With the release of X-Men: First Class
, we have now been treated to five movies to date in the X-universe, and across those films we have already been introduced to numerous characters - both main, supporting and fleeting cameos. In the shape of figures like Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Beast, we've covered the majority of the major players (including the six original members), so the question we now face is one of future casts... Who remains from the X-Men roll-call who hasn't yet put in an appearance in the five films so far, and more importantly, which of them would be a good pick for the next movie... regardless of what timeline it comes from. To start with, there are those who probably won't appear, including Vulcan
, the third Summers brother (the one with the Jason Bourne style amnesia backstory), Sunfire
(the radioactive loner... although X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn did say he was one character he wanted for his movie but whose powers were too expensive this time), and Changeling
, whose morphing powers are a little too close to Rogue's to make him a likely pick. There's also the bit-part players, like both Thunderbirds
, the frankly rubbishly named members like Box
, and those with frankly terrible powers like Longneck
(yep, big arms) and Cypher
(dazzlingly can speak all languages). Not exactly easy sales, any of them, so probably not going to be pulling on yellow and black spandex. Then there are those characters who were in one way or another badly handled by the first four franchise installments (specifically X-Men 3: The Last Stand
) - Angel (the Warren Worthington III version, played by Ben Foster
), Kitty Pride (Ellen Page
) and Multiple Man (Eric Dane
) who should be included to atone for the sins committed in the name of their characters previously. Their inclusion in an X-Men 4 would be easy and they could even cast the same actors but for an appearance in X-Men: Second Class, this would depend entirely on First Class definitely not being a prequel, but a reboot that explicitly pays its dues to the films that came before - but let's be honest, the cameos that appeared to such pleasant effect are too much for the film to resist the prequel label, even if there are some glaring timeline problems, so I can't see Vaughn bringing in any characters who have already appeared as teenagers in the future of X-Men 1-3.
Personally, I wouldn't mind at all if the director did make such a move, because those timeline errors stick out like sore thumbs during First Class, and make its viewing as a straight prequel almost impossible for anyone who paid any attention throughout the first trilogy. I have said it before, and I will restate the fact that there is no reason at all why comic book movies cannot follow the multi-alternate narrative variant style of comic books (and it looks like I will get my wish with the current JLA rumours
), allowing for films with the same characters existing effectively in alternate realities in different movies. The best result would be that Hollywood might eventually dispense with the tiresome tradition of rebooting properties every five years. And finally, there are those whose characteristics too closely resemble members we have already met, or more likely to appear characters: so names like X-23
(the female Wolverine), Dark Beast
(who is basically a multi-"mouthed" Banshee) aren't really going to be popping up too soon. Neither is Stacy X
, the short-lived X-Men member who was also a pheromone wielding mutant prostitute. Unless Vaughn takes the film in a very
different direction... Anyway, on to the serious business of who some options for new characters could be, and why:
Energy absorption and redistribution
(AKA Lucas Bishop) A future mutant, sent back in time by accident from a dystopian future who became part of the X-Men, though he resisted assimilation in a similar anti-hero like fashion to Wolverine. Basically, Bishop is the ultimate bad-ass, and even though his futuristic feel and attitude might sit at odds with the rest of the X-Men team, I would love to see someone like Idris Elba
kicking tail as the enforcer from the future, as much as it will piss off my editor's 'one comic book role per actor' rule, as he has just appeared in Thor
. If indeed Bryan Singer
gets his own way and the Civil Rights Movement
becomes a key part of the plot for Second Class (as it will no doubt not be called, despite the clever link to that subject matter), Bishop would be an invaluable addition, as he is from a future in which humans and mutants came together to overthrow the Sentinels and could form an allegorical counter-point to the film's setting. He would also plug the Affiliated Maverick role created by the absence of Wolverine, and vacated by Magneto.
Quicksilver & Scarlet WitchPowers:
Super-speed & probability manipulation.
(AKA Petro & Wanda Maximoff) In the comics, they are the children of Magneto, who turned to the X-Men after discovering their father was truly evil, before being reborn to together facilitate the events of House of M in which 98% of the world's mutants were de-powered. For a future film, the familial link to Magneto would have to be changed, given the villain's age at the end of First Class and his personal history, but there is no reason why a similarly strong dynamic cannot be created without it. Magneto's power is in his charisma and in his patriarchal authority, so he could feasibly take in the young twins and act as a father figure to them, before they realise his malevolence and switch sides to join the X-Men. No matter how their inclusion is worked, I'd love to see both appear, as Scarlet Witch's probability control mutation is one of the coolest of any X-Men character, and with her mental instability she is a ticking time-bomb. We should probably expect Quicksilver at least in a future X-Men movie as Bryan Singer has made it known he was the one character he wanted included that didn't make the First Class cut. For casting - I would go with two unknowns with the big, vulnerable eyes that you could buy into being seduced by someone like Magneto.
Magnetic manipulation, healing factor
(AKA Shh, it's a secret) Grant Morrison's
greatest creation when he was part of the X-Men revamp, Xorn first appeared in 2001, with a star for a brain which forced him to wear a frankly awesome looking mask in order for the entire world not to be burned by his head. His inclusion in this list is very much one of fantasy, because of the nature of the character (he was revealed to be Magneto in disguise eventually, before Marvel ret-conned the whole thing messily and brought him back as a character in himself) there would have to be another film to bridge the narrative to the point where Magneto dies or disappears. But it would be far better a way to bring back a character than the after-the-credits trick of Last Stand. Casting - we would back the character where the mask throughout his first few films appearances, at least.
Telepathic illusion projections.
(AKA Jason Wyngarde) A villain with a nicely appropriate mutation to make him Prof X's antithesis, Mastermind is a master of telepathic illusion, who would be the perfect answer to Magneto's quest to find a mutant villain with the ability to overcome the Professor, if that's where the plot of the second film ultimately leads. Personally, I like the idea of a villain whose powers are strong enough that they can manipulate Xavier (which is why X2 worked so well for me), so Mastermind would fit the bill perfectly - and True Blood's Stephen Moyer
has the look and the presence to pull off such a role in my opinion.
Temporary gain of powers from other mutants in proximity
(AKA Calvin Montgomery Rankin) It's always nice in any team vs team battle scenario to have a spy working in either camp, and Mimic's history has been one dotted with attempts to infiltrate the X-Men in order to gain each of their powers permanently, so he would seem the perfect character to play Magneto's mole. His powers would also set up the intriguing possibility of the X-Men having to each fight an enemy who possessed each of their own powers, to the same skill and knowledge level. Casting - Aaron JohnsonSo what do you think X-Men fans? Who else should be included in the next X-Men movie?