While Disney’s purchase of Fox is far from complete, stories are smattered across the internet about what Marvel Studios may or may not eventually do, and speculation is at a high. Of course, Marvel doesn’t pay much attention to fan-casting when they make their decisions (**cough** Katee Sackhoff for Captain Marvel **cough**), but it’s fun to speculate regardless.
The only comics I ever read growing up were X-Men, and I’ve been pretty appalled by what Fox has done with the franchise (Moira MacTaggert, CIA? WTF!!?). But now with Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios behind the eventual reboot, this’ll be the first X-Men movie I’ll see in the theater since X2.
To be fair, not everything Fox has done with the characters has been abysmal, but regardless of how you feel about Fassbender and McAvoy, if we’ve learned anything from Spider-Man, it’s that the Feigester will recast and start from scratch. Since we have no clue who they’re going to go with, let’s have a little fun casting for them:
Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix
Assuming Marvel takes the Spidey approach to the X-Men, we’re going young. Who better to play the most iconic mutant redhead than an actual redhead, and Sophia Lillis could be Hollywood’s new “it” girl after her incredible performance in the It reboot. It would make sense that Marvel would want a piece of that action.
For me, she was the breakout star of the movie, and she proved she could throw a punch…or an iron bar, as well as showcase her softer side. She may only be 15 now, but in 2020, which is the earliest the movie will come out, she’ll be 18, which allows her to play her age up or down, depending on how young they want to make her.
Ah, the boyscout of the team. The de facto leader of the mutants… As much as I’m not a Cyclops fan, you really can’t have an X-men movie without him. You also can’t have any meaningful Jean Grey storylines without Scott. Now that Marvel is back in control, I’m hoping for the full telepathic bond…eventually.
I like Tye Sheridan in this role, but let’s face it, he’s gone like Thanksgiving’s leftovers. Let’s give this role to someone with growth potential as an actor, someone we can dork-up a little initially, make him the shy kid who eventually steps into his own and leads a war against the Avengers. Ricardo Hurtado (Nickelodeon’s School of Rock) should do nicely here. He’s only eighteen now, so he’ll only be a couple years Sophia’s senior.
And man, wouldn’t those two just make a beautiful Cable together?
I’m not going to say this is perfect casting, but I like it. Iceman is the comic relief on the team, a cocky joker, a Chandler, if you will, and while Noah Schnapp (Will on Stranger Things) is a good young actor, he’s not yet proven his comedic timing. I say give him a shot though, as he proved in season 2 that he can handle a juicier role.
Oh and since the character is now gay in the comics, Schnapp could shoulder the responsibility/privilege of showcasing the MCU’s first openly gay character, which will add a serious emotional arc to the role.
I know, I know. Hollywood is all about diversity these days, and the argument has been made that the comics were originally created in a time when race was a more sensitive thing. Still, fans get their panties all ruffled whenever you race-swap one of their favorite comic characters. But honestly, what does it matter?
Stephan James (Race, Selma) is a great actor, and once his blue-fur mutation hits in the sequel, his skin color becomes irrelevant, right? James has the skills to pull it off, and we could all use more intelligent and strong heroes of color in the world. I’m all for James becoming one of the smartest characters in the MCU.
Warren Worthington III/Angel
Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) may seem like too big a name to assign to the X-Men’s Angel, but that’s only comparing him to the throwaway roles young Mr. Worthington has been assigned in film. In comics, Angel was a founding member of the team, a very prominent and cool figure with a great fan following (even prior to the Archangel transformation), and the third part of a love triangle that also featured Scott and Jean. Elgort is a very talented actor that can play a believably self-absorbed rich brat who also happens to have a heart and soul…deep down.
Professor Charles Xavier
It’s really hard to imagine anyone other than Patrick Stewart as the founder and mentor of the X-Men, but we’re going to have to try. For your consideration, I submit Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) who deserves a heroic turn after playing Voldemort for so long.
Fiennes has the air about him that portrays strength and security, while something in his eyes suggests that he’s erased your memories and sent his original students to die on a living island.
Just to be clear, we’re going with a wheelchair-bound Xavier here, even though the students are young. Xavier was in a wheelchair during X-Men #1, so why break tradition. Plus, the appeal of him is that his mind is strong despite the weakness of his body.
A few years ago, while watching Smallville, I had the brilliant idea for a treatment on a new X-Men TV series which stayed as faithful to the comic lore as I could and followed the young students of Xavier’s School. In this treatment, which focused on the original 5 students (as you should), it saw a slightly older Sean Cassidy helping Xavier and serving as one of the teachers at the school. I still like this idea a lot. Call him the Launchpad to Xavier’s Scrooge McDuck, whether he’s the pilot, the driver, the drill instructor, the field leader…however you spin it, it makes sense that a cripple will need an extra pair of hands. And a driver.
I’ve gone with an actual Irish actor here, since a brogue can be a hard accent to hit authentically. Up-and-comer Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) not only looks the part, but he’s about the right age. Banshee was a pretty kick-ass character in the comics, though he’s yet to have his moment in film. Reynor would give enough clout to Mr. Cassidy that he may even warrant his own spin-off. Generation X, anyone?
Now, there’s no limit to the amount of cameo characters that can exist in the background. I mean, it is a school. But it’s probably structured more like a college in the sense that the more experienced students would be the senior class, regardless of age. The less experienced and younger students would naturally look up to their elders, wanting to be with them, prove themselves, but mostly just getting into trouble.
For this role, I originally envisioned a young Kitty Pride, but the casting here is too good to pass up for Jubilee, so here we go. Peyton Elizabeth Lee from Disney’s Andi Mack would have a blast (pun intended) as the fireworks spitting youngster in yellow.
Let’s make this clear, Wolverine is overplayed in film and should not be featured in the first X-Men movie, at all. That being said, I can see him getting a solo movie (or cameo alongside the Hulk, perhaps) before popping up in the X-sequel and going on to be a major presence in the MCU.
I feel very strongly that this casting should probably go to a virtual unknown (like Hugh Jackman was prior to his casting), as this is a career-defining role. Also, such casting is not beyond Marvel and Feige, as evident by Chris Hemsworth who skyrocketed to stardom as Thor, or hell…even Tom Holland who was only in a handful of films before becoming Peter Parker. I’m not fully behind David Giuntoli (Grimm) for Logan, but he’s a solid actor who can carry a series and he kind of looks the part, as well as being from Wisconsin, which is almost Canada. Besides, I had to put a picture up for the purpose of the article.
Clancy Brown has had a long and diverse career, from the villainous preacher in HBO’s Carnivale to the sheriff in Sleep Hollow, Brown can play nearly any role, which would be perfect, especially if he starts off as a teacher at Xavier’s school before taking a more villainous turn in one of the sequels (only one, the X-Men have a LOT of villains that deserve a turn in the limelight).
Not to mention, that voice of his would sound incredible echoing out from beneath that menacing helmet. Hell yes to this one!!
As with Wolverine, this is a character that I wouldn’t expect (or want) to appear in the first X-Men movie, but he needs to happen, and this is casting I put together a few years ago that has stuck with me.
Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, Flash) would be the spitting image of Victor Creed if you just slapped a bunch of hair and fur on him. It doesn’t hurt that the image above of him from Blade shows a more feral side complete with fangs. Look at that and tell me it isn’t perfect. And you can’t say that he’s not a good fit because he’s not that great an actor. He’s filling the shoes of Tyler Mane and Liev Schreiber. I think we’re good.
Black Tom Cassidy
In giving Banshee a juicier role, you’ll inevitably have to bring in his cousin, Black Tom. I can think of no one better suited for the role than the sinister Robert Knepper who played evil to a “T” in Prison Break. In addition to being scary, I have every confidence he would nail the accent.
Like the casting? Want to mention some of your own? Any characters you wish we’d cast? Let us know in the comments below!