- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of William Stryker from the X-Men film series. The mainstream version can be found here: William Stryker.
|“||Mutants, I don't hate them. I just know what they can do. You don't realize this but we are at war. I took an oath: Protect this country. My name is William Stryker, and I am not a monster. I'm simply a patriot.||„|
|~ William Stryker|
|“||People don't change, Wolverine. You were an animal then and you're an animal now. I just gave you claws.||„|
|~ Stryker to Wolverine.|
William Stryker, Jr. (also known as Colonel Stryker, Major Stryker, or simply Bill) is the secondary antagonist of the X-Men film series. He served as the main antagonist of X2: X-Men United and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and a supporting antagonist in X-Men: Days of Future Past and the secondary antagonist of X-Men: Apocalypse.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Stryker was portrayed by Danny Huston, who also played Wade Jennings in Angel Has Fallen, The Axeman in American Horror Story: Coven, Marlow Roderick in 30 Days of Night, Erich Ludendorff in Wonder Woman and Victor Maynott in A Monster in Paris.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, Stryker was played by Josh Helman, who also played Slit in Mad Max: Fury Road.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Original TimelineStryker is Bolivar Trask's right hand man and one of the antagonists in this film, which focuses on the beginning of Stryker's education into mutant affairs. When he and Trask kidnapped other mutants for experimental purposes, Stryker took some, including Havok and Toad, to an American airbase in Vietnam to be brought in for experimentation at a Trask Industries laboratory. Mystique poses as an army colonel to interrogate Stryker's intention, and subdues him, taking the mutant privates back to America. Stryker tries to stop them from escaping, to no avail. Stryker later accompanies Trask to the Paris Peace Conference held between the US and Vietnam military leaders. Whilst there, Trask unveils to the generals present the prototype specs for the Sentinels and the mutant detection devices to be fitted into each of them, until he detects Mystique's presence in the room. After Mystique subdues most of the guards in the room and kills Trask, Stryker tasers her and brings her in for experimentation. Through this, Mystique's genes are mapped and reverse engineered, providing Trask's Sentinels with the capability to imitate any mutant powers. Trask becomes a martyr for the anti-mutant movement, with Stryker spearheading the Sentinel initiative's development in his honor.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Stryker is the primary antagonist. William Stryker is a ruthless military man in charge of an illegal project to experiment on mutants to harvest power for a mutant-killing "Deadpool" - to this end he imprisoned many young mutants, including Scott Summers, and manipulated Wolverine as well as his superiors. Stryker was emotionally scarred from his past, when his son killed his wife due to mutation and grew to see that most mutants were given a curse.
Stryker eventually met Wolverine and Sabretooth in a prison cell. He offered the two to join Stryker on a team which consist of other mutants, including; Agent Zero, John Wraith, Wade Wilson, Christopher Bradley, and Fred Dukes. He set this team up so he could discover the location of a metal substance known as Adamantium. When Stryker and his team were holding an entire village in Africa hostage, he threaten to kill the entire village if they don't tell them when the rest of the adamantium is. Refusing to answer Stryker, Stryker demanded the mutants to kill the all. However, Logan intervened and them that he didn't sign up of this. After which, Logan quit the team.
Sometime within the six years that have gone by, Stryker and the remaining team managed to find the adamantium. He also managed to figure out how to manipulate adamantium. Stryker was also starting to hunt down other mutants. With this, most of the team members including Wraith, Bradley, and Dukes quit as well. Only Agent Zero stay by Stryker's side. Stryker also managed to locate where Logan's been hiding, so he blackmailed another mutant name Kayla Silverfox to manipulate Logan to fall in love with him. If she didn't he would kill her sister. Starting to put the pieces together to create the mutant killer, Stryker "killed" Wade to use his body to create the Mutant Killer. He also made a deal with Sabretooth that if he helps Stryker with his goals, Stryker would surgically implant the adamantium on his skeleton. A few days after Wade was "killed" Stryker sent Sabretooth to kill Bradley.
A few days after Bradley was killed, Stryker, along with Agent Zero traveled to Canada where Logan was living. He informed Logan that Wade and Bradley were killed. He made a partial lie to Logan that he believed that someone was hunting down their old team, and that Victor was safe. He offered Logan protect, but Logan didn't want anything to do with it. The next day, Stryker sent Sabretooth to "kill" Kayla. After finding Kayla "corpse", and got brutally beaten by Sabretooth, Logan encountered Stryker at the hospital. Logan immediately knew that he knew that it was his brother was the one who's been killing their old team. Stryker made him an offer that he can give him the tools that can kill Victor. The two traveled to Alkali Lake where they implant the adamantium onto Logan's Skeleton, as well as give Logan some new dog tags labeled "Wolverine". After the bonding was successful, Stryker processed to create the Weapon XI. He also ordered the termination of Logan. However, thanks to his heighten sense of hearing, Logan overheard them. Enraged, Logan managed to escape the base while killing a few of the guards. Stryker then ordered Zero to kill Logan.
The next morning, Zero managed to locate Logan, and sniped down an elderly couple who befriended Logan. He then informed Stryker that Logan killed two civilians. Stryker demanded that Zero to kill Logan. However, Logan managed crash the helicopter that Zero was in. Logan then warned Stryker that once he's done with Victor, he's next, processing with killing Zero.
While Logan was trying to figure out Stryker's plan, Stryker managed to locate a mutant that generate an optic eye beam from his eyes; Scott Summers. So Stryker sent Victor to capture the young mutant. After successfully capturing Scott Summers, Stryker sent him The Island.
After discovering what Stryker's plan, including figuring out that Victor was working for Stryker, Stryker attempting to create a mutant killer, and the location of his hidden base known as The Island, Logan, with the help of Gambit, traveled to The Island to kill Stryker. During this, Stryker and a group of surgeons were working on the Weapon XI aka Deadpool. When Logan managed to reach Stryker, he demanded he to tell him why he did all this. Stryker explained that he did this so humans could have a fighting chance the mutant kind. He also informed that revealed that Kayla was still alive. Stryker demanded that she tells Logan happened the day she "died", while at the same time making it look like she never loved him. She explained that Victor injected her with hydrochlorothiazide to make her heart drop so low it almost looks like she flat lined. He then poured blood all over her body to make it look like she was killed. Stryker then explained that Kayla was a mutant as well with the ability of Tactile Hypnosis. Confused and upset, Logan left the laboratory believing Stryker's lies. After Logan left, Kayla demanded Stryker to release her sister since she held up her end of the deal. However, Stryker made up an excuse to keep her sister locked up. Just then Victor showed up in an angered state. Victor demanded Stryker to implant the adamantium inside him . But Stryker made another excuse saying that Victor would never survive the procedure. Kayla then realized that Stryker was using them as he had no intention to hold either one's deals. Despite this, Victor still wanted to serve Stryker until the Adamantium was surgically placed on his skeleton. Just as Victor was about to kill Kayla, Logan came back to fight his older half-brother. During this Stryker unleashed Weapon XI to engage and kill Logan. Just as Stryker commanded Weapon XI to decapitate Logan, Victor showed up and save his half-brother, implying that no one kills Logan but him.
After they to managed to "kill" Deadpool, Stryker shot down Wolverine with adamantium bullets in hopes to either kill him, or have his memory wiped out. After Stryker was successful, he attempted to kill Silverfox, but she used her mutant abilities to have him walk until feet bleed, and continue walking afterwards. Some time later, Stryker was detained for questioning by military police in connection with the murder of General Munson.
X2: X-Men United
In X2: X-Men United , Stryker appears as the primary antagonist again. 15 years later, Stryker had a new plan to wipe out all mutants. He started this plan by using his son's mutant ability to brainwash a mutant Deathstrike to be his bodyguard and increase her skeleton with adamantium. He then managed to convinced the President to legalize an Anti-Mutant program, by brainwashing Nightcrawler to attack the President. While he was doing all that, he also brainwashed Magneto to have him tell Stryker all about Cerebro. Stryker kidnaps many of Xavier's students and then Xavier himself in order to build a Cerebro-2, utilizing his own son and he forces Xavier into tracking down all mutants on Earth with the intent of killing them all, in retaliation Magneto tries to use the same device to kill all humans on Earth. This caused Stryker to be affected, because Magneto use the device against him. The X-Men stopped the device and destroyed it.
|“||One day, someone will finish what I've started, Wolverine! One day!||„|
|~ Stryker's last words to Logan, in the original timeline|
Magneto hung Stryker to the wall to make sure he never do this again. Wolverine confronted him one last time until the dam collapsed and killed Stryker. According to Charles Xavier in X-Men: The Last Stand, William Stryker was not simply drowned when the dam at Alkali Lake burst, but was disintegrated by the sheer force of the water pressure pummeling his body, a fate that would have beheld Jean Grey, if her powers did not shield her in a cocoon of telekinetic energy.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Alternate Timeline
After Wolverine travels back in time to save their future, aspects surrounding Stryker's life and well as others change: after Mystique subdues most of the guards in the room and prepares to kill Trask, Stryker tasers her and attempts to bring her in, until Professor X,Magneto, Wolverine and Beast intervene, and Magneto uses his powers to attach the tasers onto him instead.
Whilst he is incapacitated by his own taser, Logan looks down at Stryker and experiences a flashback to Stryker's involvement in Weapon X. After recovering and removing the taser from his body, Stryker spares a fleeting glance at Wolverine's bone claws, before running out of the conference room. Later, Stryker is present at Trask's side when he unveils the Sentinel designs to President Nixon in the Oval Office, as a response to the impending mutant threat posed by Magneto and Mystique.
He then accompanies Trask to the public demonstration of the Sentinels outside the White House, expressing surprise at the Sentinels' remote activation at the hands of Magneto. Once the Sentinels begin attacking the humans at Magneto's behest, Stryker shepherds Trask into the White House's Presidential bunker for their safety. Whilst in the bunker, Trask is alerted to the presence of a mutant inside the bunker, prompting the Secret Service agents and Stryker to pull out their weapons to subdue Mystique. Magneto uses his metal powers to cause their guns to hit the roof, prompting Stryker to pull out his plastic gun, which a disguised Mystique takes off him during the commotion. Magneto pulls the bunker out of the White House in an attempt to kill Nixon, and Mystique uses Stryker's plastic gun to shoot Magneto in the neck, incapacitating him.
Mystique later poses as Major Stryker to fish Wolverine out from the Potomac River, where he was flung by Magneto, and states that she will take him under her care.
Considering Jean Grey is alive in the alternate timeline, it is currently unknown if Styker is alive as well.
Stryker returns in X-Men Apocalypse yet again as an antagonist, behind the titular Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen. Following the alteration of the timeline in Days of Future Past, Stryker became part of the Weapon X program once again and began experimenting on Wolverine at the Alkali Lake facility. How Stryker came into possession of Wolverine after Mystique was shown posing as Stryker and taking him under her care at the end of the previous film is unknown. When the X-Mansion was destroyed in an explosion, Stryker arrived on the scene with a team of soldiers and subdued the mutants with a special shockwave weapon. Stryker ordered his men to capture Beast, Mystique, Quicksilver and Moira Mactaggert, then brought them to a holding cell in the Alkali Lake facility. When his captives awakened, Stryker demanded to know the location of Charles Xavier, who had been abducted by Apocalypse and his Horsemen. Xavier was forced to broadcast a telepathic message to all people on Earth announcing Apocalypse's plan, which Stryker and all of the mutants heard as well. Stryker recognized the voice as Xavier's and grew increasingly impatient. Meanwhile, Jean Grey, Cyclops and Nightcrawler had infiltrated the facility and freed Wolverine from his holding cell. Wolverine rampaged through the facility and massacred the soldiers there. When Stryker heard that Wolverine had escaped, he left the facility and fled in a helicopter.
- William Stryker is the second-most recurring villain in the X-Men film series, second only to Magneto. Both men believe that the motivations behind their actions are for the greater good.
- Director Bryan Singer wanted to cast Brian Cox as Stryker as he was a big fan of his work in Manhunter.
- Brian Cox and Bruce Davidson (who portrays Senator Kelly) were born only twenty-seven days apart, but Stryker indicates that Kelly is at least twenty years his junior, and also Michael Reid MacKay (who plays Jason Stryker) and Cox play father and son while in real life Cox is only seven years older than MacKay.
- Brian Cox was interested in reprising the role of Stryker for X-Men Origins: Wolverine using digital skin-grafting visual effects. The filmmakers thought it would be easier and cheaper to cast a younger actor instead, and hired Danny Huston.
- Michael C. Hall and Liev Schreiber were both considered for the role of Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine before Danny Huston was cast, Liev Schreiber took the role of Victor Creed instead because he was more interested in that character.
- Danny Huston compared his portrayal of William Stryker to a racehorse breeder, who rears his mutant experiments like children, but abandons them when something goes wrong.
- In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Stryker uses a 7.5" barreled stainless Ruger Redhawk with anachronistic Goncalo Alves target grips, (not the newer Super Redhawk, as indicated by the ejector shroud) loaded with adamantium bullets to shoot Wolverine five times, two of which are fired into his skull, erasing his memory. One would think that Stryker would give this weapon to Agent Zero, since his super powers make him extremely efficient with firearms but Zero was obviously killed in the exploding helicopter earlier in the film.
- Originally Josh Helman was going to be cast as a young Juggernaut in X-Men: Days of Future Past. But was cast as young William Stryker due to Juggernaut being written out of the movie.
- According to his military dogtags in X-Men: Days of Future Past, William Stryker is a Protestant.
- A deleted scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past presents an alternate take on Logan's recovery from the Hudson River at the end, wherein Stryker is asked what to call him, simply responding "Just call him... 'X' ", a reference to Logan's status as "Weapon X", the culmination of Stryker's mutant experiments to synthesize adamantium bonding to a mutant's exoskeleton to create the ultimate mutant soldier. Additionally, the Stryker that was featured during this alternate scene appeared to be the real William Stryker, and not Mystique posing as Stryker as was shown during the final scene of the theatrical cut. The outcome that was used is completely ignored in X-Men: Apocalypse, making the alternate outcome the better and more accurate outcome technically.
- In the comics, William Stryker is portrayed as a crazed religious fundamentalist who sees mutants as a sin against nature and desires to wipe them out, while in the films he is depicted as a military scientist who has performed experiments on mutants and has grown to hate them. However, elements of Stryker's backstory from the comics, such as his military past and the birth of his mutant son contributing to his hatred of mutants, are retained in his film incarnations.