Nothing gets a conversation and/or debate going faster than an alternate casting. Everyone has their own opinion about what actor should play which role and more importantly, nobody can ever agree with anyone else’s picks. If it’s even slightly different than what you pictured in your head, you will immediately disregard it and ridicule the person who suggested it. The aim of the FanCast is to inspire conversation, create debate and provide ammo for the bloodthirsty nerds who can’t ever be wrong.
We know it’s only a matter of time. While it will be a welcomed reboot to the established superhero team, I actually enjoyed most of the 20th Century Fox X-Men franchise. From 2000’s X-Men to 2020’s The New Mutants, those movies hold a very special place in my heart. Part of the reason those movies were successful and were able to keep a franchise going for twenty years was due to the fact there were some incredible actors playing iconic characters.
For this FanCast, I used X-Men: The Animated Series as my base to form the team. In my perfect world, we would skip over “introducing mutants in the MCU” and just have them as a well-oiled, established team. Not every member needs to be a teenager, in my opinion. For example, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. We didn’t need to see him get bitten, nor did we need to see Uncle Ben die again. We get it. Let’s keep it moving.
With that all said, I humbly present my FanCast for the future mutants of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Mark Strong | Professor X
What you might have seen him in: Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Brothers Grimsby
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Okay, I know. Low hanging fruit because he’s bald. Hear me out. How many A-list actors are going to be willing to stay bald for 15+ years if they are still able to grow hair? Maybe McAvoy proved that a successful Xavier doesn’t even have to be bald? What I do know is that Mark Strong is a supremely talented, matured actor that I think can play an excellent mentor role as seen in the Kingman films.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau | Magneto
What you might have seen him in: Game of Thrones
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Magneto needs to be someone we can root against yes, but also someone we can see as an anti-hero. In playing the troubled Jaime Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones, he has shown he can do just that. Coster-Waldau has proved that he has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with anyone on screen, from Charles Dance to Dame Diana Rigg. Like Jaime, Magneto is a character that believes the ends justify the means.
Shia LaBeouf | Wolverine
What you might have seen him in: Transformers, Honey Boy
Why he’d be perfect for the role: I have some pretty far fetched candidates for actors in these roles. I think Shia as Wolverine is my farthest. I have followed this man’s career closer than most of my family’s personal milestones. Shia seems to be in a real good place now and I think doing smaller movies is helping him immensely. Coming off of Honey Boy, Peanut Butter Falcon, and The Tax Collector, Shia is on top of his game. I don’t think he has any interest in signing a big long term contract with anybody, especially after Transformers. I can dream though, right?
Saoirse Ronan | Jean Grey
What you might have seen her in: Lady Bird, Little Women
Why she’d be perfect for the role: Nominated for four Oscars, if anyone deserves the Brinks truck backed up to their house with that sweet, sweet Disney money, it’s Ronan. Jean’s character is not for the faint of heart. I think we have already seen two very good versions of Jean in Famke Janssen and Sophie Turner. Ronan could really make this character uniquely her own. She can be top of the class, but also not afraid to verbally spar with her mentors. The biggest thing I think for Jean is the writers of the next generation need to let her be strong. I’m tired of seeing Jean pass out after showing strength. She is an Omega-level Mutant! Let her be great!
Taron Egerton | Cyclops
What you might have seen him in: Kingsman: The Secret Service, Rocketman
Why he’d be perfect for the role: A lot of people’s pick for Wolverine, I actually like Taron for Scott Summers, the boy scout of the team (Well, depending on which comics they want to base the character off of). Cyclops is always the goody two shoes in my head. I think with his boyish charm and good looks, Egerton would be perfect to act opposite of Ronan’s Jean. I am also banking on the chemistry to carry over from Kingsman with my Prof. X, Mark Strong. Ideally, Scott would be getting primed to take over the operation after Charles retires? Dies? Who knows what could happen. Egerton is a big enough name and has a bankable face to carry the franchise for many years in my opinion.
Cynthia Erivo | Storm
What you might have seen her in: Bad Times at the El Royale, Harriet
Why she’d be perfect for the role: On a hot streak of her own with Bad Times at the El Royale, Widows, and Harriet, Cynthia clearly has what it takes to be the backbone of the team. Xavier’s first student would be the on field leader commander and number 2 to Professor X, respectfully. I need Storm to be the baddest badass that ever badassed. Also in my fake X-Men MCU world, maybe Storm takes over the school after Charles? There is precedent for it. I’d pay to see Cynthia Erivo yell at a bunch of kids. Another Oscar nominated actress. Give her a solo movie. Or team her up with the kickass ladies in Wakanda. As long as she always returns home to the School for Gifted Youngsters.
Dan Stevens | Beast
What you might have seen him in: Downton Abbey, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Why he’d be perfect for the role: Not a stranger to the X-Men world, Dan played Legion, Charles Xavier’s son in the FX series, um, Legion. In a world where it seems that we’re getting a Multiverse, I want Dan Stevens to be Beast. No not that Beast where he danced with Emma Watson and sang songs (as good as that was). I want him as genius scientist Hank McCoy. Not gonna lie. This one kinda stumped me a bit and I took a cop out. Look at all these actors and characters. Give me a break. Kelsey Grammer was perfect in the role and I won’t accept anyone else. DO YOU HEAR ME, FEIGE? KELSEY OR I RIOT.
Shelley Hennig | Rogue
What you might have seen her in: Days of Our Lives, Teen Wolf, When We First Met
Why she’d be perfect for the role: A relatively fresh name in the bunch, Shelley Hennig is an actress I actually did real research on for this fan cast. I want Rogue to pretty much be a live-action clone of the animated series. For that to happen she needs to be unapologetically Cajan. Hennig was born in New Orleans and she can live and thrive in that accent. I also believe she has the acting chops to hold her own in this crowded cast.
Eliza Scanlen | Kitty Pryde
What you might have seen her in: The Devil All the Time, Little Women
Why she’d be perfect for the role: Someone needs to scoop up Scanlen. She is a superb young actress already getting recognition for her work in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and this year’s Netflix hit The Devil All the Time. Scanlen shines bright in everything she’s in. I can’t wait to see more of her work. Hopefully that entails massive blockbusters, X-Men or not. The world needs to be aware of this talent.
Stefan Kapičić | Colossus
What you might have seen him in: Deadpool, Deadpool 2
Why he’d be perfect for the role: If Ryan Reynolds is coming back as Deadpool, I really hope he can bring his mutants friends along for the ride. Is it really a X-Men movie if the continuity isn’t at least a little messy?
Cameron Monaghan | Nightcrawler
What you might have seen him in: Gotham, Shameless
Why he’d be perfect for the role: After his run on Gotham, Cameron Monaghan became a household name. I think his energy and charisma makes for a perfect match for Nightcrawler. He clearly is not afraid of the makeup chair either as seen on Gotham. Cameron can also bring the funny as he normally does as Ian on Shameless. It would be much needed with so many heroes taking themselves so seriously.
Timotheé Chalamet | Iceman
What you might have seen him in: Call Me by Your Name, Hostiles, Little Women
Why he’d be perfect for the role: I think it’s illegal to have Saoirse Ronan in a movie without Timotheé Chalamet as her co-star.
Will Poulter | Angel
What you might have seen him in: The Maze Runner, We’re the Millers
Why he’d be perfect for the role: I like Will Poulter a lot. Another younger, versatile actor that could do a lot with a fairly complex character. Will also isn’t a stranger to acting opposite of mega stars. For instance, he was in The Revenant opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. I think he has what it takes to play the rich kid turned mutant. As well as the troubled young man turning to Apocalypse for acceptance.
Piper Curda | Jubilee
What you might have seen her in: I Didn’t Do It, Teen Beach 2
Why she’d be perfect for the role: Another fresh face. After Fox dropped the ball with Lana Condor by not doing anything with her—I mean, did we see her powers even one time?—the MCU will need to fix this issue. I think for Jubilee they go with a new face. Much like they did with Ms. Marvel, Curda is a young up and coming actress with several credits already under her belt. Jubilee isn’t a massive character. It would definitely propel her career though. Currently her resume is filled with roles portraying high school girls and honestly, I’m okay with that. We need someone spunky, quick-witted, and can give excellent jazz hands for her mutant ability, fireworks!
Jodie Turner-Smith | Mystique
What you might have seen her in: The Last Ship, Nightflyers
Why she’d be perfect for the role: I recently watched Queen and Slim featuring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya before even being offered to write this piece and just the way Turner-Smith carried herself in that film in her movement just screamed Mystique to me. Cover that in blue and add that fiery passion and drive she had in that film and we have something special. Like a definitive version of the live action character. If any of my fan casts come true, I think this is the one that most people would leave the theater talking about the most.
The X-Men meant a lot to me growing up. I watched the animated series. I followed the early films. I told people to “shut up” in the theater during Logan. I risked my life in a pandemic to see The New Mutants (only to be disappointed). I hope the next generation of fans who feel lost about their personal identity can at least claim to be “Mutant and Proud!”
How do you feel about my FanCast? Do you love it? Hate it? Haven’t seen an X-Men film since Origins: Wolverine? That’s okay. Tell us your X-Men FanCast below.