including Gnomeo & Juliet, Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage, The Snow Queen and Chicken Little, as well as recurring roles in American Dad and Family Guy. He’s currently starring in Star Trek: Picard, and recently celebrated his 80th birthday.
Hugh Jackman as Logan / Wolverine
Another near-constant of the X-Men franchise, Hugh Jackman also made his final appearance in Logan. It might seem hard to believe now, but before X-Men, Jackman’s biggest role was in Oklahoma! where he appeared as ‘Curly.’
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After X-Men, he worked with some of the world’s greatest directors, including Christopher Nolan (The Prestige), Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) and Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners). He’s recently went on a global singing tour (!?) thanks to the success of The Greatest Showman, and can be seen in Cory Finley’s Bad Education, new on NOW TV.
Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
McKellen was already well-known when he went into X-Men. He had a long and successful theatrical career, which translated into a successful movie career, to the extent he’d already appeared in a superhero movie (The Shadow) and a Bryan Singer movie (Apt Pupil). X-Men proved to be a turning point, however - beginning a resurgence for the actor.
McKellen appeared in The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring the following year, with The Two Towers hitting cinemas before X2. McKellen’s final appearance as Magneto came in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He recently had a role in the movie adaptation of Cats.
Brett Morris as young Magneto
Brett Morris has perhaps the most fascinating, and lesser-known, career on this list. He went from playing the young Magneto in X-Men, to… Playing the young Young Erik Lensherr in X-Men: First Class eleven years later.
2011 proved to be a significant year for Morris; he moved into different roles within the entertainment industry, directing So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and producing Cover Me Canada. He’s continued to have behind-the-camera roles in several reality TV series.
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe / Storm
The ageless Halle Berry has appeared in many action movies over the course of her career. Before X-Men, she featured in The Last Boy Scout and Executive Decision. After X-Men, she appeared in Swordfish, Die Another Day, and Catwoman. Oh, and she also won a Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball.
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Her final X-Men appearance came in X-Men: Days of Future Past. She can currently be seen in cinemas in John Wick 3, and has the upcoming Bruised – which will be her directorial debut – to look forward to.
Famke Janssen as Jean Grey
Pre-X-Men, Janssen was probably best known for her role as Xenia Onatopp in the James Bond movie GoldenEye. Outside of X-Men and Bond, her biggest mainstream success was a co-lead role in the Taken trilogy. We last saw her Jean Grey in Days Of Future Past, with Sophie Turner taking over the role for the Last Stand redo, Dark Phoenix.
We’ll see her next in The Postcard Killings, opposite Jeffrey Dean Morgan. She can currently be seen in Ava Duvernay’s superb Netflix drama When They See Us.
Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkhölme / Mystique
Romijn is a model turned actress, whose earliest roles include turns in sitcoms such as Friends and Just Shoot Me, with a small role in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. She went on to appear in another Marvel property, The Punisher, in 2004. More recently, she joined the other Star Trek X-Men alumni, by appearing in Star Trek: Discovery. She recently appeared in occult horror movie Satanic Panic.
James Marsden as Scott Summers / Cyclops
Marsden’s early career included appearances in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Blossom, and Party of Five, a ‘90s hat trick if ever we saw one. After X-Men, he did a couple more movies, before returning to telly, with a recurring appearance in Ally McBeal.
Which isn’t to say his career has been limited to the small screen – Marsden had key supporting roles in major movies such as The Notebook, and Superman Returns (which reunited him with Bryan Singer). He recently starred as human sidekick Tom Wachowski in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Anna Paquin as Marie D'Ancanto / Rogue
Paquin had already won an Oscar for her first ever live-action role, in 1993’s The Piano, seven years before she appeared in X-Men, which arguably made her the most successful thespian on the cast.
2000 was a good year for Paquin, with Almost Famous also hitting cinemas. Like many others on this list, her final X-Men franchise appearance came in 2014’s Days Of Future Past. She recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix movie The Irishman.
Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake / Iceman
X-Men was Ashmore’s most significant role in 2000, with his early work being a mixture of TV movies and TV series. After X-Men, Ashmore appeared in… Well, more TV movies and TV series, with his biggest being a recurring role in Superman show Smallville. His final X-Men appearance came in this series’ apparent Endgame, X-Men: Days of Future Past. We’ll next see him leading serial killer thriller Anderson Falls.
Ray Park as Mortimer Toynbee / Toad
Ray Park was no stranger to blockbusters when he signed on to X-Men, he’d already played Darth Maul in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. He later found fame again as Snake-Eyes in the two G.I. Joe films. He returned to superheroes in Heroes, where he played Edgar. He also returned to Star Wars in 2018, reprising Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
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He appeared in the same role in Disney+’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2020.
Tyler Mane as Victor Creed / Sabretooth
Tyler Mane was a renowned wrestler before he joined the cast of X-Men, retiring from the ring to become a successful genre star. X-Men was his only franchise appearance - aside from voiceover work in a 2006 video game, when he reprised Sabretooth for X-Men: The Official Game. He’s probably best known for playing Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies. He recently starred in David Risotto’s The Silent Natural.
Bruce Davison as Senator Robert Kelly
Davison’s acting career began in the late-60s, but perhaps Bryan Singer (a keen Star Trek fan) enjoyed his turn as Jareth in Star Trek: Voyager the most. Singer would cast him two years after that performance in Apt Pupil, in which he appeared alongside Ian McKellen.
After X-Men, Davison returned to the Star Trek franchise, appearing The Next Generation with Patrick Stewart. Davison reprised his role as Senator Kelly in 2003’s X2, which was also his final appearance in the series.
He can be seen in horror anthology series Creepshow, which is exclusive to horror streaming service Shudder.
X-Men is now streaming on Disney+.
This article was first published in June, 2019