In the ever-evolving landscape of fandom, there are simply some things that should not have happened. In Retcon This!, we examine some of the more questionable aspects of our beloved geek properties.
This is it. This is the lowest point of my writing career and not-so-secret life as a fanboy: Hating a movie way before I’ve seen any frame or production stills picture from. I blame the people of Fox, Executive Producer Bryan Singer and Director Matthew Vaughn. Marvel Entertainment too, for letting Fox continue with this debacle.
Where shall I begin? Okay, the premise of the film is great: Focus on the early days of the X-Men and prior to that, the friendship between young, future rivals Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr. A possible reboot with a big focus on the first five students to join Prof. Xavier’s merry little squad? The loves, tragedies and disputes to break the two idealistic personas? Yes, please. The casting of James McAvoy (Wanted, The Last King of Scotland) as Xavier and Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds) was brilliant. The thing I didn’t like was the casting race with every Hollywood teen heartthrob as a young X-Man, mostly for the role of Cyclops. But I could live with that as long as the casting would’ve been satisfying, and most of all — the film; but that I will only know in a year or so. Sadly, as things turned out by now, I’m too pissed off to be able to enjoy it.
Awhile ago Rosamund Pike (Surrogates) was rumored to be playing Emma Frost. Later it was changed to Xavier’s former Scottish lover and mutant expert, Dr. Moira MacTaggert. Now it is rumored that Rose Byrne (Damages) will take the role of Moira. I won’t mind seeing of the actresses in that role. Alice Eve (Crossing Over), whom I’ve never heard about before, was then linked to the role of Emma. Until two days ago, when January Jones (Mad Men) was announced as the woman to take on that role.
Now, most of you know of my love for Mad Men. I even had a crush on Jones (or rather, her character Betty Draper). By Season 4 (now on AMC, Sundays) I loathe Betty. Jones proved to be a one note actress (if at all) by giving one of the worst performances ever on Saturday Night Live last year. Sure, she’s no comedian, but it shed some light on her acting skills at large. At least… she looks perfect for the part.
However, this is just one minor gripe. What would you say about the casting of Jason Flemyng (Stardust) – a great performer in my opinion – as Azazel, Nightcrawler’s satanic father according to the “classic” story arc, “The Draco“? Sounds like a waste of an actor on a lame character. It’s like hiring John Makovich to play Jar Jar Binks.
So farm it seems that other than Hank McCoy/Beast no other original students (or at least the ones we know as the original students) will be featured in the movie. Take Angel (Warren Worthington III) for example; according to the casting list announced so far, the blond, tormented rich boy with wings will be played by Lenny Kravitz’s daughter, Zoe. Yep, Angel is now a black girl.
Okay, I’m kidding (not about the casting part). For those who’re not familiar with X-Men history, Angel Salvdore was created in late 2001 by Grant Morrison in his finest run. She was a black/hispanic girl who developed the abilities of a butterfly (along with the nasty cocoon period) and was abused by her father, until Wolverine saved her. What she has to do with Xavier’s first team of gifted kids? Beats me.
Same question could be asked about Darwin, to be played by Edi Gathegi (House, M.D.). Or Banshee. Right now, the only possibility I can think of is that all these characters – originally introduced way later in the X-Men continuity – will form Xavier and Erik’s first team, a project that will go downhill when most of the kids will find their deaths, just like Xavier’s secret team from Deadly Genesis. That’s not really a bad idea, if not for two problems:
1. The use of characters that shouldn’t be part of the story by that point.
2. Looks like they’re about to put Alex Summers/Havok in the role of his third, unknown brother Gabriel/Vulcan, as one of two survivors (alongside Darwin) of the X-Men’s first, horrible mission. From there, he’ll probably emerge as an antagonist to Xavier’s second team. Or maybe I’m wrong and he’ll die, thus making Xavier feel he’s obliged to use Alex’s brother Scott in his next team, in order to put him in danger too protect the boy.
Still, Azazel?! What the frak??
oh, wait, the retcon… Hmmm… How about Fox give up on the rights to this franchise and let Marvel do with the X-Men something good? We can’t forget the past and this installment is already in progress, so we can only hope it sucks so badly, the rights will revert back to the property’s rightful owners. Also, let’s make Azazel the new CEO of Fox. Even he won’t let this apparent debacle happen.