This post was republished on 7/23.
We are about to spend a whole lot of time speculating about both which X-Men Marvel is going to bring into the grand reboot of the mutants for the MCU, and more importantly, which actors are going to be playing them.
Across an endless amount of FOX movies, one thing those films almost always got right, especially the early ones, was their casting, whether that’s iconic portrayals of Professor X by Patrick Stewart, Magneto by Ian McKellan, or Wolverine by Hugh Jackman.
I’ve heard some early rumblings about casting, like Kingsman’s Taron Egerton trying to get in the running for Wolverine, but today is the first time I’ve heard a rumor that genuinely sounds exciting.
Giancarlo Esposito as Charles Xavier, anyone?
The Better Call Sall/Breaking Bad actor is trending on social media thanks to rumors that appear to have sprung out of thin air that he may be announced as playing Professor X during SDCC itself, attached to an addition casting rumor that Top Gun Maverick’s Glen Powell could be playing Scott Summers/Cyclops.
Again, I cannot find anything resembling a worthwhile source as the rumors almost seem self-sustaining, like fans are willing this to life, but it’s certainly not that wild of a concept. Esposito is an immensely talented actor, and I would be amazed if Kevin Feige would not A) want to get him into the MCU somehow and B) trust him with a massive role like Xavier, given his talent. Esposito also already has a relationship with Disney through his work as the main villain Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian. I think the idea here would be that at long last, he’d get to play a prominent heroic role as opposed to the villains we know him for, and it’s easy to imagine him sliding into Xavier’s chair.
Further rumors say that the MCU X-Men reboot will simply be called “The Mutants,” and will be part of the phase 5 kick-off down the road. Even though the MCU has already done a fun nod to the FOX universe bringing back Professor X for Multiverse of Madness, I would absolutely expect a total recasting of every mutant role, and I’m guessing they’ll skew younger. Glen Powell would be a 33 year old Cyclops, but looks younger, and the rest of the squad could follow suit.
Again, we have absolutely nothing to prove that these rumors will pan out, but the logic behind a Giancarlo Esposito Professor X turn is solid, particularly with Better Call Saul about to wrap its final season. We’ll see what happens at the show itself soon enough.
Update (7/23): I wanted to post a bit of hate mail I got about this article, which will be a precursor to the reaction coming if Esposito is actually cast. You can probably guess what it’s about:
“No, I’m tired of characters being changed for diversity, while people complain about characters being whitewashed, like the Ancient One. Leave characters as they were originally created by their creators, social justice warriors and tourists like you have no business changing characters you had no bearing in their creation. It’s time for you comic book MOVIE fans to find another fad and move on to that one to destroy, leaving comics alone. Tourist…”
The idea here is that Charles Xavier is traditionally white and a black version of him would be a “social justice warrior” move. This is, of course, very stupid, but it’s also kind of timely, given that a current story going around is Jessica Alba commenting that Marvel movies have remaining overwhelmingly Caucasian since she first starred in Fantastic Four, which is true. Because most superheroes were invented by white men, they are white men, and we have not seen many “race flips” before this. So maybe it’s about time for some, given that in the upcoming era of the X-Men, shocker, most of the biggest heroes and villains are again, all white. So a black Professor X? Yeah, I’d say we’ve more than earned that at this point, and I fully believe the opposite of what’s been said above.
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