The X-Men are coming to the MCU. Let me say that again…The X-Men are Coming to the MCU!
That’s right, the master Kevin Feige has confirmed the X-Men will be joining the MCU and Marvel is actively working on how to bring the mutants into the universe. After a long run over at Fox, the Mutants are back home where they belong.
Now that they are back with Marvel, that means recasting is going to have to happen. While the previous X-Men films had a phenomenal cast, recasting is the right decision to really differentiate from the previous films and to give this franchise a fresh start.
Let’s take a look at who Marvel could bring in to play this new version of the X-Men.
Daniel Craig as ‘Charles Xavier’
Isn’t crazy how Daniel Craig hasn’t been in a superhero film yet? I mean, the man has played James Bond for more than 10 years with a new (and his final) installment in the franchise set to release next year. That’s essentially being a superhero, but it’s still mind-blowing that neither Marvel nor DC has snatched him up.
Craig could give us a brilliant take on the world’s most powerful telepath. Yes, he’ll have to go bald, but honestly, Craig could pull off that look. He’s an extremely experienced and versatile actor who has proven throughout his career that he can elevate any scene. An actor of his caliber is needed for this role since someone must follow in footsteps of Sir Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, both who turned in brilliant performances as Charles Xavier.
Ralph Fiennes as ‘Magneto’
A little James Bond reunion? The comics and films really highlight the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik Lensher. In fact, in the more recent films, this relationship was a focal point of the entire narrative. Fiennes portrays M in the newer Bond films, so chemistry between him and Craig won’t be an issue.
Fiennes also has already turned in one of the best villainous turns in cinematic history with his role as the evil Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. Fiennes was chilling and terrifying as “He who must not be named,” so he’s no stranger to crushing the role of the antagonist. This is another role that requires a high-caliber actor since this person is following brilliant performances from Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender.
John Krasinski as ‘Cyclops’
Okay hear me out. I know everyone wants Krasinski to land the role of Reed Richards, and they’d love it even more if he got to star in that movie with his wife, Emily Blunt. I would like to see that happen, but I also think Krasinski could make for a fantastic (couldn’t resist) Scott Summers/Cyclops.
The only way this works is if the MCU films take a page from the comics and show Cyclops as the leader of the X-Men instead of having him take a backseat to Wolverine like in the films. That’s a role that would be tailor-made for Krasinski. Look no further than his performances in Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Michael Bay’s 13 Hours for validation there.
Krasinski showed in both those roles that he can not only be a badass, but carry heavy-action scenes with ease. I’m sure people will be disappointed if he doesn’t get the role as Reed, but getting Krasinski to play the leader of the X-Men version of Summers would be a nice consolation prize.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as ‘Storm’
Storm is one of the most iconic and powerful X-Men. Halle Berry gave us a brilliant turn as the character for four films. Alexandra Shipp then took over the role in X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. Shipp did very well, but she only had limited screen time in both of those films to really put her mark on the character.
Mbatha-Raw would be a great choice to give us a third take on the character. Her performances in The Cloverfield Paradox and in Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time showed her range as an actress. She’s confident on screen and her presence makes it tough to take your eyes off her. She’s still an up-and-coming actress, but this role could propel her to stardom.
Jon Bernthal as ‘Wolverine’
This is a casting that needs to happen. I never suggested Bernthal before because he was already playing Frank Castle/Punisher on Netflix. At that time, it was assumed those shows were canon to the MCU, but that’s looking less likely to be true. Therefore, Bernthal should be the name at the very top of Marvel’s list to replace the great Hugh Jackman.
Bernthal is a phenomenal actor who really excels in convincing emotion and rage in his performances. His role as Castle on the Punisher is really all you need to see. Bernthal brought Castle to life. You felt his pain and suffering, his loss and rage as if everything that happened to him, happened to you. That’s all because of Bernthal, who is the best choice to replace Jackman.
Emilia Clarke as ‘Jean Grey’
Might as well continue the trend of casting Game of Thrones alumni as X-Men characters. Sophie Turner played the character of Jean Grey in the two most recent X-Men films, while Maisie Williams was cast as Wolfsbane in New Mutants, but who knows if we’re ever going to see that movie. Clarke is arguably the best and most popular actress of the three and her schedule is wide open now that Game of Thrones has finished.
Clarke has received a ton of recognition for her performance as the Dragon Queen Danaerys in Thrones’ final season. Transitioning from Dany to Jean would be easy for Clarke as the two characters are both extremely powerful women, an archetype that Clarke is very comfortable playing. She also already has a good working relationship with Disney after starring as yet another strong female character in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Joel Edgerton as ‘Beast’
This is a tricky role to cast because we don’t know how Marvel will adapt the character. In Fox’s original trilogy, we saw Kelsey Grammar play McCoy as an older version that stayed blue the entire time. In the Fox prequels, the character was played by a younger Nicholas Hoult who could change back-and-forth between appearing normal then blue.
I chose to cast this role expecting Marvel to go with an older version of the character and I landed on Edgerton. He’s similar in age to Craig, which fits with the previous films making Xavier and McCoy the same age. He’s also a terrific and versatile actor who could have a lot of fun in the role. Edgerton has definitely proven throughout his career that he has some serious dramatic chops. Not to mention, he is no stranger to acting in prosthetics when he played Will Smith’s orc cop partner in Netflix’s Bright.
Daisy Ridley as ‘Rogue’
Ridley’s star has risen so quickly since her debut as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She was very much an unknown prior to that film, but now she has stans all over the world and a smile that could light up a room. Given her great working relationship with Disney in the Star Wars films, it’s only a matter of time until they come knocking on her door to bring her into more of their franchises.
Ridley only has a limited amount of acting credits to her name. Luckily for her, two of those credits are in one of the most popular franchises in cinematic history. Her role in Star Wars gave her more exposure than she could’ve ever hoped for and landed her roles in Murder on the Orient Express and 2020’s Chaos Walking (opposite Tom Holland). Her talent is undeniable and her performance as Rey shows how capable she is of not only playing the hero, but also how well she handles roles heavy on the action.
Dakota Johnson as ‘Mystique’
So far the role of Mystique has been played by two amazing actresses, Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence. However, people began to tire of Lawrence’s take on the character, even though that should be attributed to the writing. The more recent films tried to turn Mystique into a hero, but the reality is that the character works better as a villain. That’s why most fans prefer Romijn’s performance.
Dakota Johnson has continued to show her talent as an actress since her role in 50 Shades of Grey. She starred in Suspiria, Bad Times at the El Royale, and Black Mass. Each of those roles showed a different side to Johnson’s acting ability, but it’s her role in Bad Times that caught my eye. She gave a dark and intimidating performance in that film as someone trying to protect her younger sister from a cult leader. If Marvel chooses to make Mystique more villainous again, then this is a role where Johnson would thrive.
Liam Hemsworth as ‘Iceman’
It’s time to get the other Hemsworth in the MCU. Liam has the looks and the build like older brother and God of Thunder, Chris. Liam’s acting ability is just as good. Honestly, it is a little surprising Marvel hasn’t already brought Liam into the MCU, seeing as brother Chris is one of their most valuable assets.
Liam isn’t the helpless little brother though. He’s built a nice little acting résumé all on his own, starring in action films like Independence Day: Resurgence and The Expendables 2. His most recognizable role is probably as Gale in the Hunger Games films, where he played one of the male leads. He’s clearly comfortable jumping into action roles, which is why I think he would be perfect to play Bobby Drake/Iceman. I just hope people don’t start asking if MCU Iceman and MCU Thor are related.
Millie Bobby Brown as ‘Kitty Pryde’
Last but certainly not least, ‘Eleven’ is getting into the MCU one way or another. It was rumored recently that Brown was in talks to join Marvel’s The Eternals, but she wasn’t announced as part of the cast at San Diego Comic-Con this month, much to the disappointment of Marvel and Stranger Things fans. She’s only 16 years old, but an argument could be made that she’s becoming one of the more popular actresses working today.
Stranger Things is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed series on TV. The writing is fantastic. The story is engaging. The action is great. And the performances are brilliant especially Brown’s. She steals every single scene she’s in as the super-powered Eleven. With that much talent at 16 years old, she has a long and successful career ahead of her. What better way to continue that career than jumping into a Marvel franchise?! MBB as Kitty Pryde seems like a no-brainer. Make it happen Marvel!