The “X-Men” comics have one of the biggest casts ever. When it comes to the movies, it’s impossible to include every character while still telling any semblance of a coherent story. That being the case, the filmmakers have often included tons of cameos in the movies. It’s easy enough to have a random student in the school show off a specific power for a second as fun treat for the fans.
Most of the time, these cameos are just fun gags. Every once in awhile, however, the cameos miss the mark. Some feel like missed opportunities, others feel like they were just forced into a scene without adding anything to the overall story, while others actually make a character’s absence feel even more than it already was. For whatever reason, these cameos are the biggest missed opportunities from the various “X-Men” movies.
Despite being one of the most recognizable X-Men, based on her appearance in the popular ’90s cartoon, Jubilee didn’t make a proper appearance in the movies until “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016). She actually appeared in the first three films in the series, but all of the scenes that identify her as Jubilee were cut, leaving her as a nameless student who mostly appears in the background. She first appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” #244 (1989) by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri, and was introduced as a young mutant who eventually became a student at Xavier’s school. Given the movies’ focus on the younger students at the school, like Iceman, Rogue and Kitty Pryde, Jubilee should have been an easy fit.
She finally made a proper appearance in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” played by Lana Condor. Unfortunately, despite being included in several pieces of early promotional material, her role was still just a glorified cameo. She basically just shows Scott Summers around the school and then takes a trip to the mall (which was cut from the final movie). She never uses her powers, making her impact on the movie rather negligible.
Gambit was probably one of the most requested characters to appear in the movies, although he didn’t show up until “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009). The character was rumored to appear in each of the previous films, however, making his eventual exclusion even more noticeable. He wasn’t completely absent from the early movies, however, as he made a name-only cameo in “X2” (2003). When Mystique breaks into William Stryker’s computer to steal information about the Alkali Lake base, a list of mutants pops up, which includes Remy Lebeau (Gambit’s true name).
Gambit, who was introduced in “Uncanny X-Men” #266 (1990) by Chris Claremont and Mike Collins, has been a popular member of the team ever since. He was actually supposed to appear in “X2” as more than just a name on a computer screen, and a scene showing him freaking out during the Cerebro attack was allegedly filmed with James Bamford playing the Cajun mutant. Unfortunately, the scene was cut, and Gambit has yet to appear as an actual X-Man.
When Bishop was announced as part of the cast for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), to be played by Omar Sy, his inclusion made sense. He first appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” #282 (1991) by John Byrne and Whilce Portacio as a mutant from the future who traveled to present day and joined the X-Men. Given the time travel heavy plot to “Days of Future Past,” it seemed like Bishop was potentially going to play a big part in the movie.
Bishop appeared in the future segments, as one of the last remaining X-Men on the run from the Sentinels. During the opening scene, he’s the mutant that Kitty Pryde sends a few days into the past to warn of the upcoming sentinel attack. Other than that, he mostly just stands around looking tough. Even during the final battle, he’s not showcased in any significant way, aside from letting Storm shoot lightning at him to charge up his gun.
12. HENRY GYRICH
Henry Gyrich has an interesting history with the “X-Men” comics. He originally appeared in “Avengers” #165 (1977) by Jim Shooter and George Perez as the team’s liaison to the government. He serves as a bit of an antagonist for the team, often forcing restrictions or limitations on the heroes. While he’s had plenty of run-ins with the mutants, he’s been active across the entire Marvel Universe. He became associated with the X-Men because of his inclusion in the ’90s X-Men cartoon, as a government official who hates mutants.
He appeared in the first movie, “X-Men” (2000), played by Matthew Sharp. He served as Senator Kelly’s assistant and barely has any lines before it’s revealed that he’s actually just Mystique in disguise. She was impersonating him to get close to the Senator, and it’s revealed during the end of the movie that the real Gyrich was found mauled by a bear (although it’s suggested that it was really Sabertooth who did the mauling). That sums up Henry Gyrich’s entire impact on the “X-Men” films.
While her appearance in “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016) might have been a little underwhelming, there was no doubt that Psylocke was in the movie. Olivia Munn portrayed the character, who first appeared in “Captain Britain” #8 (1976) by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, and while she wasn’t given much to do, at least her costume and powers were fairly comic book accurate. That wasn’t her first appearance in the series, however. She was actually in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), although many fans missed her.
Meiling Melancon portrayed her as one of the mutant’s in Magneto’s army. She only briefly appears in the movie, however, is never shown using her psyblade, looks nothing like her comic book counterpart and is seemingly killed off unceremoniously during the film’s finale. She’s never even named as Psylocke in the film, so unless fans paid close attention to the credits, they didn’t even realize that she appeared at all.
Fred Dukes, a.k.a. Blob, was one of the victims of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009), where he was played by Kevin Durand. In the comics, Blob was introduced in “X-Men” #3 (1964) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as mutant with elastic and blubbery skin that makes him super strong, unmovable and seemingly invincible. In the movie, however, he was changed to a mutant that is super strong and almost invincible, and only becomes fat later in the film after developing an eating disorder.
Blob resurfaced in “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016), this time played by Gustav Ouimet. While his appearance was taken directly from the comics this time, he only appears as a mutant fighting against Angel in the cage fighting scene. The scene doesn’t show the actual fight, just the aftermath, however. Blob basically appears as an overweight mutant who gets immediately knocked down and then carried out of the ring. Just enough of him is shown to make it clear that this character is Blob, but he isn’t involved in any action scenes at all.
Ever since they first appeared in “The X-Men” 14 (1965) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Sentinels have been one of the X-Men’s most fearsome enemies. The giant robots are built specifically to identify and hunt down mutants, and they’ve also been shown to take over the world in several possible futures. Since the announcement of the first film, fans were hoping to see these giant robots brought to life. Their prayers were finally answered in “Days of Future Past” (2014), but that wasn’t the Sentinels’ first appearance in the movie series.
An early scene in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006) depicts the X-Men training in the Danger Room, and taking cover from some unseen, giant enemy. Colossus ends up throwing Wolverine at it, and a giant robot head is then shown rolling towards the X-Men. That’s all that’s shown of the Sentinel, just a giant, damaged head. Considering all of the other effects in the movie, giving fans a full body shot of the robot in action should’ve been possible.
While “X-Men” (2000) decided to focus on a core group of characters, the sequel had the opportunity to expand the cast. “X2” (2003) added new characters to the roster, like Nightcrawler, and expanded the roles of other characters, like Pyro and Iceman. Fan favorite Colossus got to make an appearance, which was both awesome and disappointing at the same time.
The Russian mutant made his first appearance in “Giant Size X-Men” #1 (1975) by Dave Cockrum and Len Wein, and has the power to turn his skin into organic metal. He appears early on in “X2” as a student at Xavier’s school, and then reappears when Stryker’s team attacks in the middle of the night. Colossus, in his human form, walks in on a group of soldiers trying abduct a group of student. As they shoot at him, Colossus turns to metal, and then the soldiers are shown getting thrown through a wall. It’s a great scene, but then Colossus completely disappears from the movie. The scene showed how cool Colossus can be, making his absence from the rest of the film even more noticeable.
As one of the X-Men’s earliest foes, appearing back in “The X-Men” #4 (1964) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it made sense to include Toad in “X-Men” (2000). His portrayal in that movie by Ray Park was similar to his comic book counterpart, although he seemed to be smarter and more capable in a fight. The character is sent flying into the Hudson River by one of Storm’s lightning bolts, and it’s unclear whether or not he survived.
Toad didn’t reappear in the movies until “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), where he was briefly played by Evan Jonigkeit as one of the mutants that Mystique saves from Bolivar Trask’s men in Vietnam. His only other appearance in the movie is during the finale where he’s shown watching Magneto’s speech on television. Considering that Toad already had a history in the franchise, it was odd to reboot the character and then do nothing with him at all.
When the “X-Men” films were first released, there were a number of fan-favorite characters that seemed to be too difficult to translate into live action. Beast, originally appearing in “The X-Men” #1 (1963) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, was one of these characters. As a big ape-man covered in blue fur, he just seemed too unrealistic for live action at the time (comic book movies were much less popular back then).
While Beast eventually showed up in all his blue-furred glory in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), played by Kelsey Grammer, he can briefly be seen in his human form on a TV debating the mutant crisis in “X2” (2003). This version, played by Steve Bacic, looks like a regular, if not very muscular, person. The issue with this cameo is that Beast was left on the team because he was too difficult to bring to life, so if they were just going to include a non-blue haired version, then they could have utilized the character for more than just a throwaway visual gag.
The daughter of the X-Man Banshee, but raised in secret by his evil brother Black Tom Cassidy, Siryn has had a pretty interesting life. She started off as a criminal and first appeared in “Spider-Woman” #37 (1981) by Chris Claremont and Steve Leialoha. She eventually made contact with her real father and joined the X-Men family. She’s had many close relationships over the years, including one with Deadpool (much to the chagrin of Banshee).
In “X2” (2003), she appeared as one of the students in Xavier’s school, played by Shauna Kain. She wakes up while Stryker’s men are invading the mansion and her sonic scream alerts the rest of the mutants to the situation. She’s then shot with a tranquilizer dart, but is fortunately rescued by Colossus before she can be taken away. This was another case of a mutant being introduced, seemingly having a big impact on the action and then disappearing from the rest of the movie.
4. THE STEPFORD CUCKOOS
After a sentinel attack killed her students and left her comatose, organic material was taken from Emma Frost to create an army of clones. This resulted in five identical, telepathic girls enrolling in the Xavier institute and serving as Emma Frost’s proteges. They first appeared in “New X-Men” #118 (2001) by Grant Morrison and Ethan Van Sciver, and over the next few years, two of them would die, while the remaining three would break free from the original programming. Known as the Stepford Cuckoos, they’ve become a powerful, yet also somewhat creepy, part of the X-Men.
In “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), three identical blonde girls were shown on the campus at Xavier’s school, and they were later confirmed to have been the Stepford Cuckoos. They’re an easy to miss cameo, which is a shame, because they’re a visually interesting group of characters, and their detached personalities could create a lot of fun scenes. Having them appear merely to walk through the background of a scene is a waste of a great concept.
3. KID OMEGA
The “X-Men” movies have a habit of sometimes bringing a character to the big screen, but in name only. For example, Bolivar Trask originally appeared in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), where he was the head of The Department of Homeland Security, played by Bill Duke, as opposed to the mutant hating scientist that created the Sentinels (this was fixed in “Days of Future Past”). One of the oddest examples of this, however, was Kid Omega in “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
Kid Omega first appeared in “New X-Men” #134 (2003) by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, where he is depicted as a powerful telepath who has trouble believing that humans and mutants can coexist. The movie version, however, is nothing like the comic version at all. Instead, he appeared to be based on Quill, a character who first appeared in “New X-Men: Academy X” #1 (2004) by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. On the DVD commentary, it’s stated that the ‘Kid Omega’ credit was a mistake, so it’s debatable if Kid Omega actually appeared in the movies or not.
The films had an interesting take on Rogue, the brash southern belle who first appeared in “Avengers Annual” #10 (1981) by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden. Her story was the central focus of the first film, where she was played by Anna Paquin as a shy young girl whose powers had caused her to withdraw from the world. She befriended Wolverine, which led her to the X-Men, eventually enrolling in the school and beginning a romantic relationship with Ice Man. Her story seemed to end in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), where she opted to have her powers removed so she could live a normal life.
She returned in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), with her powers seemingly returned to her. Her scenes were almost completely cut from the theatrical release, leaving only one brief appearance in the beginning of the movie showing her being captured by Sentinels. Her scenes were eventually restored in an extended cut, appropriately titled “The Rogue Cut,” which unfortunately still barely fills in her backstory.
He’s the most popular X-Men character by far, and the main character of the majority of the films in the series. Hugh Jackman played Wolverine, who first appeared in “Incredible Hulk” #180 (1974) by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe, in every X-Men movie, aside from “Deadpool” (2016). He actually had what is arguably the series’ best cameo in “X-Men: First Class” (2011), where he has a curt response to Xavier and Magneto trying to recruit him.
He’s also the star of one of the most pointless cameos in the entire series. When the mutants are captured by William Stryker during “X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016), they’re taken to his Alkali Lake base. There, Cyclops and Jean Grey discover Logan and set him free, leading him to rampage across the base. While the scene itself isn’t bad, it feels completely shoehorned into the plot of the movie, and actively ruins the ending of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), which shows Mystique posing as William Stryker when Wolverine is discovered by his men. Apparently, she just let them take him in, experiment on and torture him.
Which “X-Men” movie cameo did you feel was the most useless? Tell us in the comments!
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