Actors We Want To See Play The Next X-Men

One of the most exciting things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is that just about any character from Marvel comics could possibly appear. There are movies about every corner of the Marvel universe, from "The Eternals" to "The Guardians of the Galaxy." One beloved superhero team that has yet to make the jump to the MCU is the X-Men, in large part because the rights were owned by 20th Century Fox until 2019. With the rights to the mutant team now over at Disney, it's only a matter of time before the X-Men join the MCU, and that means figuring out who to cast as Professor Charles Xavier and his strange superhero squad. 

Despite the fact that Hugh Jackman said that he would never re-don the claws, Jackman's back as Wolverine in the upcoming "Deadpool 3." Some of the rest of the previous cast from the other "X-Men" movies are pretty beloved, but it's unlikely that any of them will return besides Jackman. (Then again, Patrick Stewart returned as a version of Professor X for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," so all bets are off!) While there's almost no way to make every X-fan happy, there are some casting choices that could make for truly exceptional X-Men. Here are our picks for the original X-Men team and their proud Professor Xavier. After all, without Xavier to put the team together and guide them, the X-Men can't exist!

Jamie Dornan as Scott Summers/Cyclops

The leader of the X-Men is Scott Summers, who takes on the moniker of Cyclops due to the visor he has to wear in order to control his laser-beam eyes. Scott is a handsome, chiseled hero who follows a strict moral code. He was created by the legendary team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and was the first of the X-Men. Whoever plays Scott has to have that innate hero quality, the same kind of persona as someone who plays Superman or Captain America. 

Enter North Irish actor Jamie Dornan, who has proven that he can play both heroes and bad boys with aplomb. Fans might know him as the heroic Huntsman from "Once Upon a Time" or as the filthy rich and filthy minded billionaire Christian Grey in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" sequels, but he would make a pretty fantastic Cyclops. Not only does Dornan have the looks and the acting chops, but he's said in interviews that he is open to playing a hero or villain in the MCU, as long as they ask him. If Marvel President Kevin Feige wants the perfect Scott Summers to head up his team of mutant heroes, he just needs to ask!

Evan Rachel Wood as Jean Grey/Marvel Girl

Whoever plays Jean Grey, aka Marvel Girl, has their work cut out for them. Jean starts off as a strong-minded and big-hearted psychic with telekinesis, a protege to Professor Xavier who fights for justice and peace, but things don't stay so picture perfect. Jean is linked to an ancient force called the Phoenix, and its power inside her eventually causes her to become the Dark Phoenix, a terrifying and destructive demigoddess. While Disney probably won't tackle the Dark Phoenix story-line anytime soon because of the abysmal reaction to the "Dark Phoenix" Fox movie from 2019, it is something the performer who plays Jean will have to consider. 

If you need an actor who can play complex characters who achieve complicated godhood and look great with bright red hair, look no further than Evan Rachel Wood. Wood's performance on the HBO series "Westworld" is more than enough to cement her as a great Jean Grey, as she plays multiple versions of the same character. She can play sweet and innocent like writer Christina or ferocious killer god-bot like Dolores, and her time as Queen Sophie-Anne on "True Blood" displayed just how gorgeous she is in ginger. Wood also knows a thing or two about being a survivor and rising from the ashes, and the HBO documentary about her efforts to change sexual assault laws in California is even called "Phoenix Rising." If she's willing to put on the green spandex, she's perfect.

Winston Duke as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast

Next up, we have Dr. Hank McCoy, better known to many "X-Men" fans as the big blue Beast. McCoy is one of the smartest people in the whole world and is pretty mellow despite his appearance. In the comics, he started out as a massive man with hulking muscles, but he used one of his many PhDs to create a serum that would enhance his mutant genes, turning him into a big furry blue creature. Despite looking like one of the Wicked Witch of the West's flying monkeys on steroids, Hank is still a soft-spoken, mild-mannered scientist who is more interested in quoting Plato than he is doing any real fighting. He's capable as an X-Man on the battlefield, but he does his best work as the brains behind the team. 

In the "X-Men" films that already exist, Hank was played by Kelsey Grammar and Nicholas Hoult. Both of them were pretty great in the role and understood Hank's bizarre duality, but maybe it's time to move away from British guys for Beast. In fact, there's someone already intimate with Marvel that would be ideal: Winston Duke. Between his role as M'Baku in "Black Panther" and his performance in Jordan Peele's "Us," he's shown that he has the gravitas, gentle sense of humor, and physical power needed to bring Beast to life. Besides, no one would recognize him as M'Baku with all of that fur. 

Ryan Kwanten as Bobby Drake/Iceman

Another X-Men founding member that will need to be cast is Bobby Drake, better known as Iceman. Bobby originally didn't want to join the X-Men, but reluctantly agreed after he was nearly killed by locals who discovered his mutant powers. Bobby is bisexual, a bit of a smart-aleck, and best friends with Beast, helping to provide a bit of comic relief and round out the team. Iceman's powers involve — you guessed it — ice, and he can control and manipulate the temperature of water at will, using it to travel, fight, and protect his body. 

Shawn Ashmore played Bobby in the previous "X-Men" films, but an ideal Iceman for this generation might be "True Blood" star Ryan Kwanten. Kwanten not only has the good looks and snarky sense of humor down pat, but the Australian actor is also a surfer, which means that he would really know how to "surf" on ice as Bobby. Kwanten was recently fantastic in the horror film "Glorious," and would be a great addition to the MCU.

Diego Boneta as Warren Worthington III/Angel

Nobody likes a spoiled rich boy, but sometimes they do make for interesting superheroes. (Heck, just look at Batman!) While the X-Men come from varied backgrounds, none have had quite the good luck of Warren Worthington III, better known as Angel. The winged mutant was born into incredible wealth as the son of a millionaire, and he was given every opportunity to grow and succeed. The whole mutant element complicated things, of course, because people really freak out about genetic diversity, but he still managed to become a pretty decent superhero. Like Jean, he also has a dark version, Archangel, in which his feathered wings are metal instead, but that plot could be a few sequels off.

In the comics Warren looks like a cross between He-Man and a Ken doll, but what's important is that he's supposed to be distinguished and good-looking. "Scream Queens" star Diego Boneta has what it takes to embody the character and make him compelling, plus he would look great with a set of wings.

Giancarlo Esposito as Professor Charles Xavier

There cannot be X-Men without Professor X, and his casting might be the most important. Professor Charles Xavier is the man who brought together the X-Men and created the School for Gifted Youngsters, which gave children with mutant abilities a chance to grow up safely and happily. He's an idealist who believes in a better future for humans and mutants alike, and he's never willing to compromise his morals to get there. He's a powerful psychic and he mostly travels around via wheelchair after an accident left him unable to walk. Charles is the soul of the "X-Men" franchise, the beating heart around which it all revolves, and so his casting will influence everyone around him. 

Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy both did brilliant work as Professor X in their respective films, so Xavier's will be a tough role to fill. Thankfully, "The Boys" star Giancarlo Esposito has said that he wants to take on the role, and he's everything someone could ask for in a perfect Professor X: he's calm, collected, wise, and incredibly poised. While Esposito turned down a Marvel TV series, maybe it was because he was holding out for Professor X. Just imagine him with Cerebro, giving orders to the team with his cool, reassuring voice. 

With Jackman rounding things out as Wolverine and potentially handing the baton over to another, younger actor, the MCU X-Men are assembled ... at least in this fan-cast.