After the unmitigated disaster that was the trainwreck called Dark Phoenix, it is clear that Marvel Studios will need to reboot the X-Men for the MCU.
Ofcourse the sad thing is that the actors that were part of Fox’s X-Men will not be able to reprise their roles. For better or worse we will begin with a clean slate. And maybe that is what the X-Men need.
So we sat down with our editor Antonio, the head of E-Scape Productions & asked him to to cast the actors that he believed would be the best choices to portray Marvel’s most iconic characters.
1stly we know for a fact Ryan Reynolds Deadpool is in the MCU.
Not sure how they will do it, but he will probably become more fleshed out now that Marvel is running the show & more intergral to the story.
But other than Wade, Domino (she’s lucky),
& maybe, possibly, hopefully Karan Doni’s Dopinder… I dont see anyone else crossing over.
What I would like to see them do though is bring over Morena Baccarin & recast her as Shiklah. Morena is an amazing beautiful & gifted actress & I think she would kill this role.
Also, her presence could be used as a story device. Deadpool ofcourse will realise she looks excactly like the love of his life, except she would be a demon. This will add a layer of complexity to Deadpool that could be used to great effect over time as Deadpool battles between his love of who she was & comes to terms with what she is.
I would cast Ralph Fiennes to play Professor Charles Xavier.
Though Patrick Stewart did a marvelous job as his version of the charcter, I feel we never quite captured the complexity of the character.
Charles has been through alot. He has seen alot. He can see alot. He knows alot. And more importantly, he poseses the strongest mind in the world.
Having seen Ralph craft “He Who Must Not Be Named” with such detail & nuance & having seen him turn out masterful peformances in his amazing career, I think he would give us the Professor X that Stan Lee saw in his minds eye all along.
This one was tough. Following the lashing out at the casting of a lightskinned woman to play the Kenyan born godess and conscidering Marvel’s approach is to try to honour the cultures of their characters, I decided to cast Aja Naomi King as Ororo Munroe.
Not only does she look the part, but Aja is an actress of high caliber. She has a commanding screen presence & breathtaking beauty.
She would be, the perfect Storm.
Now I know people loved Hugh Jackmans Wolverine. I did too. But I feel it would be criminal to relegate Marvels most famous Mutant/Avenger to the anals of history out of some misplaced loyalty to an actor that portrayed an iteration of him.
Though Hughs performance was marvelous, it was also his take on the character. A character which is perhaps one of the most complex.
A man who is has lived for almost 2 centuries. Cursed with immortality. Emotionally scarred by a violent life. Haunted by a tragic past. Burdened with the responsibility of being a hero.
I can only see Shia Labeouf delivering this properly.
It was a toss up between Shia & Daniel Radcliffe. But though Daniel, like Shia, would be able to act out all the nuances of being The Wolverine, he lacks, the animal aggression that should define the character.
But we all know Shia can get angry. Shia has rage. And coupled with his talent, could be used to great effect in playing the defiant, broken hero.
This is another character who’s complexity has been mismanaged. As much as Professor X is the most powerful mind on record, Jean is potentially the most powerful psycic alive.
I would love to see Alicia Vikander as this character as she would not miss a beat. With both acting & action chops Alicia could deliver on the promise of Jean Grey in the same way Robert Downey Jnr did with Tony Stark.
And also, she would be amazing opposite Ralph’s Xavier (nearly said Voldermort), Shia’s Logan & more importantly…
Now if there is one of the X-Men that needs to be rebooted, its Cyclops. The leader of the XMen & Professor X’s most trusted apprentice has not been given his due in previous iterations.
1st he was the 2nd fiddle jerk boyfriend in The Stewert Timelime, then he was the unsteady kid that couldnt lead a chicken to a henhouse, doomed to follow McAvoy’s Xavier to box-office armageddon. Talk about injustice.
So I think we need to cast Cyclops as if we were casting him as the star of the whole thing.
Who then can play the chosen one? Who would hold the screen with Ralph Fiennes & portray their master/student, father/son relationship perfectly? Who would be able to play the rival to Shia’s Wolverine in the battle for Alicia Vikanders Jean Grey? Im thinking Daniel Radcliffe.
For Rogue, I would cast Hailee Steinfeld. Amazing talent. I think she would give us an interesting take on this iconic character that would redefine how we see her.
Cursed with skin that absorbs not only the superpowers of those she touches, but both their memories & strength too, there would be alot of emotion that would need to go into this role.
Which is why I would cast this young Oscar nominee for this one.
Now this one was another tough one as I had 3 names in mind to play Wolverine or Cyclops.
Shia LaBeouf, Daniel Radcliffe or Charlie Hunnam.
After casting Shia & Dan, it became quite obvious to me that the reason Charlie didnt fit in those roles is because he is not the “leader” type.
He isnt the guy who makes the grand speeches. He isnt the guy that carries the weight of immortality on his shoulders.
He is the badass. The Lancelot. The tough, charming bastard that can hold the line & win the day. Then get all the women & drink all the beer.
He isnt a Tony or a Steve. He is a Thor.
Which is why he would be perfect as the brooding, introspective heir to the Worthington Empire, Warren Worthington III.
This was the easiest for me. Chloe Grace Mortez is the best choice by far to play Kitty Pryde.
With the amount of stuff Kitty has to deal with & with her ninja level combat abilities being as defining as her phasing abilities, I can only see Ms Mortez in this role.
I suspect she will steal the show.
Another character I feel was immensly under used.
Bishop is a survivour of an apartheid that ended in a holocaust type genocide. He lead a rebellion, was sent back in time to save the future, got lost in an alernate future & ended up in the timeline of the legends of his past.
Bishop is a complex, layered character. Not just some black dreadlocked mutant.
I would cast John David Washington in this role. He is an up & coming talent, having just broken into Hollywood. But he already exudes the poise, cadance, gravitas & humility of a seasoned actor.
It mite be early in his career, but he is already showing signs of the panache that his father is famous for.
It would be interesting to see his portrayal of this fascinating character.
Originally I had cast Amandla Stenberg as Jubilee.
With the roles of Jean Grey & Kitty Pryde taken, I figured casting her as Jubilation Lee would be a good choice to give us a layered take on the youngest of the X-Men.
But then I thought of the fact that Jubilee is an asian character. And though I would re-invent some characters to allow for a diverse cast, there arent enough asian roles. So I cant do that to Amandla.
Amandla Stenberg is perhaps one of the most exciting young talents to grace our screens in years. A peer & rival to the Chloe Grace Mortez’s, Hailee Steinfeld’s & Millie Bobby Brown’s of the world.
Which is why I decided to cast her in the role of Dazzler.
Dazzler is a mutant with the ability to transduce sonic vibrations into various types of light. Her ability operates over a great range of frequencies, including the audible spectrum, and a great variation of sound pressure levels regardless of the complexity, dissonance, or randomness of the sound.
In other words… she can turn music or sound into light & she can focus light into lasers.
Its like turning Beyonce or Adele into a superhero.
Conscidering the level of nuance & skill it would require from an actress to pull off such an interesting character, I think Miss Stenberg would relish the chance to breath life into this character.
And we would relish watching her do it.
For Jubilee, I decided to cast Liu Yifei
She has been named one of the New Four Dan Actresses, the most idolized actresses in China.
Though her turn as Golden Sparrow in The Forbidden Kingdom gave the western world a glimps of her talent, she is on the verge of reaching superstar status with the impending release of Disneys live action Mulan, in which she plays the lead character.
Yifei would give us a Jubilee that would be able to jump into the frey & fight by Wolverines side. A Jubilee that would honour the characters identity. An asian superhero that is one of the main X-Men.
Now this was a tough one. Gambit is one of the more difficult roles to play. A… wait. The character is basically Kylo Ren, without the grandpa issues. Lol!
Well actually it is more complicated than that. He is a rogue. A broody, calculating, highly trained rogue. A man with powers so complex, that unlocking them fully would make him almost a god. Something he is keenly aware of.
Though the martial arts aspect would require alot… I suspect a little training could resolve any lacking in this area. Which is why I would cast John David Washingtons BlackKklansman co-star Adam Driver (aka Kylo Ren) as the cajun Ethan Hunt, Remy LeBleau.
Now this one for me was a no brainer. Nathalie Emmanuel is one of the most beautiful people alive. A bonafide superstar after her iconic role as Missandei of Naarth & her turn in The Fast Franchise. I would love to see her take on the role of Psylocke.
For Bobby Drake, I have to go with Asa Butterfield. He has the acting range to rival the Ralph’s, Benedict’s, Shia’s, John David’s & Daniel’s of the world.
It would be amazing to watch him play a man that can freeze anything. Even accidentally. And if they go with the version where his family rejects him out of fear… it will be fascinating watching Asa act all this out.
Now this character is a big one. Though we have seen 1 or 2 iterations of her, they only focused on her diamond skin ability. Even then, they didnt use that to great effect.
Emma Frost is one of the strongest & most intelligent mutants on the roster.
As a high level telepath, she is almost a peer of Professor X & Jean Grey. And with the ability to turn herself into diamond, her combat capabilities are staggering.
I can only see Emma Watson playing this character.
She is after all, the brightest of her age. Also her name is Emma so…
Now at 1st I thought “we cant cast a black actor as Beast. Beast is an ape. We will get lynched!”
But then I thought about it. Beast is perhaps the most intelligent mutant alive. He is an equality activist. He has to deal with the daily struggles of being a different skin colour.
I dont think anyone can fully understand Beast better than an intelligent young black actor.
Being both young, intelligent & amazingly talented, I think Tyler James Williams would make a fantastic Beast.
And we know where to find him.
We just need to get him into a gym.
If you have seen Rebecca Ferguson in Mission Impossible… then you know that she IS Mystique.
Its kind of hard to explain… but she has the martial arts ability & the… Mystiqueness to play the mutant Natasha Romanoff.
Its Rebecca or bust.
Now I know people liked the version in Deadpool. The CGI Colossus served a good purpose & legitimized the “mutant” aspect of Deadpool (you did too Teenage Negasonic Sinead).
But even though Deadpool & Dopinder made it through to the present MCU reality… no one else did.
(Story in my head is “The Snap” wiped out Deadpools entire reality. Only Dopinder survived. Deadpool reconstituted himself. And when Dr Strange openned those portals…)
Morena Baccarin’s Shiklah would merely bear a resemblence to Vanessa (anything else can be worked in later), so Colossus will need a fresh coat of steel.
Who better to play this indestructible behemoth than Alexander Ludwig.
Having seen him come of age playing Bjorn Ironside in Vikings, it would be a treat to see his iteration of a man that can turn into metal.
There can be no one else but Rami Malek cast as this character if we want it done right.
A deeply religious & particularly awkward character, it would require real nuance to portray Kurt Wagner correctly. But with his ability, Rami could make this role his own.
Ashton Sanders is a rising star. Though his resume is not as extensive as the young heavy weights in this list, he is by no means outmatched.
The way he acts with his whole body is fascinating & is the reason I think he would make a great Banshee.
Speaking of heavyweights, Jason Isaacs is one of the best actors in the business. His Lucious Malfoy is as iconic as Daniel’s Harry, Emma’s Hermoine & Ralph’s Voldermort.
Though Gandalf, I mean Ian McKellen, was flawless as Magneto… Jason Isaacs would be perfect.
Also, the idea of pitting him against his old master would make the history between Charles & Erik… more tangible.
One of the more interesting & versatile mutants. Especially in our modern era.
With a mind like a supercomputer, she can store, sort & immediately recall any information she has stored with perfect clarity.
She can analyze her surroundings for information in an instant & track the probability of an event by piecing together seemingly random data.
She can perform multiple functions at once by allocating a portion of her brain to each task (replay Avengers: Endgame, while playing the virtual violin, while daydreaming about Xavier, while focusing on a life & death confrontation…) without any one task distracting her from another.
Her control of her mind gives her total control of her own body. As a result she can copy any fighting style or movement. Is an expert martial artist & markswoman. Adept at both projectile & bladed weapons.
She can see a persons genetic code & ID mutants even if they are unaware of their mutation and can activate dormant mutant abilities in others.
She is also telepathic & can create illusions, blast psionic energy & shield her mind from mental intrusion.
She is the 1st mutant discovered by Professor X, as she saved his life after his legs were crushed & definately deserves to be brought to life.
I would cast the amazingly beautiful Huang Shengyi for this role.
Like Liu Yifei, she is 1 of The 4 Dan Actresses & based on her turns in Kung Fu Hustle and The Sorcerer & The White Snake, she would be an amazing addition to the MCU.
I would also bring the character of Thunderbird to the fore. But not the Proudstar version. No. I would cast for Neal Shaara.
A mutant from an affluent family in India, Thunderbird can harness solar plasma & has incredible speed.
Conscidering neither version of Quicksilver made it out alive (or should… for continuity) the MCU could use a speedster.
But more importantly… the world needs an indian superhero.
I conscidered Dev Patel for this role, but after mulling it over, I figure we need a bonafide Bollywood star to play this role.
I would cast Shahid Kapoor to play this breakout role.
Last but by no means least… there is the son of Professor X.
Perhaps the most powerful mutant alive, Legion.
Legion has multiple personalities, each controling a different power. As such he is never fully able to weild all his abilities. If he was, few, if any could stop him.
This is who I would have Tom Hardy playing. And with Ralph Fiennes as Xavier… it would make sense to have Tom play his son.
With a cast as diverse & talented as this in the hands of Kevin Feige & The MCU, perhaps we can finally see the real X-Men on screen, as imagined by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby.
But more importantly, with a fresh new cast like this, we definately would be able to enjoy another decade of story telling from Marvel, without suffering superhero burnout.
Because lets be honest, superhero films are awesome & we would love to keep living in the MCU for as long as we can.