Posted by Rande Iaboni on March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm
While as of late superhero/comic book films are pretty much apart of the norm, back in 2000 there was a little movie called ‘X-Men’ directed by Bryan Singer that essentially revitalized the genre. After the success of the Stan Lee adaptation, multiple superhero franchises followed suit, including ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Iron Man,’ ‘The Hulk,’ and more. While 2000’s ‘X-Men’ was not the greatest comic book movie, it certainly had some amazing moments. What stood out the most was the fantastic cast it boasted, including the likes of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin and more, and keep in mind all of the actors I just mentioned have been nominated (or have even won) for Academy Awards.
Then came Singer’s follow-up ‘X2: X-Men United’ which not only kept the heart of the original but brought in even more character development and upped the action ante. It is to this day my favorite comic book film. The cast only got stronger in their roles and actors like Alan Cumming and Brian Cox were added to the mix. Unfortunately, then came the tragedy that is X-Men: The Last Stand. After Bryan Singer left the series, Brett Ratner (of ‘Rush Hour’ fame…) signed on as director and completely changed the franchise. Not only did he completely miss the heart of the series (X-Men has always been a metaphor for homosexuals/or any minority group seeking acceptance), but he killed off major characters in disrespectful and uneventful ways. Despite making a boatload of money the X-Men franchise was as good as dead (like most of its characters).
Thankfully, in 2011, Michael Fassbender (the director originally attached to X-Men: The Last Stand) signed on for the prequel, ‘X-Men: First Class’ which stayed in continuity with the original trilogy but re-cast everyone as younger versions of the characters. This seemed like an extremely risky move but in the end it paid off tremendously with Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, and Jennifer Lawrence knocking it out of the park thanks to gripping action and more importantly, a ton of emotional heart to the story. And with that, the X-Men franchise was back! Talks of a sequel immediately began after ‘First Class’s release and it seems like every month since then there has been a huge update on the film. Regarding what you ask? The CAST of course.
While the X-Men films have always had extremely large ensemble casts, it is safe to assume this upcoming prequel/sequel/whatever definitely takes the cake for most outrageous movie. With Bryan Singer on as director it was pretty obvious some familiar faces would return. Singer clearly has an attachment to his original cast but also when the title was revealed as ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ it was a huge clue to fans of the original comics. It deals heavily with time travel and features many X-Men travelling from the future into the past and vice versa. Therefore, this was a perfect opportunity to blend the casts of the original trilogy with ‘First Class.’ But how many A-list actors are we looking at here? Well let’s list them shall we?
From the X-Men: First Class returning cast we have officially confirmed Michael Fassbender as Magneto, James McAvoy as Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult as Beast.
From the original X-Men trilogy, it was assumed there would be a few cameos here and there, but according to Bryan Singer’s official twitter page, it looks like we can expect to see Ian McKellen as Magneto, Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Halle Berry as Storm, Anna Paquin as Rogue, Shawn Ashmore as Iceman, and Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde.
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) has also signed on for an unspecified role…
DAMN that’s a cast! Do I have some concerns? You bet your ass I do, has any film had this many characters to balance? Now like I said, X2: X-Men United boasted one of the largest casts in recent memory and Bryan Singer did a fantastic job so if anyone could do it it’s him. Not to mention the recent ‘Avengers’ film which also included an impressive roster of actors managed to get it just right. But how much screen time can all of these characters get? While I am desperately looking forward to seeing scenes with the young and old Magneto and Professor Xaviers, respectively, I do wonder how this will affect the quality of the film. Can they fit it all in? And do we really need to see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine AGAIN? The man is incredible in the role, but every time he shows up it becomes Wolverine’s movie, and it was nice to have a break from that in ‘First Class.’
While it may sound like I am being very negative now, fear not, I have a lot of faith, it’s just the X-Men series is very dear and near to my heart. But I will try to remain positive and trusting of Bryan Singer until I hear otherwise!
What do you think of this cast Banters? Does it have you nervous or excited?