For years now Fox’s X-Men films have been riddled with timeline errors and inconsistencies as well as inconsistent film quality. As a huge X-Men fan all I’ve ever wanted was to see this franchise and these characters that I love so much flourish and prosper. The X-Men were created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement as well as the struggles and mistreatment of the LGBTQ community, they first appeared in Marvel’s X-Men #1. The main themes of the series has always been facing the racism and prejudice that mutants face. The original lineup for the series was Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, and Angel with the team facing off against Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants. The series was canceled around issue #66 and was later revived in 1975 by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum with Giant Sized X-Men #1. The revival is where we get the most popular and recognized lineup of X-Men and where many of our favorites made their debut from Storm and Wolverine to Nightcrawler and Colossus.
Ben Kingsley as Professor X
As of late I’ve really been wondering what we will do the day that Sir Patrick Stewart truly decides to retire from the role of Professor X or Fox decides to reboot. Professor Charles Xavier made his comic book debut in Stan Lee and Jack Kirdy’s The X-Men #1 in September of 1963. Over the years the Professor as taken on the role of mentor, father figure, and teacher roles which Sir Patrick Stewart has portrayed to perfection and roles that anyone who taking over the role will have to do justice. Ben Kingsley would make an outstanding Professor X, he maintains the regality and elegance of Patrick Stewart while also being a fantastic and poignant actor all in his own right. Ben Kingsley is the type of actor who fully becomes the character, he’s a chameleon who can seamlessly change his colors from dramatic to comedic with immense ease.
Deborah Ayorinde as Storm
Storm is easily in my opinion one of if not the greatest X-Men characters to exist. Storm made her debut in Giant Size X-Men #1 in May of 1975. She was apart of the newly formed international X-Men that the Professor formed to save the original team from the villain Krakoa. Over the years Storm has been a thief, an X-Man, a princess, a Queen, a leader, mother figure, friend, and at one point wielder of a magical Asgardian hammer. Since I was a kid she has meant the world to me because she was the first black superhero that I’d ever seen. Until Storm I never knew there were heroes that looked like me and thats why she will always have a special place in my heart. As a character Storm is kind, compassionate, fierce, brave, and infinitely unafraid to stand her ground and do what others are afraid to do. Many of us who saw Marve’s Netflix series Luke Cage should be familiar with Deborah Ayorinde who portrayed Candace a girl who worked at Cottonmouth’s club. I chose Ayorinde because the show made me extremely interested in her as an actress. It made me want to see exactly what she could do as an actress and I think she would be more than capable of breathing life into Storm and giving us an accurate portrayal. One of my biggest peeves about the Fox Films and comics in general is that there seems to be this constant push to change Storm’s skin color. Storm is and has always been a proud dark skinned black woman and little black girls deserve to see a powerful dark skinned black woman portraying a superhero.
Matthew Goode as Nightcrawler
One of my favorite aspects of the Nightcrawler character is the importance of his religion to him. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of his intense Catholic faith and the fact that he looks like a demon. Nightcrawler debuted in Giant Size X-Men #1 as part of the international X-Men team that Charles recruits to save the original group. While X-2 touched on it and used it a bit I would love to see a rebooted Nightcrawler whose religion plays a large part in the characterization. We need a Nightcrawler with charm, charisma, and a certain swashbuckling swagger and I think Matthew Goode is the man for the job. Ever since Watchmen I’ve wanted to see Matthew Goode play a notable superhero and I definitely think he would do Nightcrawler justice. Matthew Goode’s Nightcrawler would make a great conscious and guide to the X-Men team.
Tessa Thompson as Rogue
I gotta be honest I’m a sucker for a southern gal especially in comics and thats why Rogue will always hold a special place in my heart. As a southern man I love seeing southern characters like Rogue that come with all the wit, charm, and charisma that you get from folks down south. While I despise the entire state of Mississippi (dont ask its a long story but sorry not sorry yall) I gotta say it warms my heart knowing that Rogue is from my neck of the woods. Rogue made her comic book debut in October of 1981 in Avengers Annual #10. Rogue initially encountered the X-Men as a foe and not a friend, but as time has gone on Rogue has become an integral, iconic, and important part of the X-Men team. While she ain’t a Southern girl I could 100% see Tessa nailing a Mississippi accent while being the bold, blunt, fun, charismatic, charming, and witty Rogue that we all know and love. Many of us first became familiar with Rogue in the 90’s X-Men tv series.
Kofi Siriboe as Gambit
I know Fox has Channing Tatum slated to play everyone’s favorite Nawleans playboy, but I’m just gonna disregard that miscast and throw my boy Kofi Siriboe’s name into the mix. When I think of Gambit I think of someone with immaculate swagger, charm, charisma, and sex appeal and lets be honest Kofi has and overabundance of all those things. Gambit is an OG scammer in the X-Men universe whose charmed and scammed his way out of many a situation with a simple glance from those black and ruby red eyes and a lil sweet talking. As I’ve stated before I have a soft spot in my heart from southern characters and Gambit definitely makes the list. Gambit made his first comic book appearance as a cameo in Uncanny X-Men Annual #1990 in July of 1990. However Gambit didn’t make his first full blown appearance until Uncanny X-Men #266 in August of 1990.
I said this in my last fancast that included Psylocke, but the character has an extremely problematic origin that basically consists of a British white woman having her consciousness transferred into the body of an Asian woman. Now I shouldn’t even have to explain why that is problematic on a multitude of levels anyone who has seen Get Out or read spoilers for Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming flop Ghost in The Shell will understand. Any reboot should remedy this and give a new origin to the character that establishes her as Asian without all of the mind swapping curfuffle. Psylocke made her first US appearance in New Mutants Annual #2 in October of 1986. Psylocke as a character is very stoic and she’s the silent type she’s one o the best there is a what she does and I chose Gemma Chan to portray Betsy aka Psylocke because she would be able to naturally be able to give Betsy a British accent as well as portray all the badass aspects of her. Gemma is good at playing cold and reserved.
Jeffrey Wright as Beast
Beast is one of the most easily recognized and iconic X-Men in the history of the franchise. He and Forge are the brains of the X-Men operation. Beast is one of the original X-Men who debuted in September of 1963 in Marvel’s X-Men #1. His initial mutations were an advanced superhuman intellect as well as large hands and feet, but due to a secondary mutation which he triggered he took on a blue furry ape like appearance and gained other superhuman abilities. Beast is known for his immense intellect and generally being a voice of reason as well as quoting shakespeare and other classic works of literature. When Fox cast Kelsey Grammar as Beast it was honestly some of the most spot on casting they’ve ever done. I figured if anyone could not only fill the shoes of Kelsey Grammer, but also make the role all his own it would be Jeffrey Wright. He is the type of actor who is great at transforming into characters and giving them a certain depth.
Kevin McKidd as Banshee
Banshee is a character that I wish got more love in the Fox films because he is honestly a pretty great character. Banshee made his debut in X-Men #28 in January of 1967 and has been portrayed by Caleb Landry Jones. I really want to see an older more established and settled in his powers version of Banshee. His powers include a sonic scream which at times he uses to fly with the help of a harness created by Professor X. Kevin McKidd would make the perfect Banshee because hes got the gruff yet likable demeanor that I think is required for Banshee.
Franciska Farkas as Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch is one of my absolute favorite X-verse characters and its my wish to see her portrayed accurately and to see her Romani heritage acknowledged and celebrated on film. Yes you read that right Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are half Roma or if you choose to go with Marvel’s current continuity where Magneto isn’t their real father (Yeah Im ignoring it too) they are 100% Roma with their mother being Natalya Maximoff the sister of their foster father Django Maximoff. Scarlet Witch has been responsible for some of the most iconic and tragic instances in the Marvel universe for the X-Men she is specifically responsible for the events of M-Day where she decimated most of mutant kind with three simple words “No More Mutants”. Scarlet Witch’s mutant ability is reality altering powers and an affinity for magic which she most likely inherited from one of her parents. Scarlet Witch debuted in March of 1964 in X-Men #4 as a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I chose Franciska Farkas because its important that a Roma actress finally portray this character, so far Marvel is the only one to use the character however they erased her history and her heritage when they white washed her.
Stefanie Martini as Emma Frost
There are few characters in comics quite as shady and manipulative as everyone’s favorite white clad telepath Emma Frost. When it comes to being petty, throwing shade, being messy, and being down right manipulative Emma is so good at it you’d almost think it was her mutant ability. Having debuted in January of 1980 in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #129 Emma has had a long and often complicated relationship with the X Men. Emma has appeared as both foe and friend in the comics holding many roles such as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, but also going on to be the leader of the X Men as well as headmistress of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. After seeing her work on Emerald City as the Princess Langwidere Stefanie Martini would be amazing as Emma. As Langwidere Stefanie has the perfect amount of snark, wit, sarcasm, regality, and overall sophistication to play Emma.
Adam Beach as Forge
For is one of the X-Men’s most brilliant characters. His mutant ability is increased superhuman intelligence as well as aptitude. He has a bionic arm and leg which also grants him increased superhuman strength. His intelligence grants him the ability to rapidly assemble and disassemble complex machines and devices. Forge is also a Cheyenne Shaman. He is one of very few Native American characters in comics. Forge made his debut in August of 1984 in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #184. Adams Beach would be perfect for Forge he is a fantastic actor who has had a long career. Introducing Forge would add a complex piece of the X-Men team while also producing fantastic representation.
Léa Seydoux as Mystique
Mystique made her comic debut in April of 1978 in issue 16 of Ms. Marvel, her first appearance was nothing more than a cameo and her first full blown appearance came in June of 1978 in Ms. Marvel #18. Over the years Mystique has been both friend and foe to the X-Men often times showing up as their antagonizer. Over the years Mystique has grown into a complex and extremely well fleshed out character that more than deserves a fantastic actress to portray her. I’ve been less than quiet about the fact that I have an intense dislike for not just Jennifer Lawrence, but also her portrayal of one of the X-Men’s most complex characters Mystique. Lawrence lacks the film fatale qualities needed to play a believable Mystique and she has often disregarded aspects of the character’s history like her bisexuality. Léa Seydoux is the perfect actress for Mystique. She has all of the femme fatale qualities and sex appeal required for Mystique. She exudes intelligence and a certain danger that Mystique requires.