For this movie pitch, Ari, the writer of the series, will be throwing in his own ideas for the franchise. With him we have Joe, a new writer for ComicBook Debate, they’ll be pitching X-Men movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ari: So to start off, what do you see as a line-up for your X-movie?
Joe: Cyclops, Jean, Beast, Jubilee, Pyslocke, Storm, and Nightcrawler.
Ari: Interesting lineup, can I ask where Jubilee fits in on there?
Joe: I’ve always loved her, especially in the cartoon series. I want to see what someone could do with her character, plus you cant go wrong with more representation.
Ari: Ah, fair enough, I personally would put Kitty Pryde in her place, and I see your point when it comes to representation.
Joe: I’d want Rogue, Kitty, and Bobby to be in a sequel.
Ari: Yeah, a shifting roster is a great idea for the X-Men. In my idea, I’d start off with Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, and Beast, the original 5.
Joe: Angel’s a good idea, they haven’t gotten him quite right yet.
Ari: Yeah, and I just love the originals, you can’t beat the classics, although I do agree with your point about representation, which is why when I’d personally look to cast outside of the canon races for the original 5, since times have changed since the point in which the team was created.
Joe: It’s a nice thing to touch upon, especially with the X-Men.
Ari: And on that topic, who do you think you’d cast in the roles?
Joe: Well, I have Jason Isaacs as Xavier, Garrett Hedlund as Cyclops, Riley Keough as Jean Grey, Kylie Bunbury as Storm, Diego Luna as Nightcrawler, Liu Yifei as Jubilee, Adepero Oduye, and Joseph Gordon Levitt as Beast.
Ari: Those are some out-there picks, can’t say I’m familiar with most of your cast, but I guess making them household names is what Marvel does best.
Joe: That’s what I was going for, yeah.
Ari: I don’t really have castings for my team other than Giancarlo Esposito as Charles Xavier, but, we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, since we’re talking about the MCU X-Men, the obvious question arises: How do you introduce mutants into the MCU?
Joe: Well, I really didn’t want to be generic and say something like ‘Multiverse!’ or ‘Quantum Realm’. So I see it more as a plague, so after the snap, or if they reverse it, they have other ripple effects, which would be creating mutants. Sort of like how in the Flash show, time travel has impact as well.
Ari: That’s actually quite similar to my idea. I feel like people stretch too much to justify mutants existing, for some reason they think that mutants always needed to be here. But my main question is, why can’t they just now start appearing? Like in the comics, Wolverine and Apocalypse appeared before, but the big boom came recently.
Ari: And to tie it into the universe better, my idea uses the cosmic energies coming off of the Gauntlet, which would kick-start the next step in human evolution: mutants. So, few had appeared before, but now more and more are popping up.
Joe: People think you need some long, complicated explanation, but you really don’t.
Ari: Yeah, so, moving on, let’s go into villains. The X-Men have a fantastic villains gallery, so I’m interested in your choice for the villains of the first movie.
Joe: I’d go with Mister Sinister, he’s new, different, and you could do some really cool stuff with him.
Ari: Good choice, I’ve seen more than enough Magneto.
Joe: Yeah *laughs*, and I’d love Ralph Fiennes in the role.
Ari: That’s a great choice! Personally, I definitely have a list of villains I’d want to use, among them Apocalypse, Arcade, and Mojo.
Joe: I feel like Apocalypse isn’t a good idea for a first movie.
Ari: I definitely agree, in fact, I think he has potential to be a Thanos-level threat, which needs build-up.
Joe: Yeah, that’s a great idea.
Ari: And Mojo would be great, but I feel like he fits a sequel better, which I’ll get to, but the villains I settled on are the Purifiers, based on Nick Spencer’s Ultimate versions, which are these religious extremists who use pieces of Sentinels as weapons. See, I feel like Fox missed a big opportunity with the Purifiers, they took the name of their leader, and made him some regular military guy.
Joe: I noticed that, it was a weird choice.
Ari: So I’d merge that with God Loves, Man Kills, which is an iconic X-Men story that deals with the religious angle of mutants, so through that I’d introduce Nightcrawler.
Joe: That’s an interesting direction to go.
Ari: So right off the bat you’re squashing all the worries that Marvel’s too afraid to go “real” with the characters, while at the same time introducing interesting villains, adapting famous storylines, and introducing a fan, and personal, favourite character. Plus look how cool Ultimate Stryker looks…
Joe: I do actually like the sound of that a lot.
Ari: Yeah, so, going forward, I’d use Mojo, and have the team from the first movie, now featuring Nightcrawler, get captured and thrown in Mojoworld, where they’d need to fight for their lives constantly. So to rescue them, Xavier assembles an entirely new team, which would be similar to the All-New, All-Different team from the comics, so you’d have Storm, Sunfire, Banshee, and a few others, I’d also include Kitty, who I think would fit great in a Spider-Man movie as a student before she discovers her powers.
Joe: I definitely like that Kitty idea…
Ari: And like I said, I think Apocalypse deserves an event movie, similar to Infinity War. Not saying the Avengers should be brought in, but maybe some cool choices like the Eternals to tie into Apocalypse’s connection to the Celestials, which the Eternals share.
Joe: I’d go for Magneto and the Brotherhood for the sequel, but I’d want Arcade as a big bad for that movie, so they have to team up against him.
Ari: That’d be a very unique story, I personally love Arcade.
Joe: Same, huge fan of his.
Ari: And any idea who your Brotherhood would be?
Joe: Juggernaut, Mystique, Sabretooth, and obviously Magneto to lead. Then eventually I’d want to lead into the big bad that you mentioned, Apocalypse is a great choice, but I’d also consider Onslaught.
Ari: It’s funny that for big bads, we didn’t even consider the Phoenix Force. I feel like since Jean’s Phoenix has been done twice now, poorly, but still, Marvel would be hesitant to do it again.
Joe: I can see that…
Ari: Which is why I’d personally introduce the Dark Phoenix through the Phoenix Five, which came from the Avengers vs X-Men event. So you have that idea of the power being split among them, and as each one falls, the rest get more power, until you’re left with the one Dark Phoenix, who would be Jean in this case. So I feel like it could still work, really well actually.
Joe: That would be really cool.
Ari: And of course, we’re both huge fans of Scott Summers, Cyclops, so what do you think the past movies did wrong that you’d do differently?
Joe: I just think they had no idea how to utilize his versatility, especially from an actor like James Marsden. I think Cyclops is a character you need to get right. Although I do still have love for Marsden’s portrayal.
Ari: Honestly, I don’t think Fox was ever interested in making Scott interesting.
Joe: I’d agree, which is fine, just not all the time…
Ari: I don’t think so, I think sidelining him is unfair considering how long he’s been the leader of the team in the comics.
Joe: For sure.
Ari: And I think Scott would make a great protagonist, because a lot of Marvel heroes are these lovable smartasses with hearts of gold, but Scott’s a lot more bitter with life and it’d be a nice change of pace.
Joe: I totally agree, Scott would be a great lead character.
Ari: So, before we wrap up, I have one question, what do you think the X-Men- or mutants in general- can add to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Joe: I think mainly, it’s fresh characters, stories, and more diversity as a whole.