With a combined 10 movies under its belt, the X-Men film franchise has been a veritable cash cow for 20th Century Fox. Across numerous films, and even across multiple movie timelines, plenty of X-characters have cropped up. While fans have grown accustomed to seeing fan favorite characters such as Wolverine and Magneto, the franchise has seen plenty of mutants make appearances over the years. Sure, plenty of these characters have received accurate adaptions, true to their comic roots. Many of these characters made the jump to the silver screen without an issue, fitting into the X-Men films perfectly. But many others weren’t quite as lucky. In fact, many of these poor characters had their movie interpretations ruined.
These characters all received the short end of the stick in numerous ways: from adaptions that didn’t capture the spirit of the character, to movie appearances that were just plain lame and uninteresting, these movie interpretations left fans angry. From popular X-characters to the more obscure (Darwin anyone?), these mutants fell far short of fan expectations. So join CBR as we take a look back across all of the X-Men films to bring you a definitive list of 15 mutants that the X-Men movie franchise totally RUINED!
In theory, it should be next to impossible to screw up Callisto. This eyepatch-sporting, knife-wielding Morlock is renowned for her tough-as-nails, take no prisoners attitude. Hell, Callisto’s claim to fame is that she took on the weather-controlling mutant Storm in an honest-to-goodness circle of death knife fight! That’s hardcore! But the movie iteration of Callisto? Not so much.
Appearing in X-Men: The Last Stand, Callisto got the short end of the adaption stick; she lost her eyepatch, gained a silly face tattoo, and received speed powers in excess, which she never had before. The Callisto appearing in The Last Stand was Callisto in name only, which is a shame, as X-fans would have loved to see this classic mutant receive the proper silver screen treatment.
With all the globe-trotting adventures and larger than life battles, it can be easy to forget that the X-Men originated as students. While Cyclops and the gang have since moved past their school days, the Xavier School is still honing the mutants of tomorrow. One of these students is the reptilian mutant known as Anole, who used his arsenal of lizard powers to serve as a member of the New Mutants. While Anole has become a favorite among X-fans, X-Men aficionados aren’t as keen on Anole’s jump to film.
Anole popped up in X-Men: The Last Stand in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a member of The Brotherhood Of Mutants, aiding Magneto in his fight against the X-Men. Anole had no lines and mainly served as a background baddie, ultimately losing his powers at the end of the film. Anole deserved better than this bogus background bit.
13. JOHN WRAITH
John Wraith played an integral role in the early days of Wolverine’s Weapon X adventures. Taking the code name Kestrel, this teleporting mutant fought alongside Wolverine in numerous battles, and would later become a friend and confidant to the ill-tempered X-Man. Unfortunately, the John Wraith that appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not nearly as memorable as his comic book counterpart.
In the film, Wraith was portrayed by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, serving as a member of Team X alongside Wolverine. Wraith existed to spout quips and teleport around, only to later have his spine snapped unceremoniously by Sabretooth. It was will.i.am who received the most criticism for his performance, though, as fans of the character felt that Wraith didn’t get a fair shake in the movie. With his interesting backstory and cool power, Wraith’s film debut could have been great, but his lone movie appearance was ultimately wasted.
There are two kinds of people in this crazy world: those that adore Jubilee and those that can’t stand her. This peppy X-Man has been a mainstay on the mutant team since debuting all the way back in 1989; from gum-snapping Valley Girl to vampire Mom, Jubilee has gone through plenty of changes over the years. But regardless of your stance on Jubes, there is one thing that both sides of the aisle can agree on: Jubilee’s appearances in the X-Men movies were lame.
Jubilee appeared as a glorified extra in the first three X-Men films, contributing little to the movies. Jubilee would later get a meatier role in X-Men: Apocalypse, where she serves as a tour guide for new students at the Xavier Institute, but Jubilee still served as background filler. Jubilee’s fun and sassy attitude has earned her plenty of fans (and plenty of haters), and the energy-blasting mutant definitely could have been used more efficiently in the X-Men films.
We can already see the angry comments getting typed, but before you go as savage as Wolverine’s most infamous foe, first hear us out! Though Sabretooth got fleshed out in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the character’s initial appearance in 2000’s X-Men was terrible. Initially portrayed by Tyler Mane, the OG movie Sabretooth barely resembled the Victor Creed X-fans knew and loved, though the visual similarities were admittedly close (at least on some level).
The movie iteration of Sabretooth primarily existed to grunt, growl and generally act scary, with no signs of the sadism or cunning that the character was known for. Liev Schreiber would redeem the character in Origins, but the original movie Sabretooth was so bad it left a bad taste in the mouths of X-fans everywhere.
10. SILVER SAMURAI
The Silver Samurai is not an overly complicated character: He wears silver armor, and he is a samurai. This Japanese mutant has served as a reliable X-villain since he first debuted in 1974, popping up again and again to wage war against his archenemy Wolverine and his fellow X-Men. Somehow, the X-Men films managed to take an easy character like the Silver Samurai and totally muck it up.
Appearing in 2013’s The Wolverine, Silver Samurai is recast as a mech suit donned by Ichiro Yashida, who attempts to use the armor to sap Wolverine of his regenerative abilities so that the ailing Yashida could regain his youth. If that wasn’t different enough, the real Silver Samurai, Kenuichio Harada, is turned into an entirely separate character that never dons the Silver Samurai armor. Silver Samurai could have been great on the silver screen, but his one-off appearance in The Wolverine was definitely a dud.
Not every mutant lucks out and gets a cool power; sometimes, you draw the short straw and get them mutant ability of being powerfully obese. Such is the case with Fred Dukes, better known as the Blob. This longtime X-Man foe has served as a member of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants and regularly trades blows with the likes of Wolverine and Storm. Despite his storied villainous past, Blob has never been able to get much respect. Unfortunately for Dukes, his disrespect continued to the silver screen.
When Blob appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he is presented as a muscular mercenary serving as a member of Team X alongside Wolverine. After Team X disbands, Dukes develops an eating disorder and puts on weight, becoming grotesquely obese. When Wolverine crosses paths with Dukes later in the film, he soundly dispatches the Blob with a single well-placed head-butt. This formidable X-foe was turned into a one-note fat joke punchline, and Blob definitely deserved better.
There are missed opportunities, and then there are the attempts to bring Psylocke to the silver screen. It would be one thing if the X-movies messed up Psylocke once; but no, this fan favorite mutant was bungled twice, in two different X-Men movie timelines. Psylocke initially cropped up in X-Men: The Last Stand in a cameo as a member of the villainous group The Omegas, only to be disintegrated by Jean Grey.
Psylocke would receive a more prominent role in X-Men: Apocalypse, serving as a member of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen. Portrayed by Olivia Munn, this iteration of Psylocke showed off her formidable psi-powers, but had few lines and hardly contributed to the story of the film. Munn definitely looked the part, but the actress’ lone outing as Psylocke was dull and less than memorable, making for one ruined opportunity with a beloved character.
First appearing as a member of the New Mutants, the Brazilian mutant known as Sunspot is quick with a joke and even quicker to back up his friends in a fight. Robert da Costa has used his solar-absorbing energy powers to aid the X-Men, the Avengers, and even as the head of the formerly villainous A.I.M. organization. But you wouldn’t know how important Sunspot has been to the Marvel U if you were judging from his lame appearance in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
In the 2014 film, da Costa appears as a member of the resistance, fighting against the Sentinels in the X-Men’s grim future. As Kitty Pryde works to send Wolverine’s mind back in time in an attempt to change the past to prevent this hellish future, Sunspot fights to hold off the mutant-hunting Sentinels. After a brief battle, Sunspot’s neck is unceremoniously snapped by one of the robots. Sunspot is set to appear in the upcoming New Mutants film, and fans have their fingers crossed that da Costa will receive better treatment than he did in this terrible glorified cameo.
There are several things we know to be true in this world: Water is wet, the sky is blue, and Warpath rules. This bowie knife-wielding warrior mutant has served as a member of the X-Men and the black ops X-Force, where he made a name for himself with his mutant enhanced senses and skills in battle. Despite a loyal fan following, Warpath spent most of his time constrained solely to comics. But when Warpath finally did make the jump to the silver screen, it resulted in one seriously ruined character.
Appearing in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Warpath serves as the bloodhound of the mutant resistance, using his acute tracking skills to keep tabs on the mutant-hunting Sentinels. When the murderous robots locate the ragtag band of X-Men, Warpath works to hold the Sentinels at bay, only to have his face melted in battle. Warpath has few lines and is ultimately treated as a throwaway character, which is a true shame — a comics accurate Warpath on the big screen would have been great.
Toad is not an entirely complicated character. He is the perpetual lackey of Magneto, serving as the whipping boy of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. Always down on his luck, Toad uses his oddball frog-like mutations to commit petty crimes and occasionally butt heads with the X-Men. He is, above all else, a joke character who just so happens to be a beloved X-Men villain. Unfortunately, the Toad that appeared in the 2000 X-Men film resembled Toad in appearance only.
Portrayed by stuntman Ray Park, this Toad has few lines and only pops up a handful of times to lend his tongue to a fight. At the end of the film, Toad is the recipient of the worst one liner in film history (“What happens to a toad when it’s struck by lightning? The same thing that happens to everything else.”) and is sent sailing into he Hudson River with a well-placed lightning bolt. Toad would appear in Days Of Future Past in a brief cameo, but Park’s boring outing as the X-Man baddie had already done enough damage to the character, leaving fans ambivalent to Toad’s reappearance.
4. MULTIPLE MAN
Jamie Madrox, better known as Multiple Man, is blessed with the mutant ability to create endless duplicates of himself. With this power, Madrox has aided the X-Men in numerous battles, and would later go on to found X-Factor Investigations, a detective agency composed entirely of mutants. A popular character with a cult following, Multiple Man could have been a fun, visually interesting character to bring to the silver screen. Unfortunately, the Multiple Man fans got in X-Men: The Last Stand was a far cry from the good-natured, yet beleaguered mutant fans had grown to love.
In the film, Madrox is a bank robber that joins up with Magneto’s Brotherhood Of Mutants. Instead of putting Madrox’s mutant power to work offensively, Multiple Man ends up being used as a decoy, distracting soldiers while the rest of the Brotherhood attack Alcatraz Island. Portrayed by actor Eric Dane as a smirking, smug con man, the film’s interpretation was nowhere close to the Madrox from the comics. This lame version of Multiple Man left fans fuming over this ruined opportunity.
Take a character’s whose entire shtick is that he can adapt to any situation. Then put that character in a movie and highlight his unusual mutant power. Then have that character murdered after very little screen time via a situation he should have been able to survive. Such was the fate of Darwin.
This adaptive mutant appeared in a bit part in X-Men: First Class, serving as one of the first mutants enlisted by Magneto and Professor Xavier. The movie illustrates that Darwin can adapt to any situation to survive, such as growing gills to breathe underwater. But when movie baddie forces a ball of energy into Darwin’s mouth, the mutant is unable to adapt in time, causing him to explode and die. Never mind the fact that Darwin has survived similar situations in the comics! Why present a character who can survive anything, only to have him not survive? Darwin’s lone movie appearance was sloppy, silly, and above all else, dumb, making for one big ruined opportunity.
2. EMMA FROST
Emma Frost is many things: cold, calculating, shrewd and catty. Frost is a complex character, having played both hero and villain since debuting in 1980, earning the character legions of fans. As such, fans were excited when it was revealed that Emma Frost would play a prominent role in X-Men: First Class. Unfortunately, the end result of Emma’s big screen debut left fans wanting.
Portrayed by January Jones, the movie iteration of Frost appears as the arm candy of the villainous Sebastian Shaw, lending her powerful telepathy and diamond skin to Shaw’s plot to throw the planet into nuclear war. Rather than the imposing presence Frost is known for, Jones’ interpretation of Frost was mainly… boring. Frost primarily slinked around in a revealing costume, only chiming in when the plot needed to move along. Frost also made a lame appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in a brief cameo, making Emma Frost one of the few X-characters to receive the dubious honor of being ruined by a movie twice.
There are plenty of characters that have received less than stellar movie adaptions. There are even more that weren’t portrayed accurately when they made the jump to the big screen. And then there is Deadpool…
When it was announced that Ryan Reynolds would portray the motor-mouthed mutate in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, fans were ecstatic. The crass comedic actor was expected to do the character justice, bringing his trademark smarminess and sarcasm to the fan favorite character. But the Deadpool featured in Origins was a far cry from the character fans knew and loved; after a single scene of sword and joke-slinging, the Merc With a Mouth is “killed” and resurrected as “Weapon XI,” a mouthless mute possessing an amalgamation of powers. Deadpool would eventually receive a proper adaption in a movie of his own, but this horrible misfire all bit ruined Fox’s original plans with the character.
Can you think of any other mutants who were given poor treatment in X-Men movies? Let us know in the comments!
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