As Phase Four ends, we’re still waiting on the X-Men to appear in the MCU. While we’ve had mutant mentions in the likes of Ms. Marvel and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the Children of the Atom themselves have yet to turn up. Still, we have had the next best thing as a range of familiar faces from Fox’s X-Men franchise have shown up in the MCU, in a variety of ways.
In several cases, these actors have simply shown up in this other universe in totally unrelated roles. In a couple of cases, meanwhile, they’ve actually reprised the same characters in multiversal crossovers. One star even plays themselves in the MCU, appearing in a certain festive special that’s entertaining Marvel fans this yuletide season.
Yes, with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special adding another to the list, let’s recap every X-Men universe star who’s returned in the MCU to date.
The first major player in the X-Men franchise to switch over to the MCU was none other than Peter Dinklage. The Game of Thrones icon played Bolivar Trask, the mutant-hating creator of the Sentinels, in X-Men: Days of Future Past before portraying Eitri in Avengers: Endgame. He also shot a cameo as Eitri for Thor: Love and Thunder, but this didn’t make it into the finished film.
The first member of the X-Men to hop over into a Marvel Studios production, however, was obviously Evan Peters. The American Horror Story alum featured in Days of Future Past, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix as Quicksilver before seemingly reprising his role in the second half of WandaVision — though it was ultimately revealed he was really a human actor called Ralph Bohner. Yeah, that still stings.
Richard E. Grant
Here’s one you probably forgot about. Richard E. Grant played Dr. Xander Rice, the sinister scientist (though he wasn’t actually Mr. Sinister) and creator of X-23, who served as the main villain of Logan. Grant then switched sides in every sense for Loki, in which the Oscar-nominated actor portrayed a rather heroic variant of Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief known as Classic Loki.
Oscar Isaac had the honor, if that is the right word, of landing the title role in X-Men: Apocalypse, which saw him incarcerated under pounds of purple prosthetics as the Ivan Ooze-alike ubervillain. He then got wrapped in bandages instead when playing Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel’s Moon Knight TV series, a role he’ll no doubt reprise in more projects to come.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness broke new ground by finally bringing back an X-Men franchise veteran in the same role. Namely, Sir Patrick Stewart returned to play Professor X one more time, albeit an alternate take on Charles Xavier hailing from Earth-838, the home of the Illuminati. The role allowed Stewart’s Prof to be killed off a third time by Scarlet Witch.
Kevin Bacon’s name has been invoked multiple times across the Guardians of the Galaxy saga as a hero of Peter Quill’s. Well, Star-Lord will finally get to meet him in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. This is Bacon’s second role in a Marvel-related production following his turn as Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club, in X-Men: First Class.
Wait, you’re probably thinking, when was Aubrey Plaza in an X-Men movie? Well, she wasn’t, but she did appear in FXX’s Legion, a spinoff series starring Dan Stevens as Professor X’s son David Haller, in which she played a version of psychic villain the Shadow King. Plaza recently signed up for Disney Plus’ Agatha: Coven of Chaos, coming in winter 2023, in an as-yet-undisclosed role.
One X-Men crossover we’ve known about for the longest time but have still yet to see happen is Ryan Reynolds’ return as Wade Wilson. One of the first things Marvel confirmed about the status of the X-Men after the Fox acquisition was that Reynolds would be back as DP for Deadpool 3. Well, it’s taken some time but the threequel is finally on the way, as directed by Shawn Levy, in November 2024.
Yes, despite Logan apparently serving as his final ever appearance as the adamantium-plated hero, Hugh Jackman will be back opposite his Twitter nemesis (but secret best pal) Reynolds for Deadpool 3. At this stage, we’re not sure if Jackman will be playing the X-Men franchise’s Wolverine or Earth-616’s own version of the character. Either way, we’re glad he’s coming back at least one more time.