Comics Film

Recasting the X-Men for the MCU

I am hoping, I mean really hoping that the deal for Disney to acquire Fox goes through by the projected 2019 finalization date. Chiefly because I believe that Marvel will be able to work wonders if they are finally able to get their hands back on the film rights to the X-Men characters that they have so been missing. I believe that Marvel Studios head honcho, Kevin Feige, is already planning out the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include Marvel’s Merry Mutants in some degree should it become a reality. I’m not going to try an imagine getting into the mind of Feige and company to plan out how to do this, but I definitely have some ideas as to the casting of a new X-Men team should the deal go through and a new X-Men film is announced.

So, as a fan, I have my own ideas as to who I would like to cast as some of my favorite X-Men mutants in a new X-Men film. While I would like to think that some of my favorite actors would be retained by Disney/Marvel to reprise their roles (such as James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and so on…), I have a feeling that, aside from Deadpool, which Disney head Bob Iger and Kevin Feige have both commented that they would retain Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with the Mouth, the entire cast of characters is going to be recast for the MCU purposes. With that in mind, I have come up with my own list of which actors and actresses I would like to see cast in these roles.

Note: Before I begin, I am making it known right now that with some of these characters I have tried to be as racially and nationality accurate as possible. However, I have made some changes to the roster in terms of characters and sex just to make the team a little more diverse as possible – otherwise this list would only include two female X-Men team members and that just doesn’t seem progressive or diverse as the X-Men team has been meant to be symbolic of.

Professor X

Let’s be honest here: recasting Professor X after the likes of Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy have already left their mark on the character is going to be a damned nightmare. After all, for a lot of fans, Stewart was already the perfect representation of the character on film. But if there is one actor out there today that I feel would be up to the task and leave his own mark on the character would be English actor Mark Strong. He has the acting chops and the look that would make him ideal to be the next Professor X on film.

 

Cyclops

While I think that he would need to bulk up quite a bit to play the role of Cyclops, I believe that Patrick J Adams from the TV series Suits would make a great casting choice for the role. Watching him portray his character on Suits and the personal conflicts he sometimes endures during the show is one reason why I think he would be great in the role as the X-Men’s field leader. Again, though he would need to bulk up a bit to play the role of a super hero, I believe he has the look that would make the character his own.

Jean Grey

Haley Bennett is one of the most beautiful actresses on the scene today. She has a look and charisma about her that make her a true marvel to look at. But if you are unsure about her acting ability, just take a look at her acting roles in The Magnificent Seven, The Girl on the Train, and Thank You for Your Service and you can see why I believe that she has the screen presence to bring out the characteristics that make the character of Jean Grey such an interesting one.

Iceman

Having watched actor Dylan Minnette in films like Goosebumps, Let Me In, and Don’t Breathe, I believe that he would make a perfect addition to the new X-Men cast as Iceman. He has the youthful appearance to play the youngest member of the original X-Men team, but I also believe that his style of acting also would perfectly allow him to play the oft times playful nature of the character.

Beast

As I imagine that when bringing the character of Beast to life in a new X-Men film series, he would be a combination of both practical make-up effects and CGI to make him as believable a character as possible. For that purpose, you would need an actor who is comfortable portraying this type of character and who can genuinely emote as much as possible in these conditions. With that in mind, I present to you Toby Kebbell – an actor I believe who is more than capable and ready to bring a character like Beast to life in this new X-Men MCU series.

Angel

There is something about the actor Alexander Ludwig that makes me think he would be a perfect addition to the cast of a new X-Men movie in the role of the high-flying winged mutant Angel. He has this look about him that would make him seem angelic – that is when he is clean shaven and not gruff looking as he is when he is filming Vikings. Still, he has a look that would make him a great addition to the cast and really make the character just pop off the screen.

Wolverine

I know some of you are going to roll your eyes at me for this one, but hear me out – I think that for Wolverine, I would cast actor Garrett Hedlund in the role. I say this because when Hedlund has the chance to play a grittier, angrier, edgier role, he shines through more than when he is cast as a straight hero or good guy. Look at him in films like Death Sentence, Unbroken, and Mojave to see what I am talking about and you may just be inclined to agree with me on this one. I know this is probably going to be the most controversial of my choices for this list, but I stand by my choice and I think that he is more than capable to tackle such an iconic role.

Storm

If you’ve seen either Mortal Kombat X: Generations, Famous in Love, or Ash vs The Evil Dead, then you can see why I believe that Nigerian born actress Pepi Sonuga would be perfect for the role of Storm, the weather controlling young mutant of the team. She has an amazing camera presence and is a truly capable actress who I believe could really bring something new to the cast. If they would only give her a shot as the role, she could really work some magic and make the role of Storm her own.

Colossus

While most of the scenes involving the Russian mutant powerhouse Colossus would be CGI, it would be nice to see him in human form every once in a while, and that is where I believe that Russian born Danila Kozlovsky would make for a perfect casting choice for the character. Though I loathed watching the film Vampire Academy, I thought that Kozlovsky was a good actor when compared to the rest of the cast and have pictured him in the role of Colossus ever since. I may never get to see 6’7” actor Daniel Cudmore have a proper chance at playing Colossus, but I think that Kozlovsky would make for a suitable replacement.

Nightcrawler

Though the character of Nightcrawler would be mostly a mix of both practical make-up and CGI, you need someone with the acting pedigree to bring the character to life and be able to work through the make-up and CGI to make the portrayal believable. That is why I would cast David Kross from The Reader and War Horse as the actor behind the effects. He is an amazing actor and has the talent to act through the effects to make the character as realistic as possible.

Siryn

This is one of the characters that I have replaced from the original Giant Size lineup to be more inclusive and diverse. So, instead of casting Banshee on the team, I am going with his daughter, Siryn – and for the role of Siryn, I would like to cast Irish actress Eve Hewson in the role. She may not be a natural redhead, but after seeing her in the film Bridge of Spies and the TV series The Knick, I believe she would be perfect in the role of Siryn for this new X-Men team. She has the attitude and talent to make the character a memorable one and a great addition to the team. Hell, if you want, you could even throw fans a bone and have Liam Neeson make a cameo appearance as Banshee just for kicks.

Sunpyre

This is another addition I am making to the team but also genderbending… but just a bit. Instead of having Sunfire be part of the team, you could have his sister Sunpyre be added to the team, especially if you show that Sunfire is not really a team player – as he is in the comics – and thus adding another female to the team. Because of this, I would love to see Japanese-American actress Karen Fukuhara take on this role. I believe that she was completely miscast in Suicide Squad through no fault of her own and deserves a second chance at being cast in a super hero role. And I believe that she would be great in the role of Sunpyre in this film.

Thunderbird

If you have never seen the films Tiger Eyes or Derby Kings, don’t worry about it; they were small indie films that few people saw. But if you have seen the TV series The Son, you may recognize Native American actor Tatanka Means as the character Charges the Enemy – and you will see why I think he would be great in the role of Thuderbird for this film. I would also have him killed in the film as well because his death does lead to another character being introduced later on in the comic series – and I would like to see that done here as well with his younger brother seeking vengeance on the X-Men as the character Warpath and as part of The Hellions… but I am getting ahead of myself here.

Kitty Pryde

Kitty Pryde is another inclusion to the film that I would include despite not being a part of the original 1960s X-Men line up or the Giant Size recast of the 1970s. However, I believe that her being a younger character would make her completely relatable to a younger audience who would like to see someone near their age represented in the film. With that in mind, I would love to see Odeya Rush cast in the role of Kitty Pryde as I believe her roles in Goosebumps and The Giver have shown that she is capable of taking over the role as the X-Men’s newest student and recruit.

Magneto

While I am quite aware that English actor Jason Isaacs is not Jewish, I have been wanting to see this wonderfully villainous actor take on the role of Magento since they announced the X-Men: First Class film. I believe he is one of the best actors on the scene today and has the charisma and talent to make the role of Magneto an unforgettable and completely sympathetic villainous role. While it would be hard to top what both Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender have done with the role, I believe that Isaacs is more than capable of holding his own when compared to those two.

Mystique

I was really tempted to cast Jane Levy in this role because I think she has the look that would be most like Mystique of the young actresses I have been looking at while researching this post, but ultimately, I would have to go with Maika Monroe who I believe to be a better actor with more range as shown in her roles in the films It Follows and The Silent Man. She has a very demanding screen presence and has the acting talent and nuances that would make for a better Mystique than Jane Levy.

Sabretooth

Okay, to be totally honest, I am a huge fan of American actor Joe Manganiello and what he has accomplished in film. From the first time I remember being exposed to him in Spider-Man, then in True Blood, and most recently in Justice League, I would love to see the 6’5” actor take on the role of the feral and villainous Sabretooth in a new series of X-Men films.

Mastermind

To round out our small team of villains, I would love to cast actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role of Mastermind. There are two reasons for this: I would love to see the charming and charismatic Levitt play Mastermind with his charm and charisma turned up to 11. And I would love to see him with his mutant charm powers turned off or neutralized so that his true, uglier self would be revealed and show Levitt act through the make-up effects to still continue to be charming and charismatic with a touch of creepiness to bring the character to life on film.

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