Thursday, May 3, 2012

X-Men Second Grade: We need a leader!

Casting the mighty Cyclops in the First Class sequel
Who will play the elder Summers's bother?  Also, look at his chin.  Memorize it....thank me later.
X-men First Class was one of those movies that left people wanting more.  Not entirely in a bad way, either.  Yes, it had it's issues, but it also had a ridiculously rushed production schedule.  You can't make an incredible film with people breathing down your neck, caring more about how fast you get something done, rather than how well it gets done.  Despite this, Matthew Vaughn did an incredible job with his X-men story.  Seeing mistakes in the first one only made me want to see them fixed in a sequel, and we will be getting that sequel.

A time will come when I'll write about who they've cast, what story they might be using, who the villains are, and all that jazz.  For now, I want to focus on something specific.  Although Xavier is technically the "leader" of the X-men, there has always been someone else who led the team into the field, trained a lot of new mutants, and has been someone to look up to.  Cyclops.

In the somewhat-current X-men franchise, Cyclops was played by James Marsden.  After being cast, James said he didn't know a lot about the character, and boy was that evident in the movies... Cyclops to him was apparently a moody, pissy, little girl who couldn't do anything.  Cyclops is supposed to be reliable, strong-willed, and although unsure of his leadership abilities at times, a great leader.

X-men First Class features Alex Summers, also known as Havok.  He's played by Lucas Till.  A little-known fact to the general population is that Alex is Scott Summer's (Cyclops) younger brother.  The movies have done an excellent job giving themselves a gateway to bringing in Cyclops.  Charles can no longer go out into the field, and needs a strong leader for his team.  No one he has is really leadership potential, and he is also short a couple mutants.  His current lineup is Beast, Havok, Banshee...and that's it.  Kind of sad.  From that, we can expect to see a few female mutants show up.  How will this play out?  It's hard to tell.  Cerebro was destroyed, so recruiting will be very difficult for the X-men.  They do have a connection to Scott Summers though, and at a time where they have trouble finding mutants, and need a team leader, Cyclops can be that guy.  Now the only question that remains, is who to play him?  Here's a few of my options, let me know what you think!

Jensen Ackles

Sunglasses, the only thing that can stop Cyclops' eye-beam
Why?  Well, look at that picture for one.  He's got the look.  Once you have that, you've completed 90% of the work.  James Marsden failed to accomplish the other 10%, which is character.  Jensen is a fairly versatile actor, who can play a "tough-guy" role, while still holding a sense of honor and leadership.  You see a bit of this in Supernatural.

Why not?  Although no stranger to superhero cinema, Jensen seems to be a DC guy.  Should this exclude him from acting in a Marvel franchise? No.  We just know where his loyalties probably lie.  He did great work in Smallville, and was a great voice actor in Batman: Under the Red Hood.  He's mostly a TV actor, and hasn't exactly impressed on the big screen yet.  Another reason why not is that I feel he lacks the stage presence to really BE Cyclops.  You need to stand out among normal men, and he doesn't really have that spark.  He's also too old to be playing a younger version of cyclops, at 34 years of age.

Somehow nobody seems
to remember him.....
Tim Pocock

Why?  You X-men fans might be saying to yourself, "Hey, he looks familiar..."  The reason for that is that Tim has already played Cyclops in a film.  X-men Origins: Wolverine, featured a younger Cyclops being taken captive by Sabertooth and Striker.  Besides already playing Cyclops, and doing a good job looking like a younger version, I have no idea what he's capable of.  If you know a little more about this actors capabilities, feel free to post in our comments section!

Why not?  I just kind of covered this, but again, we don't know what he can do.  He's been in mostly TV stuff since Origins, and has done a lot with the show Dance Academy.  Besides that, we haven't really seen him in action.  He also looks a lot more like Lucas Till's younger brother, as opposed to the elder sibling.

He'll fit your girlfriend's role though....
Alex Pettyfer

Why?  Well, he's in crazy good shape, he's huge, he's gorgeous, he can play a serious role well, and can also play a role where he has a lot of power and responsibility and struggles with it (I Am Number 4).  He's the right age, and looks a lot like and older sibling to Till.  Again, fairly untested in acting skill, but up-and-coming talent who really looks the part.

Why not?  He's a little too "pretty boy" for my liking.  Alex does a lot of modeling, and may be a little plastic.  Do I know that for sure?  No.  More than anything else though I still don't see him having the leadership spark that I want.  Remember, we're casting someone who's going to play a huge role in the future of the X-men franchise...

Chris Pine

Left: Chris Pine. Right: Cyclops wearing laser-proof contacts
Why?  Again, the look.  The picture basically shows that he's got an awesome look for a more rugged Cyclops.  He's also proven himself in a leadership role as Jim Kirk in Star Trek.  Pine is approximately the right age, maybe a little older, but since when has that mattered much when playing a younger role?  Pine is a capable and versatile actor, who I believe has the right aura about him to step into the shoes of Cyclops.  On top of that, he also looks a lot like an elder sibling of Lucas Till.  They both have that southern-boy thing going, and have the same chin...

Why not? The biggest thing is age.  He may be too old to play the role.  Pine is also a little too comedic in some of his acting, so we might not get as serious of a Cyclops as we want.  I think he's definitely able to play the serious role though, as seen in some of his other films (Unstoppable).

My verdict:

If it wasn't clear already, I would cast Chris Pine as Cyclops.  Of all the actors I looked at, including some not mentioned here, I think he's the only one with the talent, the look, and the right vibe to play the leader fo the X-men.  Second place for me would be Alex Pettyfyr, but there's another role I'd rather see him fill, and I don't think it'd be wise to have him be in two movies with Jennifer Lawrence.  That's just too much sexy for the world to handle.

Those who didn't make the cut:
Tom Hardy
Garret Hedlund
Matthew Fox
Aaron Johnson
Chase Crawford
Brandon Routh

Remember all these casting ideas are purely out of my own head and don't reflect the (non-existent) casting rumors for any X-men sequels.  Don't go tell all your friends that these are actual names being considered, or that Cyclops is for sure making an appearance in the next movie.

Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman,


1 comment:

  1. I'd be pretty okay with Alex Pettyfyr to play Scotty. I mean, the First Class sequel can ease him into the role, and I'm pretty sure they'll make a third (plus loads of solo films). This would give him more than enough time to take ownership of the role and do something great with it, then once his solo project comes (if it does...), he'll be ready. Or at least, should be... 


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