Big news this week for Marvel fans, as the merger between 20th Century Fox and the House of Mouse aka Disney has finally come to a close. We’re not even going to beat about the bush here: the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are finally coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in some form or other!
Marvel Comics’ biggest personalities aren’t just limited to the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy – there’s a whole world of big players from the Marvel Comics franchise distributed by Fox, and now that the merger has happened, it’s only a matter of time (some say by 2021) before these amazing and powerful characters will join the larger Marvel Studios tapestry.
Understandably, the issue of casting remains a huge question mark over these characters, should they be ported over to Marvel Studios. Quick fix for now: let’s assume these characters will still be portrayed by whoever last acted in them, just to put faces to names. We’ll let you decide for yourself if these guys should still reprise their roles in the MCU.
Without further ado, here are 10 Marvel characters from Fox that Disney should roll out the red carpet for!
1. Charles Xavier/Professor X
Currently portrayed by: James McAvoy
Last seen in: Dark Phoenix (2019)
Of the many mutants that will most likely feature among the X-Men in the MCU, Charles Xavier will most definitely be leading the line in the imaginations of many. The leader of the X-Men is a refined and eloquent figure, even in his youth, and McAvoy best exemplifies that.
Plus, as the leader of the School For Gifted Youngsters, he’s undoubtedly had multiple run-ins with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, usually for peacekeeping efforts. And as one of humanity’s visionaries, he’s also a member of the clandestine supergroup called the Illuminati, some of the members of which we’re all too familiar with.
Of course, the presence of old Prof. X (Patrick Stewart) will be missed, following his retirement from the role and increased focus on Star Trek, but we still have a proven performer in McAvoy, who seeks to bring us his best in the upcoming Dark Phoenix later this year.
And as long as the (currently) 40-year-old McAvoy is cast as Xavier in the next 20 years, he will still be younger or the same age as Stewart was, when the then 60-year-old took on the role of Charles back in 2000.
2. Erik Lensherr/Magneto
Currently portrayed by: Michael Fassbender
Last seen in: Dark Phoenix (2019)
You can’t include the dignified leader of the X-Men and not include his best friend-cum-archnemesis. Magneto is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and it would certainly be a crowd-pleaser if the Master of Metal were to make an appearance on the MCU. While it is sad to note that Sir Ian McKellen won’t be reprising his role anymore, like Patrick Stewart before him, Michael Fassbender has since embraced the role with open arms, and has captured many fans’ hearts with his heart-wrenching performances as the oft-misunderstood leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants.
Fun fact: in the (early) comic books, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver are his offspring, although that wasn’t exactly reflected in their on-screen counterparts. Of course, it would be more confusing than anything if we were to mix up Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda with Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, especially knowing that Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s rendition has already been killed off. But we digress.
3. Jean Grey/Phoenix
Currently portrayed by: Sophie Turner
Last seen in: Dark Phoenix (2019)
This Omega-level mutant’s power will be off the charts once Dark Phoenix hits this July, so naturally, we’re pumped to see her join the ranks of the MCU. With Jean Grey comes an omnipotent, all-consuming cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force. And with the Phoenix Force, you have the possibility of one of the biggest crossover stories in comic book existence – Avengers vs X-Men.
See where we’re getting here? So let’s assume the next wave of Marvel Studios movies once The Infinity Saga concludes this April will introduce an entirely new roster of Avengers, as well as the aforementioned X-Men, culminating in a potential AvX mega crossover movie. Of course, this will take probably another decade’s worth of buildup, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Back to Jean Grey, whose importance in Dark Phoenix is nucleous, indicating how crucial an entity such as the Phoenix Force will be should it get implemented in the MCU.
Sophie Turner, fresh from her final performances in Game of Thrones and the now-ending Foxverse, is an obvious choice to replicate her role as Jean Grey, and does seem like a natural fit among other young Marvel Studios starlets such as Tom Holland (Spider-Man).
Currently portrayed by: Hugh Jackman
Last seen in: Logan (2017)
This one is both a natural and a tricky fixture, especially on the silver screen. Wolverine is not just an X-Man, but also a fully-fledged Avenger, hence his inclusion in the MCU is a no-brainer for sure. Plus, his team-ups with the likes of Spidey have always been a popular pairing in comic books, especially with Logan’s gruff sarcasm blending so well with Peter Parker’s youthful euphemism.
Now, it’s important to note that, in the Fox continuum, Wolverine has already strode off into the horizon with his death in Logan, with his real-life counterpart Hugh Jackman walking away from the role completely. That said, however, the pulling power of Disney should never be underestimated, nor their creative license to always bring previously-dead characters back to life with just… a Snap.
…or was it Snikt!?
Currently portrayed by: Dafne Keen
Last seen in: Logan (2017)
If Spider-Man is the heart of Marvel, Wolverine is its soul. The question is, which Wolverine? Of course, if Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine seems too far off to bring into the MCU because the star is getting too old, Disney can always turn to his clone/protege/daughter – the hyperactive, impulsive X-23. A popular young character in both the comic books and in her first and only live-action appearance in Logan, X-23 has all the balls and twice the youth as her predecessor, making her a natural fit among her would-be peers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First introduced in Logan, Dafne Keen’s character played second fiddle to Hugh Jackman’s dying Logan for the entire film, but impressed us with her energy and fire – two very much-needed qualities that will propel the younger members of the MCU to prominence. Young Avengers, anybody?
Currently portrayed by: Ryan Reynolds
Last seen in: Deadpool 2 (2018)
“Oh, we’re talking about the Weapon X program now? Well, why didn’t ‘cha say so?”
How could we forget about the Merc With A Mouth? The next mutant in this list is undoubtedly the zaniest of the bunch, but certainly one of the most interesting additions to the Marvel Studios films. In the comics, he’s both danced and duelled with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the X-Men alike, gone to outer space with the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even gone toe-to-toe with gods and other super-beings (Thanos most notably among them). Wade Wilson has been there, done that, except be on the scenes of the MCU (wonderfully-made fan trailers notwithstanding).
Also, Disney should have enough in their tank to go big or go home, which means it’s either Ryan Reynolds Deadpool or nothing.
“But what about my best bud, Josh ‘Cable’ Brolin? He’s just as badass as I am!”
Oh, stop it, you…
7. Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic
Currently portrayed by: Ioan Gruffudd
Last seen in: Fantastic Four (2005)
No, it’s not a mistake – there’s only one Reed Richards and that’s Ioan Gruffudd. Another genius in the Marvel Comics’ tapestry, Reed Richards is a founding member of the Fantastic Four, and, while his elasticity does prove to be useful, it is his vision and kind-hearted charisma (as opposed to Tony Stark’s snarkiness) that makes him a beloved character among his comic book teammates and fans alike.
Later on, Richards helped start the Future Foundation to nurture young talents to rise up and defend Earth, but he also had his fair share of darkness with the aforementioned Illuminati. He, along with other geniuses in the Illuminati, helped stave off otherworldly or extraterrestrial threats even before news of it could reach their Avengers or X-Men colleagues. At most times by cutting corners. But always with his selfless smile.
Sorry, Miles Teller, but your Reed Richards in the terrible 2015 Fantastic Four is best forgotten. But we certainly would like to see a character as central as Mister Fantastic interacting with the ins and outs of the MCU. After all, he is the second (of three) member of the Illuminati we haven’t seen in the MCU yet.
8. Victor von Doom/Doctor Doom
Currently portrayed by: Status – Recast
Last seen in: Fantastic Four (2015)
You can’t mention Reed Richards without his and the F4’s archnemesis, the iconic, the dastardly, Doctor Doom. Magneto may be super talented with his magnetic mutant abilities, but Doom strikes fear into the hearts of our heroes with his sheer gravitas and presence.
Don’t let that funny-looking metal mask and simple robed getup fool you – this guy is not only a genius, but a master manipulator and was responsible for many deaths in the Marvel Comics timeline. He even masqueraded as Iron Man for a time with his uncanny ability to imitate the Avengers/Illuminati leader. He even became a god at one point, in 2015’s Secret Wars comic book storyline.
And from the pages of that story, he ripped Thanos’ spine out as if it were made of cotton. Of course, that was Doom infused with godhood, but even without, he is a force to be reckoned with, should he enter the MCU. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been portrayed very well in any of his live-action adaptations, so vacancies for a new Victor von Doom is open.
9. Silver Surfer (and by extension, Galactus)
Currently portrayed by: Doug Jones (body), Laurence Fishburne (voice); Galactus (Smoke cloud)
Last seen in: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
The cosmic isn’t new to the MCU. Just look at what the Avengers have been currently dealing with for 22 films in The Infinity Saga. What more would the inclusion of intergalactic servant the Silver Surfer? For those unfamiliar to this hero, he’s actually a self-sacrificing astronomer named Norrin Radd, who saved his planet Zenn-La from utter consumption by pledging his existence in servitude to the planet-eater, Galactus (another big baddie we’d absolutely love to see in the MCU).
And, let’s be honest, post-Endgame is probably the prime time to get the Silver Surfer and his master on board (pun intended), regardless of the outcome between the Avengers and Thanos (but, of course, we more or less know the outcome).
It has been nearly 12 years since Doug Jones/Laurence portrayed Silver Surfer, so it’s unlikely that they’d reprise the role. Interestingly, however, comic book star Brian K. Vaughan was actually working on the screenplay for a solo Silver Surfer movie for 20th Century Fox, just before the merger happened.
And now that Disney owns the rights to Silver Surfer…
10. Namor the Sub-Mariner
Currently portrayed by: –
Last seen in: –
Namor isn’t technically under Fox, but he is a mutant, so that’s the only reason why he’s here. Plus, he hasn’t actually been depicted on live-action before, but the MCU might just be a perfect jumping-on point for the Atlantean mutant. He can do it all – he’s an X-Man, an Avenger, as well as the final jigsaw in the distinguished Illuminati. Plus, he’s also got constant ego battles with the likes of Tony Stark and Doctor Strange, so seeing them share scenes together will definitely please crowds.
There’s really good news for those most excited to see Namor in action. He might actually be the first one in this list to show up, because Doctor Strange 2’s director Scott Derrickson accidentally leaked a potential debut of the deep sea-dwelling hero. Perhaps, we’ll find out for sure in due time…
Bonus: En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse
Currently portrayed by: Oscar Isaac
Last seen in: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Psych! We couldn’t help but include one more entry on this list, and this guy is serious business and will contribute boatloads to the lore of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Born En Sabah Nur, Apocalypse is recognised as the oldest and greatest mutant to have ever existed, and show that he did in X-Men: Apocalypse. With Disney’s backing, however, Apocalypse could see a Thanos-level upgrade in the MCU. And if Oscar Isaac’s still not bogged down by Star Wars commitments, we could see the beginning of a beautiful and terrible relationship with the X-Men and the MCU.
With great merger, comes great responsibility, so naturally, our expectations for Marvel Studios doing justice to the greater Marvel cosmos is high. But, knowing the brilliance of Kevin Feige and his various creative teams, anything is possible at this point.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.