Famke Janssen has passed the torch. The GoldenEye star, who played Jean Grey in the original X-Men film trilogy and beyond, doesn’t expect to return to Xavier’s School for the Gifted. At Denver Comic-Con, Janssen reflected on her role as Jean and her alter ego, the ethereal Dark Phoenix, and revealed that her time in the X-Men franchise has drawn to a close.
“It’s the gift that keeps on, kept on giving,” she said. “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.”
“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,” she added. “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.”
Though Janssen believes she will not be invited back to the franchise, she did clarify that she would be open to return if Fox asked her to reprise the role.
Janssen originated Jean Grey on film in X-Men and continued to play the character through to her death in X-Men: The Last Stand. However, that wasn’t the end for Janssen, who reprised the role in The Wolverine, where Jean appeared in Logan’s dreams. She also returned for a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past; after Wolverine altered the course of history, he returned to the present, only to discover that Jean had never died and was in fact alive and well. Per Janssen’s statement, it seems this will be her final role in the X-Men franchise.
That doesn’t mean the end for Jean Grey, though. In X-Men: Apocalypse, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner picked up the role. As Apocalypse took place in the 1980s, Jean was reimagined as a teenager, as were other popular characters like Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Jean will return in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the next main chapter in the X-Men franchise.
Directed by Simon Kinberg, X-Men: Dark Phoenix stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Lamar Johnson.
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