by Brett White
We’ve spent the last few weeks being bombarded with casting announcements for Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” The thing is, almost all of them have been for returning cast members from the previous three X-Men films. These actors will most likely be on the future side of the time-travel story, so it’s somewhat shocking that the past X-Men of 1973 are so under-represented. This is, at its core, a sequel to “X-Men: First Class,” but the classic returning actors outnumber the “First Class” cast two-to-one.
So far only James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are reprising their roles from “X-Men: First Class.” Of those four, only two of them (McAvoy’s Xavier and Hoult’s Beast) are even X-Men. With Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), Lucas Till (Havok) and Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee) still M.I.A., it looks like the classic X-Men are a dynamic duo. Who else could be on the team?
Looking at Bryan Singer’s Wall O’ Headshots, it appears as if there are as many as six key roles left to fill. We’ll assume that Fan Bingbing will be on the 1973 side of events as Blink. We’ll also add Omar Sy to the retro team, even though his character is a mystery. Of the characters we previously guessed he’d play, we’ll put on our Producer/Writer/Director cap and cast the French actor as the French Canadian Northstar. That leaves Booboo Stewart with the only other unidentified character. Taking into account that the actor is of Japanese, Chinese and Korean heritage, and “First Class’s” knack for using classic-yet-obscure characters like Havok and Banshee, we’ll hope to see Stewart as Sunfire.
This brings the 1973 X-Men count up to five: Professor X, Beast, Blink, Northstar and Sunfire. There are still six empty slots on Singer’s board, meaning that there’s still room for some other mutants to join young Xavier’s cause. Here are five characters that we think would fit in well with this team.
The Kentucky-born Samuel Guthrie can propel himself through air like a rocket via a thermo-chemical energy that his body generates. Trust us, the science is sound. If Banshee’s not on board for the sequel, then Cannonball gives the team a flying member that’ll also be visually interesting on the big screen. Sam’s good-natured and a natural born leader, even if he sometimes lets his trusting nature get the better of him. He would be a great “every man” addition to the team.
Tabitha Smith has gone by a few different monikers, including Boomer and Meltdown, but it’s Boom Boom that we really want to hear said aloud by McAvoy’s Xavier (perhaps accompanied by an eye roll). Boom Boom does a lot to illicit eye rolls, including her constant snark and knack for using the time bombs she creates in practical jokes. Like her name and powers imply, Boom Boom adds energy to any team she’s on. Dazzler could easily fulfill this role, but the film’s 1973 setting is too early for that character’s disco roots (and we wouldn’t want her wasted if a third film is set later in the ’70s).
The X-Men films have done well with more physical mutations, resulting in great-looking versions of Mystique, Nightcrawler and Beast. While he may be blue instead of green, we’d love to see what the makeup team could do with Victor Borkowski’s scales, spiked head carapace and prehensile tongue. Like Blink, Anole’s another character that X-Men fans have flocked to despite his comparative lack of prominence. Anole is also one of many LGBT teens in the Marvel Universe, none of which have been shown on the big screen.
It was kind of surprising just how enjoyable the teaching scenes were in “X-Men: First Class.” Yet in between the action and emotional drama, the lighthearted training montages came across as more fun than cliche. The Vietnamese hero possesses the power of mind control, which is similar enough to Xavier’s telepathy to provide some cool training sequences, yet different enough to lead to unexpected plot twists.
To sound like a broken record, Karma is one of the few out lesbians in the Marvel Universe and her inclusion would be fantastic. The “Days of Future Past” cast growing more diverse with every casting, so if one movie is going to have film’s first LGBT superhero, it should be this one.
Similar to Sunfire’s inclusion on this wish-list, we think Thunderbird would add the same kind of old-school charm that Banshee and Havok provided in “First Class.” John Proudstar, an Apache mutant possessed of heightened physical abilities, was part of the second generation of X-Men that debuted in 1975. His tenure alongside Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and the rest was cut short when he died tragically on the team’s second mission. While it was his younger brother, James, that eventually went on to have a lengthy career as a superhero, we think it would be great for this short-lived hero to live again in another medium.
Which mutants do you hope to see in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter!