Before they get a movie for themselves as part of the MCU, the X-Men have had plenty of movies already, and Beast is among the most recurring characters despite his limited on-screen time in many of them. Who are the actors that have played the blue-furred mutant so far?
Spoilers ahead for The Marvels, and pretty much every X-Men movie to date.
Steve Bacic as Hank McCoy
The first-ever live-action appearance of Hank McCoy is the one that most viewers missed at first or simply can't remember. During X-Men 2 (2003), he shows up in an interview on TV in his human form, discussing the matter of anti-mutant protests and how they're perceived by American citizens. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo ahead of the character's first proper appearance in the third X-Men movie.
Kelsey Grammer as the Beast/Hank McCoy
Grammer was chosen to portray the iconic mutant in X-Men: The Last Stand aka X-Men 3 (2006), where he delivered a memorable portrayal of the character despite the movie's many script issues. Beast's design in this movie is also widely regarded as the best live-action look he's had so far. The actor briefly returned (uncredited) in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) for a few seconds, greeting Logan during the movie's final moments in the 'fixed' original timeline. However, the design had changed a little bit.
Much more recently, Grammer has played the character one more time as part of The Marvels' (2023) mid-credits scene. It's a shocking cameo that makes Beast the second major member of Fox's X-Men who's shown up in the MCU. Here, the character is brought to life with CGI and looks closer to his famous animated series design. The implication is that we'll be seeing more of this Beast variant and other X-Men in the near future as the Multiverse Saga evolves.
Nicholas Hoult as the Beast/Hank McCoy
Hoult has had the longest run as Beast out of all the live-action actors so far. At this point, we definitely wouldn't be surprised if he showed up at some point during the MCU's Multiverse Saga too. He made his debut as Hank McCoy aka Beast in X-Men: First Class (2011) and later reprised the role in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018), and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019). Much like Kelsey Grammer's cameo in Days of Future Past, Hoult's minuscule appearance in Deadpool 2 was uncredited.
Another fun thing about his tenure as Hank McCoy/Beast is that the blue-furred design changed with every movie, as the filmmakers never quite settled on a definitive look for the character. The biggest difference, of course, is between his debut in First Class (more feline-like) and Days of Future Past (closer to a human), but the latter was tinkered with further in each movie if you pay attention.
After The Marvels' arrival and the stunning Loki season 2 finale last week, we recommend checking out what's next for the MCU.