X-Men’s Famke Janssen Says “Why Not?” to Another Superhero Role

The X-Men star is “more than happy” to leave Jean Grey in the past.

Famke Janssen as Jean Grey in X-Men: Days of Future Past
20th Century Studios

No one’s ever really gone — and that’s especially true if you’ve got the Phoenix Force. As Jean Grey, Famke Janssen has returned to the big screen whenever fans least expect it. Fox’s X-Men films killed Jean off time and again, but she always came back, whether it be as a ghost (in 2013’s The Wolverine) or as a variant in a different timeline (in Days of Future Past). If anyone were to return in the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine — which will send its eponymous duo on a journey through the multiverse — Jean Grey is your best bet. But is Janssen interested in reprising her role?

“You know, I haven’t been asked,” Janssen tells Inverse at the premiere of her latest film, Boy Kills World. “Obviously I’ve been replaced by the beautiful Sophie Turner, so I don’t know if that would ever happen; I doubt it.”

Fox’s most recent X-Men films served as a kind of soft reboot for the titular team: from X-Men: First Class onward, younger actors embodied the characters, occasionally alongside the original 2000s cast. Game of Thrones alum Sophie Turner stepped in to play Jean Grey, and even inherited the Phoenix Force in Dark Phoenix. Though there are those who still see Janssen as the “definitive” version of Jean, at least on the big screen, the actress seems content having passed the baton to another actor.

“I also did five movies as Jean Grey and Phoenix, so that’s a chapter I’m more than happy to leave behind.”

Jean Grey was always iconic, but after 20 years as the character, Janssen seems ready to move on.

20th Century Studios

It’s a little surprising to hear that Marvel hasn’t asked Janssen to return as Jean Grey, especially with Deadpool & Wolverine right around the corner. The upcoming film is the ultimate callback to Fox’s own Marvel universe, and has the opportunity to close a chapter 20 years in the making.

That said, Days of Future Past did bring Janssen’s arc as Jean to a pretty satisfying conclusion. We don’t really need to see her version of the character again, especially not if it means retreading the same territory.

For now, Janssen seems focused on future opportunities and new characters. The actor would even be open to playing a different superhero: “There are so many different comic book characters that are interesting to play, so if something came across that I really enjoyed, why not?” she tells Inverse.

It helps that superhero stories are more in demand than ever before, with studios other than Marvel and DC delivering new takes on the genre. There’s no shortage of interesting, subversive characters to choose from — and after Boy Kills World, Janssen certainly seems game — so it might be time to let her Jean Grey rest.

Janssen can be seen next in Boy Kills World, opening in theaters April 26.

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