While the first X-Men movie in 2000 saw the eponymous heroes clashing with the Brotherhood of Mutants, X2: X-Men United saw them dealing with a rogue military faction led by the human William Stryker, who would stop at nothing to weaponize mutants for his own purposes. Cox only played Stryker the one time, but should the character be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cox is game to reprise the role. The actor said:
It’s been 16 years since X2: X-Men United, one of the most positively received X-Men movies, was released, but Brian Cox still looks back fondly at his time on the sequel. So rather than turn his back on the character for good, he informed Comicbook.com that he’s open to playing William Stryker again in the MCU, although obviously it would not be the same exact version from the original X-Men franchise.
For one thing, Brian Cox’s version of William Stryker died at the end of X2: X-Men United when he was crushed by the huge wall of water that burst from the dam at Alkali Lake. Granted, given how drastically the X-Men timeline changed, it’s possible Stryker never died in the revised continuity. But by all accounts, Marvel will be starting from scratch with the X-Men property, which makes sense given how hard Dark Phoenix bombed.
Of course, even though Brian Cox only played William Stryker once, the character would continue to be active within the X-Men franchise, Danny Huston played a younger version of Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where we saw how Stryker and Logan met, and then Josh Helman took over the role for X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Don Creech also played Stryker’s father in X-Men: First Class.
It will be a while before the X-Men are incorporated into the MCU, but once they are, it’s certainly possible that William Stryker could be a villain for them to go up against. At first, you might think that Cox’s chances of playing Stryker are slim or non-existent given that Marvel mainly picks new talent to portray new versions of characters.
However, as we saw with Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU has now opened the door to actors who’ve played a comic book movie role in the past to play that role again in this franchise. That might only slightly improve Brian Cox’s chances of reprising William Stryker, but it’s better than nothing!
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