Why Famke Janssen Thinks Her X-Men Treatment Was Sexist

When the next chapter of the X-Men saga, X-Men: Apocalypse, hits the screen on Memorial Day weekend we will see a number of familiar characters, but few familiar faces. Many of our favorite characters, like Cyclops and Storm will be played by new actors because we’re meeting them much earlier in their lives. The original Jean Grey, Famke Janssen is really excited to see her character played by a new actress, but, having said that, she doesn’t understand why she can’t make an appearance too; the guys get to do it after all.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly about X-Men: Apocalypse Famke Janssen was asked what she thought of Sophie Turner taking on the role of Jean Grey in the new film. While her comments regarding Turner are nothing but positive, she does appear to be annoyed that she hasn’t been asked to return. After all, simply having your character recast with a younger actor didn’t stop Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellan from reprising their roles.

I’m actually really excited about it. And it’s not the first time obviously that it’s happened. In the X-Men series, they’ve been doing this for years. Although women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions – or more mature, whatever the politically correct version of that is – are never to be seen again. Whereas the men are allowed to be both ages. Sexism. I think that I should be back along with my younger version and the way that we’ve seen it with Magneto and Professor X.

It’s true that both Professor X and Magneto have seen their older versions return after their youthful versions were played in newer films. In X-Men: Days of Future Past both versions appeared in the film together. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t point out that the same opportunity was not had by Rebecca Romijn, who played the original Mystique before Jennifer Lawrence took over the part. We would certainly hope the reason is not because producers were against bringing back more mature actresses. We can’t assign motives one way or another, but if Famke Janssen is right we’re going to just sit here and shake our heads.

Famke Janssen says that she has tried to talk to the studio about bringing back her version of Jean Grey and while she’s received zero response whatsoever (which is lame Fox, return a damn phone call, will you?) it doesn’t mean that there might not be an opportunity for such things in the future. The events of X-Men: Days of Future Past should have negated those of X-Men: The Last Stand so hopefully older Jean is alive and well and ready to fight.

Would you like to see Famke Janssen return as Jean Grey in some capacity? Sound off in the comments.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.