Released in 2000, X-Men is the movie that could easily be deemed the torchbearer of the golden age of superhero movies. More precisely, the concept of a team of superheroes was brought to popularity by the first X-Men movie. This was the first time we ever witnessed the X-Men in action outside the pages of comic books, and trust me when I say it, the cast and characters for this project made it even better.
From the righteous and charismatic Professor X to the sinister and dark aura of Magneto, the acting done in this film was as perfect as the October sun. So, in this article, let’s dive into our nostalgia and give our due remembrance to the cast of X-Men!
1. Patrick Stewart as Professor X (Charles Xavier)
The leader of the X-Men and the man behind the brains of the team is none other than Charles Xavier (aka Professor X). If you have seen the later X-Men movies, especially X-Men: First Class where James McAvoy played the role of Professor X, you would agree with me that the older version of him, played by Patrick Stewart, is the perfect cast for him. Or I would rather say James was a perfect younger cast for the world’s most popular telepath.
As soon as this movie was released, Stewart became a sensation as well as an instant hit among X-Men fans for his exceptional charm and charisma, which was as if Professor X himself walked out of the comic books to our screens.
2. Hugh Jackman as Logan (Wolverine)
The best decision ever made in the history of casting decisions has to be choosing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men. Before this film, Hugh Jackman was almost unknown, but after this, he became an overnight superstar and the face of Wolverine for all time.
In this movie, we are introduced to Wolverine after the experiment that gave him his Adamantium bones as well as his signature claws. After the major success of X-Men and the explosive fanbase of Jackman as Wolverine, an X-Men: Origins movie project was initiated with the first movie being X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Even though the movie has some flaws, it became a massive fan favorite and is one of the best X-Men movies to date.
3. Ian McKellen as Erik Magnus Lehnsherr (Magneto)
If we talk about the antagonist of 2000’s X-Men, I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that anyone else except Ian McKellen could have brought to screen a better adaptation of the charismatic yet dark persona of Magneto. Magneto can be best defined as the frenemy of Professor X. They both wish to protect the interests of Mutants but there’s a striking difference of morality between both of them.
In this movie, we get to see this difference crystal clear when Magneto is trying to turn the world leaders into Mutants using some extreme methods, but Professor X stops him believing humans and Mutants can co-exist without being enemies.
4. James Marsden as Scott Summers (Cyclops)
If we are talking about comic accuracy, along with Wolverine, another Mutant who was cast with utmost perfection was Cyclops, played by James Marsden. I don’t know about you but to me, not just the way he carried the character, but also the way he looks is strikingly similar to how we saw Cyclops in the comics.
Marsden played the character of Cyclops in three X-Men movies where he is an important member of the team and possibly one of the core members of the original X-Men team. The chemistry between Wolverine and Cyclops was the best ever seen in a comic book movie, which adds a sense of comic relief to the usually serious tone of the movie.
5. Famke Janssen as Jean Grey
The first X-Men movie itself introduced us to one of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men comic series. Jean Grey evolves into the Dark Phoenix in comics who initially is a threat to the X-Men and everyone since Jean is totally under the control of the Phoenix Force. Eventually, she takes control of the Phoenix Force and becomes the strongest member of the team.
In the X-Men movie trilogy, Jean is killed by Wolverine to protect everyone around him. In the first X-Men, she is a physician, a telepath, and can perform Telekinesis but her powers are not that enhanced in this movie.
6. Anna Paquin as Anna Marie (Rogue)
Rogue was basically the central character of this movie. She is a young mutant who has the ability to absorb life energy from anyone she touches. So if she touches a mutant, she gets a fraction of the powers of that mutant for some time. Her powers are more like a curse to her as she does not have a switch for her powers. Hence, making her more like a threat to anyone she makes physical touch with.
In the X-Men film, Magneto abducts her to transfer his powers to her and use her as collateral damage while attempting to turn the world leaders into Mutants.
7. Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe (Storm)
Storm is officially one of the most powerful mutants in the universe of X-Men simply because of her quite exceptional powers. Halle Berry has been cast as Storm from the first X-Men movie to the last X-Men movie, except in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: First Class.
She has the power to control the weather and bend it to her will. If you have seen later projects in the X-Men universe, you already know that she has been an important part of the X-Men universe whether it be the timeline where “Days of Future Past” takes place or the one where we see the events of X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix.
8. Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkholme (Mystique)
Mystique is the most famous shapeshifter in the X-Men universe and was seen for the first time in this movie. She is the right-hand person of Magneto. In the comic run, she is often called one of the most powerful mutants because of her unique ability to not only shape-shift but also replicate the powers of any other person or mutant.
Throughout the X-Men universe, Rebecca Romijn is the one who reprised the role of Mystique in most X-Men movies. In the later projects of X-Men, we get to see a complete arc of how Raven went from being Charles Xavier’s sister to Magneto’s right-hand person.
9. Ray Parker as Mortimer Tonybee (Toad)
Ray Parker is a professional martial artist, who is best known for playing the role of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Solo: A Star Wars Story. He played the role of a B-Grade X-Men villain called Toad who has the abilities of a..well…toad? He can jump to great heights, spit a slime-like substance, and has a tongue that extends up to 13 feet for him to catch his prey. Well, his appearance was a one-time thing, but he made a brief appearance in X-Men: Days of Future Past as well.
With Toad, our list of popular characters in the X: Men (2000) movie comes to an end. Now you may ask, ” Where’s Sabertooth?” Well, I intentionally chose to not mention him in this list because later on, in the X-Men universe, the story of Sabertooth was twisted and Logan’s half-brother and fellow soldier was turned into Sabertooth. According to me, the decision to recast and change the origin of the character in itself was cruel to the X-Men universe. However, keeping aside the flaws of this universe, we all have to agree with the fact that this movie ushered us into a new age of superhero movies and made our childhood a lot better.