X-Men: Rachael Leigh Cook Calls Turning Down Part of Rogue a "Huge Misstep"

Comic book films are one of the biggest pop-culture sensations in cinema, but their successes weren't always a guarantee in the early days of the Marvel universe, with She's All That star Rachael Leigh Cook recently confirming her regrets over not taking the role of Rogue in 2000's X-Men, with Anna Paquin instead taking the part. The actor noted that, having earned success and notoriety for teen-aimed narratives, she believed that she had to pivot away from such fare to take on more mature opportunities, though once that film's promotional campaign kicked off, she regretted the decision she made.

When speaking with The New York Times about her career, she admitted that passing on the part was a "huge misstep" and that "as soon as I saw the posters for it, I knew that I'd made a mistake."

She also noted that the people close to her at the time were the ones to push her towards more mature projects, as she admitted, "I really thought what everyone told me was correct when they said, 'What we need to do now is make sure you're taken seriously,' I definitely did things for the wrong reasons."

While Marvel characters had graced the small screen in a variety of projects, with the exception of 1998's Blade, Marvel Comics failed to capture the attention of moviegoers the way DC Comics characters had, which made X-Men a big gamble. Much like how the characters weren't as well known as their comic counterparts, the cast featured a large number of lesser-known performers. The success of X-Men not only helped launch the careers of its stars, but also paved the way for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, which took the popularity of Marvel characters to new heights on the big screen. These two films might have been followed by some lackluster Marvel films, yet they all assuredly helped prove the interest in these characters and made the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man in 2008 possible.

For the past 20 years, there has been a divide between Marvel characters across cinematic universes, but thanks to some behind-the-scenes deals and changes in ownership, Marvel Studios owns a majority of the big-screen incarnations of their roster, which now includes the X-Men.

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Stay tuned for details on the future of the X-Men.

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