Back in 2019, Disney made a massive, landmark $71.3 billion USD deal with Fox; acquiring 21st Century Fox Studios. This included a variety of channels, and such, from FX to National Geographic. But for Marvel Studios (and fans everywhere) this acquisition brought the rights to the X-Men and The Fantastic Four to Disney, and the characters can now be used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First appearing in The X-Men #1 in 1963, written by the legendary Stan Lee, along with the equally great Jack Kirby; it is the story of the people known as the “Mutants”, who were born with special powers due to the X-gene. The X-Men are best known for being allegorical to real-world racism and civil rights of the 1960s. But, in the early nineties, the film rights for the X-Men were sold to Fox Studios, so that Marvel could avoid bankruptcy. In 2000, Fox released their first X-Men movie. A smash hit, X-Men garners high ratings from multiple different sites (82% on Rotten Tomatoes; 7.3/10 on IMDB) leading to one of Fox’s more successful franchises. Through ups and downs, and multiple castings, the Fox X-Men franchise concluded its run with 13 movies. Now, after Marvel acquisition, it’s time to usher in new castings for a new era of fans and for the X-Men.
Professor X & Magneto: James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender
After a few unexplainable and critically panned X-Men films in X3: The Last Stand, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Fox rebooted the X-Men franchise in 2011 with X-Men First Class. Taking place in an earlier age of X-Men, the film featured a new ensemble of castings, two of which are beloved by audiences: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender as Magneto.
McAvoy gave audiences a younger, more flawed, and more relatable Professor X; compared to the older but wiser Patrick Stewart version of Xavier. Meanwhile, Fassbender provided possibly the most heartbreaking backstory in comics and X-Men media with his character’s upbringing in Auschwitz and the death of his family. Both actors did phenomenal jobs portraying these characters, especially after the two that came previous, and both should continue to play their respective roles in the future of the MCU.
Storm: Amandla Stenberg
Debuting in the role of Rue in The Hunger Games, and starring as Starr Carter in The Hate U Give, Amandla Stenberg would be a great, long-term (only 22 years old) addition to a new generation of MCU X-Men films, bringing the Queen of the weather, Storm, to life. And as an activist, Stenberg would be ideal in a role that symbolizes activism and Mutant Civil Rights.
Wolverine: Daniel Radcliffe
An already popular fan casting, Daniel Radcliffe would be the ideal actor to play Wolverine in the MCU X-Men films. Most known for his iconic role as Harry Potter, Radcliffe has grown into quite an actor, with his most acclaimed film in Swiss Army Man, and his upcoming role as Weird Al Yankovic in the Yankovic biopic. He would also be a more comic-accurate portrayal of the gruff X-Man.
In the source material, Wolverine is a 5’ 3” Canadian ball of fury; and his first portrayal by Hugh Jackman was the exact opposite (Jackman is Australian and 6’ 3”). Radcliffe is smaller, coming in at 5’ 5”, and is English. Of course, anyone coming after Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine will have huge shoes to fill, but there are good expectations that Radcliffe can fill those shoes.
Scott Summers: Shameik Moore
A charismatic, earnest young actor, Shameik Moore has the presence and charm to play Scott Summers, also known as Cyclops. Most known for his voice performance as Miles Morales in Into the Spiderverse, Moore has other, equally good roles in Dope and Cutthroat City. The emotion and passion Moore puts into his roles makes him an ideal casting choice for Cyclops.
Jean Grey: Kaitlyn Dever
With multiple best actress nominations from the Golden Globes and other reputable establishments at just 25-year-old, Kaitlyn Dever should be one of the top choices to play Jean Grey (Phoenix) in the MCU. With a filmography consisting of Booksmart, J. Edgar, and Dear Evan Hansen, Dever was named as one of the top-ten actors to watch by Variety. She should be in some level of consideration for the role.
Nightcrawler: Timothée Chalamet
Maybe the number one up-and-coming actor, Timothée Chalamet (at just 26) has some of the more high profile roles under his belt, including Paul Atreides in the
Denis Villeneuve flick Dune. Though not German, Chalamet certainly has the acting abilities (and the hair) to put in a great performance as Kurt Wagner.
Beast: John Boyega
One of the standout stars from the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and one of the more loved, John Boyega could bring the blue-haired scientist known as Beast to life for Marvel Studios. Winner of the BAFTA Rising Star award, along with Trophée Chopard from the Cannes Film Festival, Boyega has the acting ability and experience to play Dr. Henry McCoy. Wth his age and experience, Boyega could potentially be the mentor for this new (and young) X-Men team.
There’s still quite a bit of time before Marvel Studios begins production and casting for their future X-Men films, which means any casting rumors and such would all be speculation until confirmed. Nonetheless, above are just a few of the talented actors and actresses who should be in consideration to play the X-Men in the MCU.
Fantastic Four: Who Should Play Them in the MCU?
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