If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Out of all of these Marvel films, the X-Men ones have been by far there most profitable, and overall, the most critically acclaimed.
So yesterday (or the day before, depending on who your asking,) the character poster was released. And just like almost every other poster released to the internet, nerds were quick to pick it apart.
According to CBR, the actors/characters are from left to right; Michael Fassbender as Erik "Magneto" Lensherr, Rose Byrne as Dr. Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma "The White Queen" Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Nicholas Hoult as Hank "The Beast" McCoy, Lucas Till as Alex "Havok" Summers, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and James McAvoy as Charles "Professor X" Xavier.
There are some interesting choices here. Magneto and Prof. X had to be in it, so seeing them is no surprise, and in X3: The Last Stand, Beast and Moria MacTarget where portrayed as having strong connections to the school. So seeing them there is no surprise either.
Emma Frost is a nice addition to the cast, since this film takes place before Wolverine: Origins, and her cameo in the movie hints that that waste of celluloid is not canon, and will be ignored. I’m also pleased to see Havok, who is Scott “Cyclops” Summers' brother, because I personally believe he is one of the most underused characters in Marvel’s library, and this film could give him a chance to get new fans.
The surprises here are Mystique, Azazel, and Angel.
Warning; the rest of this article may contain spoilers
Angel Salvadore first appeared in Grant Morrison’s famous run of the X-Men, making her a modern character that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. She can fly and spit acid. She was originally made to give Wolverine a snotty, arrogant girl sidekick. With Wolverine (hopefully) not appearing in this movie, I’m curious to see where they take her character. (I’m guessing she’ll be experimented on, and die.)
Azazel is a demon from Hebrew Scripture, but in the Marvel Universe, he is Nightcrawler’s father. He ends up with fathering him with Mystique. However, Azazel is currently trapped in another dimension, so almost no one has written about the character. Meaning he is pretty much a blank slate for screenwriters to play with, and new toys to be made of.
Finally Mystique, I don’t think she was ever mentioned as being part of the X-Men in the first three movies, but it would explain how she could get into the mansion so easily in the first film, and get enough information on Prof. X to copy his corneas. We all know that she’ll eventually leave the X-Men to join Magneto. (Also: I don’t recall Prof. X ever knowingly have a conversation with her in the original films, which leaves some wiggle room to expand their relationship.)
The other news of notice is that a picture of Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw (leader of the villainous Hellfire club) has just popped up. In the comics, and the TV shows, the Hellfire group is always planning to summon something, so I’m guessing that’s what will happen in this film.
Okay, so that’s what we know, now for the fun part…
-Magneto and Charles will start off as friends; (hopefully they’ll meet in Israel, just like the comics,) but over time, Magneto thinks that Xavier is subtly messing with his mind and asks him to prove his intentions by making a helmet that will block telepathic powers.
-Mystique will cause a love triangle, somehow, maybe between Magneto and Azazel.
-Moria McTarget is Banshee. I’m calling this one now. She'll have powerful screams that are used to neutralize attacking enemies. She’ll probably scream too hard and lose her powers at the end of the film.
-Moria will be Prof. X's girlfriend (or his wife,) and they will be intellectual equals.
-The Hellfire Club will summon Azazel, who will quickly get out of control, and be the big bad (threat) at the end of the film.
-Emma Frost will split from the Hellfire club and help the X-Men take down Azazel. She’s also a telepath, so don’t be surprised if she finds a way to neutralize Prof. X.
-Havok will be underused, as is the tradition of everyone who has the Summers’ name in an X-Men film.
-Professor X will not be paralyzed by the end of this film. (It’s a risky prediction, but I’m making it.)
Fox makes it no secret that they make films for money, not art. If you use a one second clip from their film on youtube, they’ll make you take it down, because they want a tight hold on their properties. They asked websites across the web to remove the picture of the cast, because it appeared a day before it was supposed to.
- They’ve also been very quiet about this film. I haven’t heard a single interview from one of the cast members, or production crew, or director, about it. Usually, that’s not a good sign. My guess is that after the Wolverine: Origins debacle, they’re underplaying the franchise's connection to this one.
- Fox also has a tendency to try and give the fans what the studio thinks they want, but doesn’t do it in a way that is satisfactory. They’ll give you a character you want to see, but only show them for a minute, thereby limiting the potential of how they could be used in future films.
- They also make unnecessary changes to the characters, just because the studio thinks that the changes will make them more marketable, despite the fact the changes have been more and more poorly received in every sequel.
- A tight budget is something that the studio likes, so don’t expect too many flying scenes. They also like tight pacing, and will rather rush loose ends up than wait for the box office returns and make a sequel to continue unresolved storylines.
- Most of Fox’s Marvel movies have borrowed heavily from Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics. So it’s a good guess that characters will act like the ones shown there instead of the ones in their ‘mainstream’ line.
What to Expect:
You can expect one or two scenes that will look really good graphics wise, and be shown in the trailers. A film that’s less than two hours (including the credits) and filled with more things than it can properly handle. Changes made by studio executives that are obvious and unwelcome, and there will be the occasional good action scene and worthwhile character moments. But if this wasn’t an X-Men film, chances are it would be completely forgotten.
In other words, expect something around the quality of the third film.
What We Need:
Besides Magneto, Prof. X, and (arguably) Beast, most of the characters shown aren’t familiar to those who don’t read comics. This means that subtle changes can be made without a huge backlash, or people thinking that something is off. The writers shouldn’t be afraid to make these characters fit a story, instead of making a story that fits the characters.
The story of the first class should be one of triumph and tragedy. Prof. X becomes friends with one of the most powerful mutants in the world, for what should be a common goal, but as more and more problems emerge, a rift between them forms and in the end, the two friends turn on each other. Magneto will have to leave civilized life, and Prof. Xavier will be left crippled. The failure of both to see the others point of view will eat them up inside, and be considered to be the biggest failure of their careers.
But this isn’t happening. Why? Because the start of X-3: The Last Stand tells us so. The two are old and still friends, also Professor X can still walk. Assuming this scene is canon, all the suspense of seeing the downfall is gone.
But hey, people say don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a film by it’s trailer. I’m judging this film by its poster.