With the release of X-Men in 2000, comic book movies got a new lease on life. The film helped prove the legitimacy of the comic book film and paved the way for the genre to take over pop culture. Famke Janssen was one of the first actors to portray an X-man. And she was instrumental in helping make these films popular. Since then she’s played Jean Grey in the two sequels as well as making small appearances in The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
But, we’re years away from when the first modern comic book films were released. And those actors are getting older with reboots becoming more frequent. Like Hugh Jackman, actors are looking to move on from their superhero alter egos. Janssen is one such actor who believes her time as Jean Grey has come to an end. She discussed the issue recently during a panel at Denver Comic Con.
“That was so amazing,” she said. “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.”
Sadly, she went into greater detail about her future as the mutant telekinetic and it doesn’t seem promising.
“It’s the gift that keeps on, kept on giving,” Janssen 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.”
Although it seems rather unlikely at this point what with Sophie Turner taking over the role, it’s worth noting that she said she’d “do anything” to reprise her role as Jean Grey and that she’d “definitely come back to play her” if asked.
Even though she probably won’t return, it is the Marvel universe. And they could easily have a time travel story where the younger and older Jeans meet and save the world. But, until then, we’ll just have to appreciate Janssen’s great work and wish her the best.
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