Guest Submission: The Should Have Been X-Men Movie Heroes|
posted by Chuck on 8/18/02
If you were to tell me back in 1999 that the start of the new millennium would be known as "The Year of the Outstanding Comic Book Movies", I would have laughed as I gave you another swirly in the school john. Up to this point I had yet see a truly impressive comic-book movie on the silver screen, the fault of which lies in the cheesy special effects the late 80's and early 90's were infamous for. I can’t say with a straight face that I hated all the ‘comic book movies’ up to the year 2000, being a huge Batman and Superman fan. Even though "Superman 2" was as fun to watch as it was to laugh at, it still didn't give me the thrill and action that the comic was able to dish out. I loved "Batman" and "Batman Returns", but after "Batman and Robin" was released in 1997, my faith in the Batman superhero series was shaky at best. Judge Dredd was just plain terrible, and I still blame Rob Schneider for it even though everything about that movie was pathetic. I'm not even going to bring up the Captain America movie, because… well, I never watched it.
Fate then turned the tables on me, and my comic book movie blasphemy. The second I saw the trailers for the new X-men movie I knew they had finally made a winner, and if this movie was as spectacular as it looked, others would surely follow in its footsteps! Not only were the effects hot, but this movie also corrected what its predecessors had screwed up. What really got me thinking that this movie was going to rock at first glance, were the costumes. Past comic book movies had ripped the costumes from the pages of the comic book and slapped them on a real life actor, succeeding in making them look superbly ridiculous and completely harmless. Batman again is the exception to this, until his outfits were being designed solely for the action figure design factor, as in "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin". In the X-Men, all the heroes were given stylish black jumpsuits to save the world in, because yellow spandex is strictly for sweatin' to the oldies. The element of surprise is severely lacking when a super hero slips on that outfit with bright primary colors all over it. Also the writers of X-Men took out all the zany one-liners that the comic and cartoon had. Well, this isn’t entirely true, because Storm (played by Halle Berry) uttered the worst one liner in movie history, but I’ll get to that later. No offence to the comic, but in real life action someone is more apt to shoot first and spout corny wisdom later. This works a whole lot better than pulling the classic arch-nemesis blunder of smugly telling off the hero before dealing out the whoop ass, buying our hero enough time to foil the villain’s plans, save the day, and get the girl. Also, I thank the powers that be that they didn’t let Jubilee and her 80’s ass into this motion picture. Look I can shoot sparkles from my fingers and ping pong balls from my… anyway.
But as I sat in the theater and marveled (no pun intended) at the special effects and gripping action, I knew that something was amiss. I am a firm believer that X-Men should have been called “The Wolverine and Rogue story”, which is fine even though Rogue was passive enough to give her a markedly boring personality (much like Shelley Duvall in “The Shining”). Don’t get me wrong, I loved X-Men just as much as everyone else, and droned on about it to my friends as we walked away from the theater, but I knew it could have been far better with a slight change in casting. The actors chosen for ‘X-Men’ were top notch, and seemed perfect at first glance, but I soon discovered that they weren’t. Maybe my stubborn 1999 mind couldn't accept the talent, or I just didn’t recognize a good thing when I saw it, but I knew I could cast the perfect line-up for this film. Over the last 2 years I have watched X-Men over 20 times, and each viewing brought me closer to completing my line-up. So I proudly present, my picks for the should have been X-Men heroes.
Played By: Hugh Jackman
Chuck’s Pick: A.C. Slater
Let’s face it, if you slap sideburns and metal claws on any actor, they are qualified play Wolverine. Along those lines of rationale, this gives me free reign to give the role to a much more deserving and super hunky actor. I couldn’t stand how after Wolverine kicked mutant ass, he would never go down to the burger joint to mack on Kelly or hatch some new crazy scheme with Zack. That’s right, everyone’s favorite Saved By The Bell dream boat A.C. Slater is now the most popular X-Man in history.
Wolverine first appears in the X-Men movie a loner, a traveling mutant without a home, searching for his forgotten past. "A.C." Slater was a kid who was always moving and changing schools. His father was in the Army, and Slater never had a real home.
When Wolverine wakes up in the Xavier Institute, he starts macking on Jean Grey he second he comes out of his coma. Jean Grey's boyfriend Scott (Cyclops) and Wolverine have several little spats about who is going to get that sweet Jean Grey 'tang. Slater started off constantly battling with Zack over Kelly, but eventually Zack got her. Slater always expressed interest over Kelly throughout the rest of the series.
Wolverine was gifted with the power of unnatural regeneration, and was infused with an indestructible metallic skeleton, along with impressive adamantium claws. Wolverine is incredibly strong and quick in combat as well. Slater was Bayside's star athlete. He was starting Quarterback on the Bayside football team, Captain of the Bayside wrestling team, and member of the Bayside basketball team.
While Cyclops and Wolverine were a powerful team in action, they constantly fought on the side. If it wasn't over Jean Grey's affections, it was about how things should be planned as far as saving Rogue from Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants. But even with all of the tension between the two, they could always rely on each other when it counted. Slater and Zack were fighting at the end of the 9th grade season, but at the beginning of the tenth grade season, they were friends again.
Played By: Anna Paquin
Chuck's Pick: Brett Butler
As far as Rogue’s character goes, I was shocked of how the character could be so far off from the Rogue I knew and loved from the comic and the animated series. Rogue had always been a deep-hearted, twenty-something, country girl, with a sense of humor, great strength, and independence. The Rogue in the X-Men movie was a toddler with no accent, and let’s face it, barely any real dialogue. You can blame only so much of this on her youthful age that the movie introduces her. If you’re a mutant, you don’t just start flying and talking like a trailer park whore out of the blue. So for Rogue, I found an actress with all the qualities that Anna Paquin lacked, charming comedian Brett Butler of “Grace Under Fire” fame.
(I didn’t pick Brett Butler as the new Rogue based on similarities, I picked her given the fact she is everything Rogue should have been.)
Brett Butler attended University of Georgia for one semester before dropping out. Rogue gets accepted to the Xavier Institute after accidentally stealing her boyfriends abilities: the power to masturbate 4 times a day and watch Pokemon high on weed, and this landed him in a coma for weeks. Shortly after arriving to the school she is tricked into running away by the Brotherhood of Mutants.
With “yellow dog” roots a Southern flavor has always run deep in Brett Butler's comedy, and it's also evident in her book, "Knee Deep in Paradise." Rogue is supposed to be Southern, at least in the animated series she was. It is widely believed that in X-Men 2 she will be older, and more country as intended in the comic.
Played By: Halle Berry
Chuck's Pick: Kellie Williams
I stood by and watched Halle Berry squirm her way into a lead role in B.A.P.S.”. I was like fine, the movie sucks so why shouldn’t the acting suck as well? Then she started poking her nose in reputable movies like “Bulworth”, which got my attention, but she still wasn’t a blockbuster actress so I wasn’t too worried. When I heard she was going to be in X-Men as Storm, I chose another actress for the part well before I actually saw the movie. She was only chosen for this movie based on her ability to be sexy as hell, and did a great job of it too, but I guess in her contract she insisted on having lines. Well the good news is they only gave her three lines for the entire movie. The bad news is that one of her lines was the most idiotic catch phrases in movie history. If one liners weren’t bad enough, this one-liner will go down in infamy on what not to say before electrocuting a mutant.
“What happens to a toad when it is struck by lightning? …The same thing that happens to everything else.”
You go girl! Now I refuse to believe this was actually in the script, but I may be mistaken, as the truth can sometimes be much harsher than fiction. Anyway, lightning reacts to metal much differently than an amphibian, and if I had the power to summon the elements I’d at least know that. So, for the new Storm, I chose an actress that not only fit the character, but was a powerful actress in her role on “Family Matters”. Her name is Kellie Williams, but you may know her best as Laura Winslow. I figure if anyone was strong-willed enough to deal with that Steve Urkel pansy from 1989 to 1998 (Who was coincidentally a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants), she would easily be able to fight evil super-mutants in her spare time.
Like Laura Winslow, her character on "Family Matters," Kellie is a delightful mixture of high energy and quick wit. Halle Berry is a delightful mix of mad sex appeal and poor, poor acting skills.
Kellie began studying acting at the age of four and landed her first stage role at age six in a regional production entitled "Cousins." Halle Berry never took any “acting” lessons, ever, but they were right when they said she wasn’t much of a “talker” anyway.
In real life Kellie is much like her character (Laura Winslow) on the show. In real life, Halle is very similar she played Storm in the movie, hot as hell and mildly retarded.
Played By: James Marsden
Chuck's Pick: Ben Affleck
Whether he is on the big screen or in the comic book, Cyclops has always been the dick of the X-Men. He is the official leader, and with that responsibility you get to be kind of unpopular with your subordinates, namely Wolverine. So I was surprised to see this butthead character get underplayed like it did in the X-Men movie. Cyclops was the preppy guy that the other guys disliked because he gets to bang the hottest girl in the team, Jean Grey. That aside, James Marsden didn’t really stand out as an actor I was familiar with, at least not like the other members of the cast. I can’t blame him for not wanting to play a huge hard-on in his blockbuster debut. Who wants to wind up typecast as the same butthole character for the rest of his career? Well, I can think of one guy who isn’t afraid to be a dick. As far as I’m concerned, there is only one man in movie history with the chiseled looks and the pompous attitude that has “Fashionably Male” written all over him. That would be an actor of Kevin Smith fame, Ben Affleck. I say “Kevin Smith Fame” because the only Ben Affleck movies I have seen were Kevin Smith films wherein he played the perfect dick. Of course I mean the movies “Mallrats” and “Dogma”.
Cyclops constantly was at odds with Wolverine, prompting Wolverine to call Cyclops a dick and flip him off in parts of the X-Men movie. Ben Affleck in “Mallrats” kicked Brodie’s ass after saying he was going to have anal sex with his ex-girlfriend. What a dick!
X-Men was James Marsden’s first blockbuster in which he played a character that was a total prick. Ben Affleck has acted as a prick in many films, and will continue to act that role in many more films to come. Hopefully they will all be Kevin Smith movies.
James Marsden would like to move to NY to do a Broadway or off-Broadway musical. Ben Affleck had an unsuccessful Broadway show called “Uncomfortable Places”, in which he had sex with underage girls on stage and then went to jail.
Played By: Famke Janssen
Chuck's Pick: Turanga Leela
Famke Janssen played her part very well in this movie and she is one of my favorite actresses. But I felt that X-Men had a big enough budget to so some really spectacular animation effects, and I think it would have added new depth and charm to the character of Jean Grey as well. I loved Jansses in Golden Eye also, but they say that when you make a movie you must be prepared to cut your favorite scene, and the same goes with cutting your favorite actress as well. I also felt like they opted out on giving Jean Grey the power of flight because it was a live actress, and I reasoned that if she were an animated character it would have been easier to apply that effect. So my vote for the new Dr. Jean Grey goes to Leela from Futurama. Well, look for yourself!
During Jean Grey’s childhood, she lost control of her newly acquired powers and shut everyone out of her life until she met Charles Xavier at the Xavier Institute. Leela attended high school where she was a bit of an outcast for having one eye and went dateless to her prom.
In the X-Men movie, Jean Grey was torn between her long time lover Cyclops and the new hero in the X-Men, Wolverine. Leela has problems with men and often gets jealous of other girls popularity among the opposite sex.
Jean Grey loves Cyclops, but doubts that love when Wolverine comes into the picture, but she doesn’t act on it due to Wolverine’s crude advances. Leela has a soft spot for Fry but is unsure of anything further than that, due to Fry's clumsy advances.
Famke Janssen is one hot Holland mama. Leela is hot too… for a cartoon chick with one eye.
Professor X\Charles Xavier:
Played By: Patrick Stewart
Chuck's Pick: Charles (AKA: ChuckSux)
I realize that Patrick Stewart is a true accredited Shakesperean actor, and fits the role of Professor X perfectly, but I feel that I could have done the job WAY better myself. I mean, my birth name is Charles, just like Charles Xavier of the X-Men! That’s gotta account for something, right? So what if I’m only 20 years old, can’t act, and have hair. I swear I would have been all over that role like white on rice. Anyway, I felt that since I photoshopped all the other X-Men, I deserved the role for Professor X. So presenting the new Professor X, Charles ChuckSux Xavier. How you like me now?
(I think I’ll let Mune take a crack at this one…)
Charles Xavier is a courageous, heartfelt man that only wishes to do good in the world. ChuckSux is an egotistical wanna-be that couldn’t land a movie role if the movie was called “How to be a punk ass poser named Chuck”
Patrick Stewart is richer than God from the success of his Star Trek: The Next Generation series and the countless movies he has been in. ChuckSux is certifiable and writes little things on the internet for free, and he doesn’t get paid either.
Professor X has a floating wheelchair driven by his own telekinetic powers. Chuck is a tool.
So there you have it, the perfect X-Men movie cast. Even if you doubt its sincerity, you have to admit, it would have made the movie a hell of a lot more interesting. I was wrong to think that ‘comic book movies’ were all destined for failure back in 1999, but I was right about X-men changing it all. Spiderman blew all our minds away, and blew away the box office at the same time. Daredevil looks like it will be a winner in 2003, and guess who is playing the sightless hero? Our resident prick, Ben Affleck of course. The Hulk… well, we’ll see about the Hulk. I am positive that as the X-Men movie lifted the comic movie genre onto a grand pedestal, the new Hulk could knock it back down hell. But we’ll see.
So, next time you watch the X-Men (and you know you will watch it again), think of Slater fighting his evil twin, Mystique. Imagine its Leela getting her ass kicked by Toad’s lethal phlegm. Think of a Rogue with real powers and the witty Southern charm only Brett Butler could bring. Laugh at the thought of Storm being harassed by a lanky dork through out the movie, even though she changed the locks (Urkel always makes a new key). When Cyclops is being an asshat, know that Ben Affleck wear that asshat tenfold. But, lastly, when you see Professor X playing chess with Magneto in his plastic cell, remember how much Chuck sucks, and would have totally ruined the movie for everyone if he was in it.