As fans know by now, the rights to the X-Men film franchise and all of its characters have miraculously passed to Marvel Studios as part of the 2019 Disney-FOX merger. This means that, in the next two For years to come, fans will see new on-screen iterations of their favorite mutants, including Professor Charles Xavier.
It’s true that Patrick Stewart’s portrayal in the franchise was so beloved that old-school fans have a hard time imagining someone else playing an old Xavier. Stewart spoke in depth with Marvel’s Kevin Feige about the possibility of reprising the role, but personally for him – especially after his last hurray in Logan- he has no interest in getting back into that wheelchair. Which means that whether the MCU is old like Stewart or young like James McAvoy, a new actor will play Professor X.
10 Bryan Cranston is a fan favorite
When fans speculate on who might be the next to put their butt in Professor X’s signature wheelchair, one of the most popular choices that comes up in the conversation is Bryan Cranston. Obviously, since Cranston spent many of his balding years, playing characters like Walter White in the memorable Breaking bad and Zordon in the not so memorable Power Rangers, it is clear that the fans came to this conclusion.
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However, in addition to his looks, he has the voice necessary to make Xavier an empathetic and wise old man with his students.
9 Dan Stevens is a young and inspired choice
Given that the MCU is such a large franchise that it spans multiple films over several years, it wouldn’t be too surprising to imagine Marvel Studios deciding to cast a young actor to play Xavier for the sake of longevity. Longevity certainly worked in the franchise’s favor First class, where a thirty-something James McAvoy played the role for almost a decade.
If so, Dan Stevens, 38, would be an interesting younger option, as well as inspired. Stevens already played Professor X’s son on FOX’s X-Men franchise series, Legion.
8 Lance Reddick matches current rumors
Dating back to as early as 2019, it was rumored by notable sites like We Got This Covered that Marvel Studios was considering making changes to Professor X and Magneto, painting them as black men raised through the Civil Rights era, to highlight their respective long-standing parallels to Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
One actor who can fit the role is Lance Reddick. The former actor of Wire He has the commanding voice of a Stoic leader, as well as the determined presence.
7 David Oyelowo is MLK’s pick
If Marvel has decided to go completely upside down with its allusion to Martin Luther King Jr., then David Oyelowo – who played him in the title role of Selma , a role for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor – may be a perfect fit for portraying the character.
Taking a look at some of David Oyelowo’s best performances, it appears that the actor is at his best when expressing compassion and empathy for others, two qualities that have proven to be Xavier’s most likable traits as a character.
6 Mark Strong does a casting against the tide
Mark Strong, for years, has been typecast as a menacing villain in big movies like Sherlock Holmes, Green Lantern, Kick-Ass Y Shazam! However, interpretations of protagonists such as Kingsman: The Secret Service Y The Grimsby Brothers show that Strong is also capable of playing a hero.
He could bring the same for Xavier, but he could also bring his own unique flavor to the role. Namely, a dark presence that made his villains so intimidating, while also bringing the subtle charm that made him so likeable as a protagonist.
5 For Tim Curry to be truly disabled would respect an essential physical quality of the character
Since 2012, Tim Curry’s acting activities have been primarily limited to voice acting due to a stroke that left him paralyzed. For fans who miss his real screen presence, Professor X could be his reintroduction on the big screen.
Besides being a great actor, the fact that Curry is actually disabled would respect an essential physical quality of the character. As long as Curry is willing and able to get back to work on the set, it wouldn’t hurt to at least ask him if he’s interested.
4 Courtney B. Vance is compelling
His wife Angela Bassett already has a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to the franchise of Black Panther, but looking at her grades, Courtney B. Vance might be a good fit to accompany her as Professor X.
Readers may recognize Vance for playing Johnnie Cochran, OJ Simpson’s attorney in The People vs. OJ Simpson, for which he won an Emmy. An overlooked quality of Professor X is his presence in the universe as a political ambassador to attempt to unite mutants and humans. This quality was touched a bit in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, But if Marvel was hoping to pick up on this quality, they will need someone who is persuasive in rhetoric and credibly charismatic when expressing their convictions. Vance already did both as Cochrane.
3 Peter Capaldi can offer a vulnerable Xavier
It wasn’t long ago that Peter Capaldi signed on for the role of The Doctor, a role he played for three seasons on Doctor Who as the oldest actor to play the role (tied with William Hartnell). Ironically, he would also be the second-oldest actor on this list (second behind Tim Curry), but with age comes the rank and experience necessary to play a multi-talented Professor X.
Xavier is full of remarkable leadership qualities, but one overlooked quality of a leader is allowing oneself to be vulnerable enough to accept as much guidance as is given. Capaldi offered that vulnerability in Doctor who, who could easily become an on-screen Xavier.
2 Giancarlo Esposito could be a great Magneto or Xavier
Some may argue that Giancarlo Esposito would be the perfect Magneto, due to his pedigree when it comes to playing villains. In fact, he was supposedly on the same Marvel actor roster to play Magneto in the MCU. However, he also has what it takes to be a heroic leader.
As EPIX viewers are seeing in his portrayal of Pastor Adam Clayton Powell Jr, Esposito has a knack for portraying wise and warm speakers who know how to move in a political circle. He can be persuasive not only because of his sharp tongue, but because of the expression of warmth and confidence that makes it easy to recruit mutants for his team and school.
1 Ralph Fiennes is a Shakespearean actor
Like many actors on this list before him, Ralph Fiennes is classically trained in the art of Shakespearean acting. On paper, this doesn’t seem like something incredibly important in the world, until readers remember that Patrick Stewart is an actor who mastered the art of Shakespeare theater himself.
It’s not crazy to think that the fact that he is so classically trained contributed to his portrayal of Charles Xavier and made Stewart’s performance so memorable. If someone with the same training and experience in that field can capture that same magic, it would be an equally memorable performance. Fiennes has the range and the experience.