TO ME, MY DISNEY-FIED X-MEN!1 of 13
We're just a few weeks away from Avengers: Infinity War, the film that marks the beginning of the end of the MCU as we know it.
With an impending end - and Disney's announced plan to acquire 20th Century Fox that would bring the X-Men's film rights back home - we can't help but let our minds wonder about the potential for a rebooted X-Men to anchor the next era of the MCU the way the Avengers provided the heart of its first ten years.
We know that's a ways off - maybe as much as another 14 more months at least, according to Disney (or more depending on government regulators) - but we can't help but speculate as to what the cast of a MCU X-Men film would look like.
We decided to start from scratch, even though we know some fans will have good arguments for keeping certain Fox actors, and we're basing our casting on the characters' relative comic book ages, to capture the X-Men's golden years. Likewise, we're only scratching the surface of all possible X-Men characters, and sticking with heroes only - for now.
And of course, give us your dream castings on Facebook and Twitter.
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN as KITTY PRYDE2 of 13
With recent reports of a solo film in development for Kitty Pryde, there may be a baby/bathwater component here - but that's not gonna stop us from picking Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown as X-Men the X-Men's phasing wunderkind.
Much like Kitty Pryde, Brown is a teenager holding her own in a world populated by powerful adults. But we're not expecting her to simply reprise her role as Eleven here - the two characters don't have much in common. Moreso, we want to see Brown do what Eleven rarely does and act like a real kid.
(And yeah, we'd need Lockheed in on this too, Mr. Feige.)
LOGAN LERMAN as CYCLOPS3 of 13
Even though Logan Lerman kinda seems like he was practically bred to play a superhero, he hasn't played one yet - but he did play a Greek demigod in the Percy Jackson films.
Lerman's boyish charm gave way to surprising grit in the war-drama Fury, proving that he's got the chops not just to pull off an adult role, but to capture the dry but low-key tortured personality of the original five X-Men's de facto leader.
What's more, Lerman actually auditioned for the part of Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so we know he's on Marvel Studios' radar.
DANIEL CRAIG as CHARLES XAVIER4 of 13
We know what you're thinking - how often does Charles Xavier drink martinis or wear tuxedos? (Probably at least once in a while). But what we're after here is a totally different take on Professor X - one that splits the difference between James McAvoy's boyish, troubled Xavier and Patrick Stewart's paternal teacher, and cuts straight to the comic book heart of the character.
In our minds, Craig's Xavier is one more hardened by the struggles of his youth and ready to fight for his dream - hence that whole X-Men thing. Craig's quiet intensity and physical presence would make for a very different kind of Charles Xavier - one starring in, hopefully, a very different kind of X-Men film.
SAOIRSE RONAN as JEAN GREY5 of 13
Thanks to 2017's awards darling Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan's it-girl status is practically stratospheric. But the truth is - when it comes to her dramatic chops, Ronan's got the skills to pay the bills.
Ronan's also got an action pedigree - rare for an actress in her young 20s - thanks to her role as a young girl raised to be a perfect assassin in the film Hanna. What all of that adds up to is a host more than worthy of the Phoenix Force - and the role of Jean Grey.
LUCAS HEDGES as ICEMAN6 of 13
Lucas Hedges' Oscar-nominated breakout performance in 2016's Manchester By The Sea likely put him on the minds of every studio in Hollywood. But if Marvel were shrewd, they'd look to Hedges to play Iceman, the happy-go-lucky but internally-struggling youngest member of the original X-Men.
Bobby Drake has everything a young actor adept at portraying a complex inner-life could want to sink his teeth into - and, with his visually exciting powers and trademark sense of humor, Iceman would almost certainly be front and center in the film.
WILL POULTER as BEAST7 of 13
Will Poulter has made a name for himself as part of the Maze Runner film franchise, but his acting chops go well beyond YA adaptation fare, as seen in his powerful role as a young trapper in The Revenant.
Poulter's intensity and distinct features - not to mention towering 6'3" height - make him a perfect candidate to play the original X-Men's Beast, Hank McCoy. And given Poulter's capability to swing between comedy, action, and intense drama, we have no doubt he'd be able to handle all the sides of Hank McCoy - especially the inevitable blue, furry one.
HARRY STYLES as ANGEL8 of 13
Not long ago some would have sneered at the idea of former One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles taking on the role of one of the X-Men, but his role in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk proved he's more than just a head of hair to die for - though that coif would be a big selling point in casting him as Warren Worthington III, the original X-Men's Angel.
Letting Styles spread his wings as the X-Men's pretty boy who is secretly their most visible outcast makes all the sense in the world.
YARA SHAHIDI as STORM9 of 13
As the star of Freeform's Grown-Ish (and of course the show it spun-off of, Black-Ish), Yara Shahidi has mostly shown off her comedy chops. But with a fearless confidence and growing star power, Shahidi could shine as the X-Men's ingenue, Storm.
Shahidi is only 18 - a bit young - but considering the timeframe of the Disney/Fox deal, she'll be in the perfect age range by the time a Disney X-Men film gets underway - and poised for a star turn.
That Grown-Ish is doing great numbers - and it's a Disney product, via Freeform/ABC - couldn't hurt Shahidi's case either.
LIAM HEMSWORTH as COLOSSUS10 of 13
Marvel has already struck gold with one Hemsworth brother, so why not put Liam Hemsworth, Chris' younger brother, under the metal plates of Piotr Rasputin.
Liam is already a star, and given his height, build, and acting chops, he's the perfect choice to play the super strong Russian mutant. And Yeah, we know Deadpool already has a Colossus, but he'd hardly fit into a Marvel Studios X-Men film populated by younger characters.
TIMOTHEE CHALAMET as NIGHTCRAWLER11 of 13
Timothee Chalamet is fresh off a big year, with a supporting role in the Oscar nominee Lady Bird and a star turn in Call Me By Your Name (which earned Chalamet his own Oscar nomination) - a role that proves Chalamet could play the gregarious but misunderstood Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler, the heart and soul of the X-Men's second team of mutants.
Eternally affable despite his demonic appearance, Nightcrawler is all about balancing the dark and the light - a task we think Chalamet could shoulder with ease. Plus, with his striking features and fearless acting chops, he'd undoubtedly nail the performance's challenging physical aspects.
CHARLIE HUNNAM as WOLVERINE12 of 13
Wolverine's likely recasting is undoubtedly the biggest question on the minds of X-Men fans when considering Disney's potential Fox buyout - and we're convinced Charlie Hunnam has what it takes to play the best there is at what he does.
Just look to his years-long performance as Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy to see Hunnam's expertise playing a rough-around-the-edges tough guy doing his best to live by rules others around him refuse to follow. Hunnam proved he was leading man material with Pacific Rim (and there's no question that he could give Hugh Jackman a run for his money when it comes to physique) - and, at 37 years old, he's actually a few years older than Jackman was when he took the role of Wolverine in 2000's X-Men.
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