Let’s face it – there was little to no hope that there weren’t going to be sweeping changes made to the X-Men as their MCU debut slowly approaches. If fans had their hearts set on seeing the X-Men even remotely like they used to be at Fox – I’m sorry to say it was never quite likely.
Although movie studios seem to be slowly coming back to their senses, we, unfortunately, have to put up with obnoxious puritans that will try to set the internet ablaze with ridiculous internet activism. While the MCU won the hearts of millions with their first round of storytelling – the later parts began to give way to various distracting agendas. Well, at least one or two of the films.
At this point, I believe it’s safe to expect the next phase of the MCU to be drastically different than the first. If the marketing choices behind Captain Marvel and the unnecessary emphasis on diversity in The Eternals says anything it’s – anything to follow will more than likely be of the same ilk.
The X-Men and the Fantastic Four will undoubtedly be like nothing we’ve seen before. That will be by design – not just political and ideological pandering. Marvel Studios’ boss Kevin Feige has no interest in retreading any ground that was previously ventured by the franchises’ past proprietors (and his former bosses).
This is probably why they’ll be basing much of their scripts on the Ultimate X-Men as opposed to the more traditional universe stories found in the main Marvel Comics universe. I expect an unconventional starting X-Men line-up, as well as changes to sexuality, gender, and races.
Which finally brings us up to the subject of today. One of the first rumored changes to the franchise surrounds the creator of the X-Men – Professor Charles Francis Xavier. Traditionally, Professor X is an unfathomably rich teacher, archaeologist, philanthropist, geneticist, and engineer. He’s also traditionally a white man.
For the better part of two-years there have been rumors that one or both Professor X and his rival/friend Magneto would most likely see changes to their character. As we spoke of earlier – it was inevitable. The only real question was – who? Well, we may have an answer.
As reported by Fortressofsolitude.co.za, Hollywood is whispering about the veteran actor Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandolorian, Revolution, Breaking Bad) taking up the role of the good Professor.
Let’s be honest about this – the site doesn’t appear to have any real source to speak of, so take this with a huge grain of salt. But seeing as Esposito is already on the Disney payroll – it does help his case. The Mouse likes to keep it all in the family.
When it comes to possibly problematic changes – this should be the least of our concerns. Other than observing tradition and canon – there’s nothing in Xavier’s past that says he cannot be a different ethnicity. Magneto, however, is another issue.
His character and motivations are deeply attached to a specific event in human history. How they plan to clear that hurdle is what interests me. The Holocaust and WWII are far too in the past to rationally be used as motivation for a character in the current year – unless someone’s powers are unceremoniously altered.
With the events of Avengers: Endgame, the MCU is now operating somewhere around the year 2023. That puts it, and the end of WWII, 78-years apart! While that point in history will be remembered by the world forever – the people that it personally actually effected number in mere handfuls today.
There’s also nothing that promises both men won’t see a change like this – I hope that those in charge respect the spirit of the characters and develop them with the respect and reverence that each deserves. I mean, at least do better than current-day Marvel Comics. No pressure.