X-Men-If it is not broke why fix it?
I’ve been a lifelong X-Men fan. I can’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t totally in love with the X-Men. It’s been a huge part of my life, it started off my love of superheroes, and I’ve been completely obsessed with the team for as long as I can remember.
So, when I heard that Marvel had finally bought out Fox, and hence had gained the rights back to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, I was overjoyed. I was ecstatic – finally, I could see my X-Men meet the Avengers for the first time – something I’ve been hoping for years.
And then, the fear hit. What if Marvel recast the X-Men? What if Kevin Feige decides to start from the beginning again? Completely reboot the X-Men, recast it and give it an understandable, simple timeline?
Quickly, I reassured myself, he wouldn’t start from the beginning. Everyone knows the X-Men premise, and he didn’t start the multi-rebooted Spider-Man from the beginning. It would be fine, it would be utterly fine. He hasn’t made a bad casting decision, I’ve loved everyone he’s ever cast (not including Iron Fist, which wasn’t his decision) everything was going to be fine, my X-Men would be absolutely perfect and would stay exactly the same.
But, it’s been in my mind constantly, and I’ve been worried about it for a long time. I even came up with a list of characters I wouldn’t mind being recast:
I liked his original actor, James Marsden (he was my first crush ever, that’s how long I’ve loved these films), but I wasn’t keen on his younger version.
I liked her younger version and her older version, but I wouldn’t be too concerned if she was recast.
I hate older Jean, I find her incredibly annoying. Her younger version, Sophie Turner, is great, she can stay.
I haven’t had much of a chance to get to know her, so if she was recast and given a bigger role, I wouldn’t be opposed to it at all.
Basically, anyone who wasn’t Charles, Erik, Logan, X23, Beast, Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus (Deadpool version), Cable or Mystique I was totally fine with them being recast for the reboot.
The News Breaks
But, then on the 5th of February, my fears started to become very, very real, in a double whammy casting announcement/interview.
In the morning, I found out that Legion is casting Harry Lloyd as Charles Xavier. I have no problem with Lloyd as an actor, he was great in Robin Hood and Doctor Who. But, to play Charles Xavier, when Patrick Stewart has publicly said that he would love to turn up in Legion to play the title character’s father? I started getting worried. I tried to reassure myself, that this is just for the show, that maybe Stewart and McAvoy were busy. Legion isn’t really part of the X-Men timeline anyway, they only ever mention Mutants, they don’t mention anything else to do with the X-Men world. It was fine, it was entirely fine, I’d pretend it was Patrick Stewart in Lloyd’s place and I’d be fine.
And then, in the evening, out came the worst news I’ve heard. The news that struck fear into my heart like nothing else ever could.
Kevin Feige is looking for a new Wolverine. He wants to cast someone else as Wolverine. He wants to get a new actor to play Wolverine. The only X-Men character to be played by one actor the whole way through its 17-year run. He wants to recast Hugh Jackman. It’s like trying to recast Iron Man. it’s not possible. Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, he embodies the role so well, I can’t imagine anyone else as Logan.
I know that he has given up the claws after Logan, but it’s only been two years. Maybe in, say, twenty, when everyone has had enough time to start to miss Logan, maybe. But not now, not when there are so many other X-Men characters to play with. Not when X23 is right there, ready to go.
My only hope here is in the wording from the interview. It’s done by the producer of the X-Men, who has been talking to Feige about the casting. The producer said that Feige is looking for a younger Wolverine. She doesn’t say Logan and doesn’t mention pronouns.
Could she possibly mean that they’re looking into using X23 instead? She’s certainly younger than Logan, as she is his daughter, which means she could last in the movies for a long time to come.
In my mind, there’s no-one else but Dafne Keene for the role. She nailed playing Laura Kinney perfectly. She was a perfect choice, and for me, she is the only option for the continuation of the Wolverine character. X23 has the same powers, the same claws, and she’s so similar to who Logan was at the beginning of his story. Lost and alone, and in need of the X-Men to understand who she was.
Also, it would keep to comic cannon as well. Laura takes on the mantle of Wolverine when Logan dies, she wears his uniform and uses his name in his honour, to keep him alive in some way. It would honour Hugh Jackman’s dedication to Logan, keep his character semi-alive, and keep the fans happy. Nobody will ever accept another Logan, it just won’t happen, especially two years after Logan’s last fight.
There would have to be some weird timeline fiddling to put Laura in with the X-Men, but with characters like Doctor Strange in the MCU, it could be done. It would save a massive backlash, keep Wolverine mantle going, and honour Hugh Jackman’s role sacred.
As for the rest of the X-Men cast, I would say to keep the ‘younger set’ from the more recent films. Everyone is used to them as the characters, they’ve all got great chemistry together, and it would make the transition a lot easier on the fans watching.
So, in conclusion, if I was Kevin Feige, I wouldn’t dare to try and recast anybody who’s played any X-Men character in more than two movies. I’d stick with the younger set of actors, and use X23 as Wolverine. Fans would be happy, there wouldn’t be a huge backlash from fans at another recasting and another timeline. It would be a simple transition over.
I just hope Feige comes to his senses and doesn’t recast these iconic characters, at least, not forever. I can’t do anything about the Legion casting, but, he needs to keep everyone else in the films the same. Spider- Man’s recasting worked, but I seriously doubt that he can find anybody as good as the current cast to replace the X-Men.
I’ll eat my House Of M comic if he does, but right now, I’m too skeptical to have any sort of hope in it.
Please, Kevin Feige, keep the X-Men the same, please. I’m begging you. You can’t top perfect casting. Just keep the same, please.