The Forgotten X-Men

The movie mutant stars who didn’t make the cut.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ brings together many of the stars from the previous six movies with it’s nifty time travelling plot, so we get to see once again Patrick Stewart as old Professor Xavier, Halle Berry as Storm and even Shawn Ashmore’s Iceman.

[Watch: The X-Men Days of Future Past trailer]

Nonetheless, there are many X-Men stars from the old films who didn’t make the cut, and have fallen into obscurity. We decided to find out how they’ve been doing…

Tyler Mane (Sabretooth)
The aplty named Mane played the vicous Sabretooth (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

In one of the very first scenes of Singer’s original we see Wolverine battle with long-time rival Sabretooth in snowy Canada. Tyler Mane was the aptly-named actor behind the make-up and since his short stint as the feral crony of Ian McKellan’s Magneto he has continued a modest acting career which saw him star in US TV series ‘Chopper’ and take up the role of Michael Myers in the 2007 remake of ‘Halloween’.

Ray Park (Toad)
Ray Park as Toad (Credit: Rex Features)
Park is an actor best known for silent roles like that of Toad, the most icky member of Magneto’s crew and is most famous as the body but not the voice of Darth Maul in ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’. In recent years Park has played Snake Eyes in the two ‘G.I. Joe’ movies.

Rebecca Romijn (Mystique)
Original Mystique Rebecca Romijn was replaced by Jennifer Lawrence in First Class (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

She may have been replaced now by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence but don’t see that as an indictment of Romijn’s performance as the original Mystique. It can’t be easy for an actress to play a nude, blue, shape-shifting mutant vixen but Romijn carried it off with the required confidence. Her career since has been spent largely on television screens, including a stint in ‘Ugly Betty’, but she had an un-credited cameo in the ‘X-Men’ prequel ‘First Class’ as an older Mystique when the character tries to get Magneto into bed.

Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut)
Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand (Credit: Rex Features)
Yep our Vinnie was actually an X-Man, playing the massive Juggernaut in the criticlaly derided ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’. Amazingly at one point there was even rumours of a Juggernaut spin-off, but that never materialised, and Jones has been playing cockney hardmen in straightt-DVD fare ever since.

Aaron Stanford (Pyro)
Aaron Stanford as Pyro in ‘X-Men: the Last Stand’ (Credit: Rex Features)
Pyro played a pivotal role in 2004’s ‘X2’ playing a student of Professor X’s who begins to flirt with his bad side, eventually turning his back on his class mates to join Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants. Stanford later took the lead in ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and has more recently been part of the principal cast of TV show ‘Nikita’.

Taylor Kitsch (Gambit)
Kitsch’s disappointing incarnation of Gambit was a low-point for Origins (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Gambit had only a short part to play in the atrocious ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, but it was an appearance many fans were very eager to see. He has always been a favourite among fans of both the comics and the amazing 90s ‘X-Men’ cartoon in which Gambit was a lead character. It was one of Kitsch’s first big screen roles and since he has gone on to star in blockbuster mega-flops ‘Battleship’ and ‘John Carter’. Channing Tatum will try his luck with the character in the upcoming ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’.

Kelly Hu (Lady Deathstrike) Kelly Hu as Deathstrike in X2 (Credit: Rex Features)
Arguably the best fight scene in any of the ‘X-Men’ films comes at the end of its best film as Wolverine and the similarly-clawed Lady Deathstrike duke it out in the bowels of General Stryker’s Weapon X complex. Her career since has been TV-focused, very busy and includes roles in ‘Hawaii Five-0’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and ‘Arrow’.

Ben Foster (Angel)
Angel’s brief appearance was key to developing ‘The Cure’ in X-3 (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Appearing only in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, Angel played a pivotal role as the basis of a potential mutant cure. Since playing Angel, Foster has made a name for himself with roles in ‘3:10 to Yuma’, horror film ‘Pandorum’ and ‘Contraband’ alongside Mark Wahlberg.

Ken Leung (Kid Omega)
Ken Leung as Kid Omega in X-Men: the Last Stand (Credit: Rex Features)
Leung had been in the business a while prior to his small part in ‘The Last Stand’, in fact he’s best known in the movie world for playing the lead henchman in Chris Rock/Jackie Chan buddy comedy ‘Rush Hour’ in the late 90s. Since playing the porcupine-faced Kid Omega in ‘The Last Stand’ however, Leung has become best known for his recurring role talking to the dead in ‘Lost’s final few seasons.

will.i.am (Kestrel)
Distracting cameo… will.i.am was one of the first to die in Origins (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

You can’t say the omens weren’t there for ‘X-Men Origins’. Will.i.am was one of the many new faces in Wolverine’s first spin-off movie and is one of the first to die – in this case whilst battling Liev Schreiber’s Sabertooth. Since playing the teleporting mutant Mr i.am has reportedly had a crack at a career in music. Good luck with that buddy!

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is in cinemas now.

(Credit: Marvel)


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