As of January 2019, the Fox X-Men movie universe is made up of 11 films: the three original core X-Men movies, three prequel movies (First Class, Days Of Future Past, Apocalypse), three Wolverine solo movies, and two all-conquering Deadpool movies. There are two more slated to be released this year (X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants), although both of those films have experienced numerous delays and rumors about the troubled productions. Many fans believe it has something to do with Disney purchasing Fox; the accepted theory being that the House Of Mouse now want to incorporate the X-Men characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and have no faith in any Fox-produced X-movies currently in development.
Whatever the case, for most of the last two decades the X-Men have been a massive presence on cinema screens. And over the course of all the films there have been countless mutants put on-screen. We've had so many, from the iconic main characters like Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Professor Xavier, Magneto, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Beast, Sabretooth and Mystique, to lesser-known names like Psylocke, Banshee, Caliban, X-23 and the wonderfully-monickered Negasonic Teenage Warhead. There have also been an enormous amount of quick background cameos in the films, intended as easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans. This article will look at 10 mutants who were rumored to hit the big screen (but somehow never did), as well as another 10 that we wish were rumored and hope will appear in an X-Men movie someday.
19 WISH: QUENTIN QUIRE
Quintavius Quirinius 'Quentin' Quire was created by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely and first appeared in New X-Men #134 in late 2002. An egotistical pink-haired would-be mutant revolutionary, Quire quickly became Charles Xavier's number one student when he joined the Xavier Institute. He had Omega-level psionic powers, including telepathy and telekinesis, as well as a brilliant intellect.
Unfortunately, he believed himself better than the X-Men and led the "Riot At Xavier's", in which the students rebelled against the teachers. He believed himself an anti-authority punk renegade (like many bright teens might feel after getting their first brush with the injustices of the world), but had the power and sociopathic tendencies to do real damage in the world.
18 RUMORED: DAZZLER
Pop star mutant Alison Blaire, aka Dazzler, had a solo movie in development in the '80s, long before any of Marvel's merry mutants had hit the big or small screen. It was to star Bo Derek (10) but production fell apart. Then, in 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, one of her records appeared in a deleted scene in which Scott Summers and Jean Grey visited a record store.
Finally, in June 2017 Entertainment Weekly reported that Dazzler would finally make her big screen debut in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but that an actress had yet to be cast. A few months later Halston Sage (Paper Towns) was rumored for the role, but as of January 2019 it has never been officially confirmed and the movie itself has experienced production issues, being delayed several times.
17 WISH: FANTOMEX
Another creation of Grant Morrison (along with artist Igor Kordey), Fantomex is a bizarre-yet-awesome character who debuted in 2002's New X-Men #128. Heavily influenced by Italian comic Diabolik (which in turn was inspired by the Fantomas 20th century French novels), he initially claimed to be a mutant thief with the power of misdirection.
He was later revealed as a technorganic organism whose living tissue was fused with Sentinel nanotechnology by the Weapon Plus program (which also laced Wolverine's bones with adamantium). Deadpool actor Ed Skrein revealed he'd love to play Fantomex and noted that the character's masked visage made it easier to cast him, as hiding his face would mean no complaints that he'd already played another X-universe character.
16 RUMORED: MISTER SINISTER
After Magneto and Apocalypse, Mister Sinister is arguably the X-Men's third most enduring supervillain. A virtually immortal biologist with an obsession with Scott Summers and his genetic line, the man once known as Nathaniel Essex is a genetically altered human with telepathic and telekinetic abilities, as well as shapeshifting and regeneration capabilities.
His Essex Corporation was first referenced in X-Men: Apocalypse's post-credits scene and producer Simon Kinberg confirmed it indicated the direction of future X-Men sequels. Bryan Singer said he would first appear in Logan, but that movie's director veto'd the inclusion. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) was then reportedly cast to play Sinister in New Mutants, but the role has been cut following extensive reshoots.
15 WISH: MARROW
Now, before we get into this, we are aware that Marrow had an easter egg-style cameo in 2016's Deadpool. When Wade Wilson is wheeled through the Weapon X facility on the way to get the operation to supposedly cure his cancer, he sees a young mutant with bones protruding from her back being injected with Mutant Growth Hormone.
We never see the woman's face, though, and she's never referenced again, so we think Marrow is fair game for a more substantial role in an X-Men movie. A violent and angry mutant with a skewed moral code, Marrow was a member of the Morlocks when she was a child, due to her messed up appearance. She eventually joined the X-Men and became a hero for as period, but later fell in with the paramilitary group Weapon X.
14 RUMORED: PROTEUS
In an interview with Empire Magazine in the lead-up to the release of 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, director Bryan Singer said that he would love to use Proteus as the villain in a future X-Men movie. He elaborated that there is a lot that can be done visually with the character. But who is Proteus?
He is the mutant son of Scottish genetic researcher Moira MacTaggart and his reality warping/possession powers were so destructive that he was forced to live a life of seclusion at his mother's Muir Island research facility. His breakout and attempt to find his father, politician Joseph MacTaggart, was detailed in a classic Uncanny X-Men storyarc in 1979-80. It was also adapted into a superb two-part episode of X-Men: The Animated Series in 1995.
13 WISH: M
In 1996, Monet St Croix (aka M) appeared in the Generation X television movie that was intended to test the public's appetite for a series of TV movies starring the Marvel characters. Unfortunately, the film was almost as bad as DC's infamous failed Justice League Of America TV pilot from the following year and it was swiftly forgotten about.
We think M deserves to be brought to the big screen in order to avenge this terrible TV incarnation. An arrogant woman who hails from money, Monet is a superhuman in virtually every regard and a cinematic story about her learning to be more humble could be interesting. Or the filmmakers could introduce her brother Emplate (a vampiric mutant who sucks the bone marrow from other mutants) and tell that story.
12 RUMORED: OMEGA RED
In the lead-up to the release of Deadpool 2 on DVD/Blu-Ray, it was revealed that a certain X-Men villain had made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in the 'Ice Box' section of the film, in which Deadpool was incarcerated in a mutant prison. The villain? None other than Omega Red, the Soviet supervillain equipped with carbonadium tentacles who was created by Jim Lee and John Byrne in 1992!
Photos were released of actor Dakoda Shepley in the prosthetic makeup and a Blu-Ray feature entitled 'Chess With Omega Red' was teased. We'd much rather have a full version of the character as the main villain of an upcoming Wolverine or Deadpool movie, however, as he's too cool for a simple cameo. Please let us have this, Fox. Pretty please?
11 WISH: CHAMBER
Jonothon 'Jono' Starsmore, aka Chamber, was a member of Marvel's '90s teen mutant team Generation X. A character with an incredible visual image, Jono had the ability to cast energy blasts from his chest but when his powers manifested, it destroyed much of his lower face and chest. It left him unable to eat, drink or breathe, and he could only communicate via telepathy.
It was believed that either the psionic energy sustained him without needing vital organs, or that his body was merely a shell made up of psionic energy. Chamber wan't in the 1996 Generation X TV movie as they didn't have the special effects budget to do his powers justice, but perhaps his complicated look made them think twice as well. We think it's high time he was brought to the movies.
10 RUMORED: SAURON
In June 2017 a supposed casting call for X-Men: Dark Phoenix was leaked. The characters all had codenames, but their descriptions led many fans to hypothesize who they were truly meant to be. Characters like Sunfire and the Hellfire Club made sense, but then there was a description for a character that sounded very much like Karl Lykos/Sauron, which made less sense.
Lykos is an energy vampire who transforms into a pteranodon when he feeds on people. In essence, he transforms into a humanoid dinosaur man. He also lives in the prehistoric jungle known as the Savage Land, which is hidden in Antarctica and upon which dinosaurs still roam. The idea of seeing dinosaurs in an X-Men movie seems weird, but crazier things have happened, right?
9 WISH: ARMOR
Hisako Ichiki, aka Armor, was created in 2004 by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday and first appeared in Astonishing X-Men #4. She can create an enormously strong psionic energy exoskelton around her body, which acts a form of armor. It grants her superhuman strength, stamina and durability but she is vulnerable to lasers, as the armor still has to let light through.
Hisako started as a young student at Xavier's School and over the years graduated to full X-Men membership, having been trained in combat by Wolverine. Another character whose power looks visually stunning, she would make for a truly eye-popping spectacle on the big screen. Her only appearance outside of comics, thus far, was in the 2010 Marvel Anime: X-Men television series.
8 RUMORED: HOPE SUMMERS
In Deadpool 2, Josh Brolin's Cable dropped a major easter egg for X-Men fans that could be an indicator of where (and when) the movie franchise could go next. The time-travelling cyborg revealed his daughter's name to be Hope, which must have been a reference to Hope Summers, the savior of mutantkind (or their destroyer).
In the 2005 event "House Of M", Scarlet Witch culled 99% of the world's mutant population and Hope was the first baby born with the X-gene in the wake of this. Cable travelled back through time to protect Hope and ensure the future of the mutant race, eventually bringing her forward to his war-torn time. She later came back to the present day as an adult and joined X-Force, a member of which she will surely be in their rumored movie.
7 WISH: NORTHSTAR
Northstar was originally a member of the superteam Alpha Flight, but over the years he has become a member of the X-Men. He was one of the first gay superheroes in mainstream comics in America, which brought the character (and Marvel) lots of publicity. He first stated 'I am gay' in a 1992 Alpha Flight comic, but writer John Byrne had wanted him to be openly gay from as far back as 1983.
He was restricted to hints and implications by editor Jim Shooter and the Comics Code of Authority. In June 2012's Astonishing X-Men #51 Northstar married his husband Kyle, which was the first depiction of a same-sex wedding in mainstream comics. Surely it's time for Fox to follow suit and have him increase LGBT representation in their movies?
6 RUMORED: PETE WISDOM
When comedian Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) was cast as the mysterious 'Peter' in Deadpool 2, fans went wild with theories as to which important X-character he could really be playing. Conventional wisdom (get it?!) landed on Pete Wisdom, a British Secret Service Agent who also happens to be a mutant capable of throwing blades of energy ('hot knives') from his fingertips.
Created by Warren Ellis and artist Ken Lashley, Wisdom debuted in the pages of Excalibur, which was about a British mutant superhero team. In the end, it turned out Delaney wasn't playing Wisdom at all, nor anyone else of note. He was what he appeared to be, a regular guy who somehow became a member of superhero team who all perished in varying humours ways.
5 WISH: DOCTOR NEMESIS
Doctor Nemesis is a bizarre character, plucked from relative obscurity by Uncanny X-Men writer Matt Fraction in late 2008 and incorporated into the X-Universe. The character originally debuted in 1941's Lightning Comics #6 and was one of the co-creators of the original Human Torch android. This was published by Ace Magazines, but the character was then revived and expanded upon by Marvel in 1993's Invaders series.
He then disappeared again and reappeared under Fraction's stewardship as a mutant with cybernetic eyes who spent his time hunting evil superscientists and their clones. He has since operated as a member of the X-Men and X-Force. He'd be right at home in a Deadpool movie, which could exploit his off-kilter weirdness to great comedic effect.
4 RUMORED: FERAL
In May 2017 a rumor emerged that Fox was casting three new mutant characters who would appear in a Deadpool 2 post-credits scene setting up an X-Force movie: Sunspot, Feral and Shatterstar. In the end, of course, X-Force was used in the movie but in a comedic manner, as the whole team (which did indeed include Shatterstar) was offed during their first mission.
Sunspot had previously appeared in 2014's X-Men: Days Of Future Past, but Feral has never made her way to the big screen. A cat-like mutant who escaped the tyrannical rule of Masque while living with the sewer-dwelling Morlocks, she agreed to join Cable's X-Force in exchange for protection. She's effectively a female Wolverine who looks even more animalistic and has an even shorter fuse.
3 WISH: FORGE
Forge has to be one of the most recognizable mutant characters that has yet to appear in a live-action film or television project. A Native-American mutant with an unsurpassed brilliance when it comes to technology, over the years he has been responsible for outfitting the X-Men (and X-Mansion) with new, cutting edge inventions and weapons.
He even served in Vietnam, where he lost his right leg and right hand to an enemy bomb, but was able to create cybernetic replacements for his lost limbs. He has been romantically involved with both Storm and Mystique and has been a member of both X-Factor and X-Force at different times. It's pretty crazy that a character with this many compelling elements to his story has thus far been left out of the Fox movieverse.
2 RUMORED: BOOM BOOM
This one is pretty tenuous, we have to admit, but we wanted to highlight it anyway! Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is starring in X-Men: Dark Phoenix in an uber-secretive role as an undisclosed villain. It was revealed in January 2018 that the character's name is Smith and this set fan's minds racing, as the only recognized character in the X-Universe with that name is Tabitha Smith, aka Boom Boom, a founding member of X-Force.
Pictures of Chastain in the role showed she was blonde, but that's about the only similarity the description seemed to share with Boom Boom! Eventually director Simon Kinberg said Chastain's character is an amalgamation of several from X-Men lore and is an alien manipulating Jean Grey/the Phoenix Force.
1 WISH: THE STEPFORD CUCKOOS
The Stepford Cuckoos are currently starring in The Gifted, Fox's X-Men-adjacent TV series set in an alternate timeline where Xavier's team have disappeared. The triplets are played by Skyler Samuels (Scream Queens). There were also three identical blonde girls who appeared in the background of a scene in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand and screenwriter Zak Penn confirmed they were the Cuckoos.
But, we still think the characters, created by Grant Morrison and Ethan Van Sciver in 2001, are too interesting to never have a definitive big screen interpretation, so we'd love them to appear in a future movie. And if DC can have Grant Gustin playing The Flash on TV at the same time as Ezra Miller plays him on film, why couldn't Marvel do the same with the Cuckoos?