X-Men Dream Cast for my X-Men Movie

With X-Men: Days of Future Past about to be released, the announcement of Channing Tatum playing Gambit (NOOOOOOOOO *vomits* he is terrible) in future films, Hugh Jackman’s continued waffling about coming back as Wolverine, and Bryan Singer facing disturbing accusations, and lots of spin-off rumored, the X-Men universe is growing and in constant flux. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there has never been a great X-Men movie. And X-Men are my favorite comic book heroes. X2 is pretty strong, and the latest Wolverine offering is fantastic until the final setpiece defies all logic and becomes a plothole laden hell from a different movie. I hated First Class and thought it only worsened all the issues the series has been plagued by since the get-go. So, of course, I want a reboot. I want to wipe the damn slate clean. DOFP could be great, it’s based on possibly the greatest storyline in the history of the series, and contained an enormous 8 episode arc on the classic 90s cartoon series which did it perfect justice. X1 was great for it’s time. Along with Spiderman it proved that comic book movies could be good and have serious ideas and cultural commentary. It made a litany of unnecessary changes to great characters and made Wolverine the lead (a problem that still plagues the series) but the masterstroke of casting Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman really growing into the role over the years. But over the last 15 years it’s become a mess. Sabretooth was terrible in the original trilogy, but Leiv Schreiber was fantastic in an otherwise awful film. Taylor Kitsch was horrid as Gambit. Cyclops has never gotten his deserved spot. Jean Grey’s Phoenix arc was pushed to the last half of one film, when it’s an enormous event. Alternate storylines, Vinnie Jones’ Juggernaut (who is not a mutant), Ray Park’s Toad, and lots of other offenses abound. Let’s start over. Let’s pretend it never happened. Let’s pretend I have $150 million to produce my own X-Men film. In fact I’ve already written a script years ago as the first film in my proposed trilogy entitled Uncanny X-Men. So this has been a long time coming for me. I’m going to recast the film and give you my take and why, because I’m a writer for this blog and you have no choice but to accept my word as god. Director: Neil Bloomkamp I’d wanted Steven Soderberg because he is the master of the ensemble. However, he’s semi-retired. So there goes that. Neil Bloomkamp is the best director working in sci-fi for my money. His films are theatrical, smart, ambitious, and have something on their minds. He would be my choice to create a grounded and human world that these extraordinary events take place. Writer: John Logan (with story by Chris Claremont) I’ve written the script. But if I had all the monies, I’d hire John Logan who has consistently written some of the best scripts in Hollywood for the last 15 years. Skyfall, Gladiator, Rango, Aviator, and more. He is also a brilliant playwright. And Chris Claremont is the best writer in X-Men history. The Cast: Here we go. And I’m working under the assumption I can’t cast myself. Which is unfortunate. Also, none of the original cast can return, so despite that some of them are brilliant, this is the rule.  Also, I’m trying to be budget conscious. As in, I’m not going to cast 15 A-list actors. I’m trying to be realistic.

Prof X – Timothy Dalton

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One of the only actors who could hold his own against Patrick Stewart in an older-actor-intensity-off Timothy Dalton would be perfect. He would bring a little more edge where Stewart is wise. In many stories Xavier’s ambition and passion often lead to bad decisions and consequences. Dalton could bring that. Just check out the Penny Dreadful pilot.

Magneto – Donald Sutherland

HEADER-MAGNETODonald-Sutherland

All Canadian menace, Sutherland would be the yin to Dalton’s yang. A classically trained actor with authority and presence, Sutherland could fill the shoes left by McKellen. He has a gravitas and has often played men with good intentions gone wrong. Cyclops – Joe Manganiello

joe_manganiello Cyclops-x-men

Mostly famous for his True Blood work, I’ve gone out a bit on a limb with this one. However, with his towering build and height, I think he’ll finally bring the authority that Cyc needed, that James “milquetoast” Marsden could never supply. Cyclops is the leader and head of the team. He’s the quarterback. He cares deeply for his team and believes that the best way to do that is with strict control and traditional leadership. Manganiello hasn’t gotten to stretch himself much on the big screen, but I think he could pull it off. Jean Grey – Jessica Chastain

Jessica-Chastain Jean-Grey

Anyone that saw her in Tree of Life where she literally embodied “grace,” can see this. She’s a beautiful, strong, and graceful actress, who is also a chameleon and slips into roles completely. Grey is compassionate and afraid of the power she holds. Also if the Phoenix saga ever came to life, Chastain could embody the dark, compulsive Phoenix as well.

Wolverine – Joel Edgarton

Joel Edgerton wolverine

I would’ve went with Kurt Russell in the 99 version. Here, this Australian actor has the right look and chops to bring to everybody’s favorite Canadian. He’s a gritty actor and physical as well, for anyone who has seen Warrior. He has the right attitude and ability.

Gambit – Tom Hardy

TOM-HARDY-325 gambit

I had the hardest time with this one. My 99 version would’ve had Val Kilmer as Gambit. Tom is a little short for the ragin’ Cajun, and not quite the right build, but he’s proven that his body is malleable, and my belief is Tom can do anything. He can embody the roguish aspects, the humor, and also the moral ambiguity that lies at his center. Throw a trenchcoat on him.

Beast – Val Kilmer

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Kelsey Grammar was a strong Beast, but Val has to be in here somewhere. Under heavy prosthetic makeup, Val has the right amount of humor, good-hearted arrogance, and ability to play genius that is Beast. Also an extremely physical actor, his performance in Felon makes me think he could be physically scary enough.

Storm – Rosario Dawson

Rosario-Dawson- Storm---X-Men-psd35703

One of the greatest characters the movies completely failed. Halle Berry is terrible. The characterization is terrible. Rosario Dawson can convey the strength, serenity, and the repression that comes from a mutant whose emotions govern their powers. Storm is a princess and the second in command of the team.

Nightcrawler – Zachary Quinto

zachary quinto Nightcrawler-nightcrawler-22470263-737-740

He’d never forgive me for putting him back in pointy ears, but Nightcrawler is a brilliant character. A faith-driven and misunderstood monk of a character whose physical appearance misrepresents him. Quinto is fiercely intelligent as an actor and can be captivating.

Colossus – Jeffrey Dean Morgan

colssus OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The gentle giant Colossus hides a kind heart under a gruff exterior. Morgan’s Comedian in Watchmen was nothing short of a brilliant piece of acting. He remains an unsung favorite of mine.

Rogue – Gemma Arterton

GEMMA ARTERTON at Trance Premiere Rogue-x-men

She hasn’t made it big time yet, but she’s one to watch. Rogue, in the comics, has superstrength after the Ms. Marvel fiasco. My version would restore that, so she has more to do than mope. Arterton has the physicality to believe that she could whoop your ass, and a fierce sexiness to bring to the southern belle that Paquin never did

. Archangel – Guy Pearce

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A master of playing obsessive characters, and a true chameleon. Angel’s fall to Archangel is one of the great tragedy’s of the Apocalypse arch. Pearce can play the cocky rich boy, the arrogance, the obsession, and the fall to evil.

Jubilee- Unknown Asian Actress

Jubilee_011 She’s Asian. Let her be Asian. Open to suggestions here.

Apocalypse – Vin Diesel

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Apocalypse vindiesel

The only man with the voice and phsyicality to bring to the role.  A better actor than he gets credit for, I think he would thrive as a villain. He would be in heavy makeup but would lend a lot to the role. I’m willing to battle over this one.

Bishop- Idris Elba

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I love Idris, and Bishop is a fun character, though he’d be likely to be exposition laden with the time traveling aspect. But he’s a desperate man on a mission.

Sinister – Javier Bardem

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Not traditionally a hispanic character, but Bardem has brought to life some great villains and Sinister is a tragic story. In the mad scientist camp, Bardem could do it without it being cartoony.

Sabretooth – Mickey Rourke

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I know, the set would be madness. But, imagine Rourke in Domino. I like his physicality and ability. Rourke would bring a quieter crazy to Sabretooth.

Iceman – Cilian Murphy

cilian murphy

Wisecracking and good-looking, Iceman was the levity of the original team. Once he became encased in ice, he became a bit more morose. Murphy is a brilliant actor, who can play troubled and sarcastic.

Deadpool – Ryan Reynolds

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I know. I’m cheating. But he really didn’t get to play Deadpool more than 5 minutes before the atrocious ending of Wolverine’s first solo outing when a stunt double took over. He deserves another chance. Other ideas were Donald Glover, Joel McHale, and Jim Carrey.

Sen. Kelly – Kurt Russel

l russell 2013

Had to bring him back. Love Kurt Russell, and the bad-guy senator would be a great role for a man that has been acting his whole life.

 

Anyway, that’s my movie. Sound off below, and let me know what you’d do different.

And you can check out Page 2 if you want to read my script for the first installment of my series. Yes, I’m actually posting something I wrote. Thankfully this community is relatively nice.

 

Posted on May 13, 2014, in Movies, personal musings and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. daffystardust

    I totally agree that Morgan was fantastic as the Comedian in the Watchmen film.

    Guy Pearce would also be a good choice to help reboot Daredevil. He has a lean muscular build and intelligent intensity that would bring the Matt Murdock of the books onto the screen. It’s too bad Robert Redford never got a swing at the role when he was young enough.

    Mystique has been consistently miscast to my mind. Somebody with a little more inherent intelligence and authority like Marion Cotillard seems more appropriate to me. Also…you know…European.

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    • As far as Hollywood is concerned, Mystique has to characteristics. She is blue and she is naked. Which always struck me as odd since she wears clothes in the comic books.

      Having said that, I like movie Mystique just fine. Can’t figure out exactly why that is…

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  2. First off, let me say I really like a lot of your casting choices. But I kind of disagree with your premise. I’ve never been a big fan of the X-Men personally, but I really like where the movie franchise is right now and I like where it seems to be headed. I don’t think it has a lot of gas in the tank. But I don’t want a reboot for a few more years. I think Jackman and company have at least a few more films in them and I believe Jackman’s waffling is purely a negotiation tactic.

    As for the existing movies, I thought Singer’s first movie was serviceable. It introduced the X-Men to mainstream audiences who probably didn’t care about them. There are too many characters and story elements to introduce so the movie has to start wrapping things up before it can ever really get started. And the plot makes zero sense. The sequel is about as good as they get. Very solid, but falls short of true greatness. X-Men 3 is terrible.

    I liked First Class well enough. I have enjoyed it more on subsequent viewings. I would be interested to hear you elaborate on what you didn’t like about it. Yeah, the continuity didn’t line up precisely. But I was having too much fun to care. The first Wolverine movie was a train wreck and mediocre reviews kept me from watching the second one although I’m sure I will catch it at some point.

    I am looking forward to Days of Future Past with cautious optimism and I hope that it builds momentum for Apocalypse. Like I said, the franchise looks to be going in some interesting directions. I would hate to see it restarted before that plays out. But, assuming a reboot was forced on us, here are my thoughts on your suggestions:

    Director – I saw District 9 and I liked it okay. I heard mixed to negative things about Elysium. He doesn’t really excite me. But he’s not Brett Ratner. So, sure. Why not?

    Writers – I still haven’t forgiven John Logan for Star Trek: Nemesis. But I have to admit the rest of his credentials are solid. I am incapable of speaking the name Chris Claremont without having a hacking fit. By that I mean I go into a spasm saying “hack” over and over again. I have never read anything written by Claremont that I have liked even a little bit. I will move on before I start a proper Claremont rant. Although I do feel the need to point out his overall hackiness one more time. Claremont is a hack. Hack hack hack. Sorry. This is a thing that happens whenever I hear his name. Moving on.

    Prof X – If I can’t have Stewart, Dalton is as good a choice as any. But I still want Stewart. If we were going to recast him, I think I would want to go younger.

    Magneto – Again, I’d rather keep McKelllan. Sutherland’s not a bad choice. He conveys the intelligence necessary. And I have seen him be menacing. But for me, he’s better playing the soft spoken father figures. In keeping with my younger Prof X, I’d opt for a younger Magneto. I like the First Class actors. We have two great Prof Xs and two great Magnetos. I hate the idea of throwing those away.

    So far, I’m not playing along very well I’m afraid.

    Cyclops – I have to admit that Cyclops is one of my least favorite comic book characters ever. For that reason, I like “milquetoast” Marsden. I think he perfectly captures the blandness of the character.

    Jean Grey – A winning choice. I like Jansen as an actress, but casting her against the younger, duller Marsden didn’t work.

    Wolverine – Jackman is synonymous with the role. It was the role he was born to play. I’m afraid recasting Wolverine is about as difficult as recasting Tony Stark. Whoever follows in Jackman’s footsteps is going to run the risk of being the Lazenby of mutants. Edgarton is as capable a replacement as any.

    Gambit – If we’re doing a reboot can we just leave Gambit out of it? Least essential X-Man ever.

    Beast – Ha! Kilmer? Can we CGI him and have him provide the voice?

    Storm – You know they will cast Zoe Saldana if they reboot this franchise. I think it’s a law.

    Nightcrawler – Solid choice

    Colossus – I like Morgan a lot. But I don’t really see him as Colossus. Once again, if I am rebooting I want to go younger across the board. I don’t need an actor as Colossus. I’m okay with whoever the current approach of big guy/CGI.

    Rogue – Arterton is pretty. Can she act? I haven’t seen her do it yet. Does she need to? Probably not.

    Angel – Pearce is a good actor. But what’s up with the middle aged X-Men? Why reboot at all?

    Jubilee – I stand corrected. Least essential X-Man ever. Sorry Gambit. ;)

    Bishop – Introducing Bishop at this late stage of the franchise, I get. Introducing Bishop in a reboot seems like a recipe for disaster. I don’t view Bishop as a character so much as a plot device. But Elba is a fine actor.

    Sinister – I like Bardem. Don’t much care for the character.

    Sabretooth – I don’t think it matters too much who you put under the fur. I’m sure Rourke would have fun chewing scenery.

    Iceman – I like Murphy, but I’m having trouble seeing this one. Too old and too slight for my tastes. Great for Scarecrow though.

    Deadpool – Sure it’s a cheat. But Reynolds was perfectly cast. Too bad the movie completely misused him and ruined the character. He’s the Merc with the Mouth, so they sew it shut?!? WTF!?!

    Sen Kelly – Sure. I like Russell. Why not? I really don’t care who plays Senator Kelly.

    Okay, so I don’t think I ever fully managed to get past the premise. I’m just not ready for an X-Men reboot. And if I was going to reboot the series, I’d want a cast of fresh young unknowns to fill most of the roles. But if I had to recast all the roles with established actors and had to stick with middle-age and up, this cast represents a talented bunch.

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    • And no I can’t leave Gambit out. He’s my favorite. I grew up in the 90s. He was tailor made for the readers of my age. Love him. Want to see him done right.

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      • As soon as I saw Gambit, I assumed that was the case. The list kind of screams 90’s X-Men cartoon.

        I has the opposite point of view. It kind of restored my faith in comic book readers when characters like Gambit, Psylocke and Bishop fell out of favor. But every character is someone’s favorite. I was a big fan of Kyle Rayner back in the day much to the chagrin of Hal Jordan fans.

        I actually like the original Singer cast of characters. I just wish they had cast a better Storm and Cyclops and Jean were a little better suited to one another. With Wolverine as the cranky guy who doesn’t play well with others, I don’t think a rogue character serves much of a purpose. It’s only after the franchise has matured that it makes sense to me to introduce a character like Gambit.

        My $.02.

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        • And the 90s Xmen Cartoon is basically the cream of the crop for my money. But no, we mostly agree. With the way they created Wolverine Gambit is superfluous. However, this casting lets Wolverine get back to being more the Rasheed Wallace to the XMens 2004 Detroit Pistons, if you will

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  3. The premise is just because I’m not a fan of where the X-Men movies have gone, and while DOFP has the potential to right it to a degree, for me I’d just rather start over if I had control. While Fassbender and McAvoy are great choices for the young X-Men, I have no interest in seeing the origin story and younger versions of characters. As far as middle-aged X-Men, that would be my premise. They are an established adult team. Angel is one of the original members, so it makes sense he is older. And while several actors have made the characters their own, I think history shows us how quick we are willing to look past that and accept new actors’ takes.
    Honestly it’s something I’ve been doing for years since I had the idea, and since I’m such an X-Men fan. While Man of Steel was a perfectly adequate to below average movie to most (me included) for you it was blasphemy from what I can gather. Because you have fond feelings for the franchise. I couldn’t care less about supes. So it’s more convenient for me that it’s not very good, because now I don’t have to keep up with it. I guess my point is that I’m like that with X-Men. I know a reboot isn’t happening, but I like to play pretend.

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    • I totally get that. Whenever I rant on Man of Steel, it is with the understanding that a lot of people don’t share the same feelings about the character. For me, I like the X-Men. But I certainly don’t love them.

      Of all the super hero franchises out there, my feeling is that the X-Men is currently the second best-handled franchise. The Avengers group is currently the cream of the crop. The X-Men franchise is certainly respectable once you eliminate a couple of clunkers (Last Stand and Wolverine: Origins).

      It seems where we really differ is First Class. I wasn’t clamoring for an X-Men origin story. But I thought the one we got was solid and the cast was about as good as you could hope for. I actually think they hit the jackpot casting wise. I think it would be a huge mistake to throw away that young cast for an older one from a franchise management perspective.

      Back in the day, Wizard Magazine used to run a feature called (I think) Casting Call. Basically, it was the fantasy football of comic book movie casting. Your list is in that spirit. And in that spirit, I approve of the vast majority of your choices.

      Fantasy casting aside, I think realistically Fox would be shooting themselves in the foot to reboot. I think this franchise is headed in the right direction more than most.

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      • Yes, it’s very much in the Wizard Magazine vein. Just for fun, and because I’m still in denial that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman and Channing Tatum will be Gambit. The only way this can get any worse is if Hugh Jackman walks away and they cast someone terrible in the role.
        Your feelings about Claremont are basically my feelings on Rob Lefield. To hell with that guy.

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      • And I’ll agree that casting wise First Class is solid. Bacon is a bit over the top. But why we needed the Xmen as a 70s Bond film, I’ll never know. It’s the entire premise I can’t get past. Plus it’s just too pleased with itself for my taste. I’ve never been a fan of Matthew Vaughn though.

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        • It’s a 60’s Bond film. And a really good one at that. I would have never thought to reboot the X-Men in the style of a Connery Bond. But then, it worked for The Incredibles. It probably helps that I have more of a soft spot for Goldfinger than I do for Cyclops.

          I do agree that it’s more than a little smug. That put me off a little the first time through. And I can see how someone with a personal attachment to the X-Men (especially the 90s X-Men) wouldn’t want to see a return to the 60s. But I do think it works in that the X-Men were originally conceived in the 60s with Prof X as a stand-in for MLK and Magneto standing in for Malcolm X. So it’s not completely arbitrary. It throws some continuity in the trash. But it’s a reboot so I really don’t mind.

          Obviously, tastes will vary. A lot of times, it sucks to care about something because you are going to have to watch it be handled in a way that you don’t care for.

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