Ke Huy Quan Had A Surprising Role In Making Marvel’s Groundbreaking Movie

Ke Huy Quan worked as a fight coordinator for X-Men, the superhero film that started the comic book movie explosion.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

ke huy quan

Amazingly, Ke Huy Quan’s upcoming foray into the MCU won’t be the first time that the talented actor worked with a Marvel property. A recently unearthed video shows the Everything Everywhere All At Once star working behind the scenes of the first X-Men film as a fight coordinator. The scene being worked on in the clip is between Wolverine and Mystique, disguised as Wolverine, which in reality is Hugh Jackman and his stunt double.

After a successful career as a child actor in The Goonies and Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, Ke Huy Quan was unable to regularly secure adult roles, so he went back to school at the University of Southern California and found work behind the camera. Assistant fight choreographer for X-Men was the star’s first job after getting his degree, working under Corey Yuen, a frequent collaborator with Jet Li. Just as working on the film was a big break for Ke Huy Quan, X-Men was a breakout hit for Marvel.

Though Blade, starring Wesley Snipes, came out two years earlier, X-Men was the first big swing to take an established Marvel property and make it into a franchise. In retrospect, it seems like a no-brainer, with a cast consisting of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, and Halle Berry, paired with the most popular superhero team of the ’90s — what could go wrong? The risk, and at the time it was a huge risk, paid off for Ke Huy Quan and Marvel, with both successfully branching out following the film’s blockbuster success.

indiana jones short round
Ke Huy Quan as Short Round in The Temple of Doom

Ke Huy Quan went from working with a popular Marvel property to assisting on Jet Li’s The One, ironically, considering Quan’s latest award-winning role, a movie about a multiverse. The film centered on Jet Li’s Officer Gabe Law, trying to prevent Jet Li’s Gabriel Yulaw from killing all of his variants, absorbing their life energy, and becoming “The One.” Also starring Delroy Lindo, Carla Gugino, Dean Norris, and Jason Statham, after Snatch but before The Transporter, the film was a critical flop but a box office success, helping cement Jet Li as a star in the West.

While Ke Huy Quan continued working behind the camera for the following decade, Marvel decided to cut out the middleman following the continued success of X-Men and Spider-Man, starting their own cinematic universe in 2008 with Iron Man. Without the success of X-Men, the vast majority of worldwide blockbusters since 2000 would not have been made. There’s a universe out there where the award-winning actor isn’t involved in X-Men, resulting in a world without the MCU.

Ke Huy Quan recently won the Golden Globe for his role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, likely the first of many awards for the resurgent star. He’ll be officially joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in front of the camera with the upcoming Season 2 of Loki on Disney+. Not much is known about Quan’s character at this point, except he’ll be playing a Time Variance Authority employee, which given the multiverse-spanning plot of Loki, means he could really be playing any character.

Loki Season 2 will debut later in 2023.