When the first X-Men movie arrived on the scene, it was truly something else. Sure, some fans were ready to burn the filmmakers in effigy for deviating from the comics in a variety of areas, but the fact remains that it was the first superhero movie outside of anything featuring Batman or Superman to help legitimize the genre on the big screen. Furthermore, it’s hard to argue that it was the first cinematic offering based on a Marvel property other than Blade worth writing home about.
In the time since, there have been no shortage of films starring our favorite mutants, each of which have arrived to various degrees of reception. But no matter which efforts were good or bad, we can’t deny the strong performances put forth by the actors involved, chief among which were those delivered by Famke Janssen.
Having played Jean Grey throughout the original trilogy of flicks, her character arc was one of the most significant, being taken to its logical conclusion by having her emerge as the Phoenix. Unfortunately, though, Brett Ratner and crew dropped the ball on that one with The Last Stand, forcing the studio to take a second stab at it with the upcoming Dark Phoenix.
But, getting back to what we said earlier about this film franchise being on the cutting edge upon its debut, it’s important to remember it came at a time when superheroes weren’t yet fully considered to be cool by the mainstream. In fact, Janssen herself reflected on just that when speaking at a panel at Denver Comic-Con over the weekend:
“That was so amazing. I never knew – I don’t think any of us had any understanding of how popular our first movie was going to be and that it was gonna live on for 15 plus years. And then I certainly didn’t realize – I mean I knew Jean Grey could turn into Dark Phoenix, obviously, and that Phoenix rises from the ashes, but the fact that as Jean Grey or the Phoenix they’ve killed me, I’ve come back, I’m like a cockroach. They can’t get rid of me.”
Despite having her death undone by the events witnessed in Days of Future Past, it sounds like we may have seen the last of her as Jean Grey given that the torch has been passed to Sophie Turner. On that note, Janssen had this to add:
“It’s the gift that keeps on, kept on giving I think we’re done, but it was really great while it lasted and it lasted for a long time. It’s been nothing but a pleasure working not just as Jean Grey, which was such an honor because comics were so fantastic already, but then the entire cast who I got to play with, all my fellow actors, thespians who are so talented. It was just a wonderful experience. I’m very grateful.”
Truth be told, she also said she’d be open to reprising the role in future installments even if she’s not involved with the production of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. With flash forwards and spinoffs being a regular occurrence with these series, there’s really no telling when we could see future Jean again.