The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is finally going to be whole now that mutants and the X-Men Can unite with their comic cousins The Avengers and beyond. It’s an exciting prospect for me. The X-Men were always my super hero team-ups of choice growing up. No other comic book in the Marvel universe or any other universe mattered half as much.
There were a lot of fantastic casting choices in the Fox film adaptations. Some of them were an unexpected surprise (Hugh Jackman), and others were a fangirl’s dream come true (Patrick Stewart), but for this particular fangirl, the women of the film’s weren’t given the same level of care and attention. Neither their casting nor their storylines were executed as well as their male co-stars.
Maybe it was just a sign of the times, or getting the most out of the name draw of certain actors and characters, but I, for one, would like a recast and a retelling. With a little luck, I just might get it!
Rogue – Kristen Stewart
The 2001 depiction of the steel magnolia was way off book for fans. Rogue was my favorite character growing up and I would love her story to be a focus in cinematic adaptations going forward, and to be more true to her origins. Rogue has a spectacular story that leads her from being a pawn of Mystique and The Brotherhood to doing good at the X-mansion. It deserves to be explored, and tied in to Captain Marvel’s story, where it belongs, rather than derailed by Wolverine’s journey.
No one has more reason to sulk than the untouchable mutant Rogue, and no one can glower their way through pensive cinematic roles like Kristen Stewart. Stewart would be a dynamite choice for the tough-as-nails, soft-hearted, southern belle. The star isn’t the least bit afraid to do bold things to her hair, and was born with the bewitching green eyes and dark, tousled waves that make Rogue’s deadly touch so irresistible.
Mystique – Milla Jovovich
Mystique wasn’t given much more to do than some cartwheels in the first few X-Men films, which is a shame because fans of the comic know how manipulative the villainess can be. The later films did well bringing more dimension to Mystique with Jennifer Lawrence, but the Hollywood heavyweight hasn’t expressed much interest in continuing with the character. I’d love to see the role go to Milla, and watch her bring Mystique’s scheming darkness to the fore.
Milla Jovovich is a gorgeous dynamo who is age appropriate for Rogue’s foster mother, and the master of magnetism’s main squeeze. She has the hypnotic blue eyes, auburn hair, and the acrobatic ability. The perfect being of The Fifth Element and titular badass of the Resident Evil series would be a spectacular fit for the blue skinned, shape shifting, femme fatale, Raven Darkholme.
Storm – Naomie Harris
Orphan. Urchin. Thief. Vessel. Goddess. Mutant. Leader. Queen. Storm is one of the most powerful and inspiring characters in the Marvel universe. Until earlier this year I had known exactly who I wanted for the role for most of my life. No one other than Queen Ramonda of Wakanda, Angela Bassett, could bring the weather warping Ororo Munroe to life as I envisioned her, not even Halle Berry. But Black Panther had other plans, and so mine must change. Not that I’m complaining.
Bond girl, Naomie Harris, first wowed me as the sorceress Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest. She has an impressive career, all the way up to her award nominated role in Moonlight. The beautiful and talented Naomie could easily ensnare the heart of King T’challa, should a crossover arise (it totally should!), and I’ll bet a Moneypenny that she could lead an entire team of super humans in a flash of lightning.
Jean Grey – Rebecca Hall
I have no desire to sit through a rushed version of the Phoenix Saga for a third time, but Jean is an incredibly powerful mutant, and there’s more than one interesting X-Men storyline that places the redhead at its nucleus. I actually loved Famke Janssen’s darker portrayal of the telepath, and I’m a big fan of both Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain for the role, so I had a hard time finding an appropriate recast. I finally settled once I looked outside the requisite hair color.
I love Rebecca Hall. Tragically her villainess role in Iron Man 3 was minimized, but her outstanding performance in Professor Marsden and the Wonder Women leads me to believe she wants to play a complex superheroine. Her beauty lends itself to the maternal, sensitive image of Jean that I grew up with. Anyone walking into a character that has had as many identities as Jean has over the years, should have some serious ability, and I certainly trust Rebecca Hall to deliver.
Shadowcat – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Kitty Pryde is sunny and fun, she’s feminine and freewheeling, a total girl next door. She’s the most approachable of all the X-Men, but is also scrappy, resourceful, and invaluable on any covert mission. While the circumstances of the Days of Future Past storyline can account for a gloomy Kitty, the films didn’t really show her as we know her best, so the essence of the character and the significance of the change in her was completely lost. Her role as the time traveler was also inexplicably given to Wolverine.
Shadowcat has grown up a lot over the years and has had many roles in a variety of Marvel comics but there is still a girlishness to her that is irrepressible. Mary Elizabeth Winstead can certainly play the cool girl we saw her as in Scott Pilgrim VS. The World, and there’s evidence from her roles on the series Fargo and the last few Die Hard films that she can also be bubbly and a bit of a badass. For me, she’s the real deal.
Psylocke – Sonoya Mizuno
You wouldn’t know it from her parts in any of the X-Men movies so far, but Psylocke is a British woman in a Japanese body. The sister of Captain Britain, Betsy Braddock was kidnapped, trained in martial arts by the Hand, and brain swapped with a woman named Kwannon who resided in her former image as Revanche. The pair used their telepathic abilities to merge the memories and skills of both women, into both bodies.
Betsy is torn between two identities and cultures, so whomever steps into the role should be able to identify with that perspective. That is why Sonoya Mizuno would be sheer perfection as Psylocke. Her own heritage embodies both of Psylocke’s dueling identities, and her training as a ballet dancer provides the needed grace and precision during fight choreography to make for some exciting action scenes.
Jubilee – Chloe Bennet
Some X-Men fans have a tough time getting excited about Jubilee. She’s mostly remembered as an annoying brat with seemingly useless powers we tolerated on our Saturday morning cartoon binge. It might be why they gave the character’s friendship with Wolverine to Rogue in the early films. Gradually though, I came to appreciate the kid just as Logan did. Jubilee had to grow up fast in the X-mansion. It took some time for her to trust her adopted family, and process the constant traumas incurred in a superheroes life.
I don’t care that Chloe Bennet already has a job in the Marvel realm as one of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The young actress is a dead ringer for the gum popping, eye rolling Chinese American teenager. Even in her adult career she is brash, opinionated, and challenges authority. She is the Jubilee we all know incarnated into real life, so she has totally, like, got this.
The women of the X-Men are all fascinating characters with riveting storylines that focus upon them. Any one of these ladies could help bring balance to the highly masculine focus of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know how much representation matters, and I feel like these women could represent these characters with astonishing and uncanny excellence.
What did you think of our choices? Were they too A-list for you, or spot on? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Marvel Comics, Kristen Stewart, Milla Jovovich, Naomie Harris, Rebecca Hall, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sonoya Mizuno, Chloe Bennet.