Comic book Hollywood is all about event cinema. Synergy. Blockbusters built on the shoulders of other blockbusters. The Avengers. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Sinister Six. Justice League. Booster Gold: The Boostering. (I may have made that last one up, but we can dream.) These films are created for their built-in audiences and their easily accessible mythologies. All-Star casts come together and America loves it.
Or at least America used to love it. Lately superhero fatigue has started to settle in, and I for one think it’s time to up the ante. That is why I propose we combine two of our most beloved franchises into one can’t-miss smash. The cast of Expendables 3 will take on roles from X-Men and here is who they will play and why. Enjoy your tens of billions of dollars, Hollywood. I expect an EP credit.
Wolverine – SYLVESTER STALLONE
This was an easy one. Stallone would make an excellent Wolverine. In fact, I am willing to bet he’s pissed that the part went to Hugh Jackman in the first place. He’s got the build (short and stocky), the voice, and no doubt he could grow the muttonchops. He was probably going to be outfitted with an Adamantium jaw for Rocky 7 anyway, so he should be used to that part of the character as well.
Stallone would also set up the series to take on one of the more bizarre X-Men stories I’ve ever read, Wolverine: Old Man Logan. It would basically be Red meets X-Men, with just the right amount of Hulk-family incest thrown in (I know, how have they not made this movie already?)
Wolverine is the leader in the X-Men movie franchise and Stallone leader (and Executive Producer) of Expendables. He’ll brings the kind of charisma you expect from a 140 year-old mutant, and he’ll need every ounce of it to carry our new franchise.
Professor X – Kelsey Grammer
And we have the first twist already! The man who played Beast in the worst X-Men movie will fare much better as Charles Xavier in our retooling. The telepathic leader of the X-Men and founder of the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Professor X has always had a certain Fraiser Crane-like ‘know-it-all’ swag, and it was never really believable to see Kelsey Grammer flipping around as Beast anyway. He’s much more suited to a hover wheelchair.
It also doesn’t hurt that they are both just the right amount of bald, and that Grammer has worked in psychological acting before. He may not the physical specimen that some of these other bros are, but he’s got the brains to lead the elderly X-Men (alternate title? Perhaps…)
Magneto – Mel Gibson
Characters don’t get much more complicated than Magneto, and there are few actors with a more complicated backstory than Mel Gibson.
He was one of the biggest and most beloved actors in the world throughout the 1980’s, 90’s and into the early 2000’s. He played iconic characters like Mad Max, Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon), and of course William Wallace. He directed Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ, one of the most controversial and successful films of all-time. He won multiple Oscars. Then came the mid-2000’s when he went through a messy public divorce, a settlement for spousal abuse against his new girlfriend, battles with alcoholism, and leaked tapes of sexist, racist, violent, and anti-Semitic rants. His next several films proceeded to do poorly at the box-office and he has mostly laid-low since.
A character like Magneto, who has been played some of the best actors in the business, would be a huge challenge for Gibson, but I’m thinking that might bring out his best. And in researching the (fictional) backstory of the character he might learn a bit about tolerance too.
Mystique – Terry Crews
He’s been a rising star in the comedy scene for years, most recently co-starring on the Emmy-winning Brooklyn 99 and featuring prominently in the Adam Sandler flop Blended. But he is probably best known for his signature commercials, and more accurately his signature boobies.
Mystique’s greatest power is her ability to shape-shift into the form (and clothes) of any human or mutant, but her next best gift is her sex appeal and charm. Crews has all the charm necessary for the role, and we know he’d be down to spend a couple months filming in nothing but blue body paint. It’s a perfect fit.
Storm – Jason Statham
First of all, let me take a second to point out that the Expendables franchise is sorely lacking in female characters, so I’ll have to give some of the more prominent X-Men women to these dudes (it’s lame, I know). That said, Jason Statham was born to be Storm.
Storm is a thoughtful, peaceful, nurturing character that also occasionally hits people with lightning and tornados. Whether it is his work in Crank, The Transporter, or even Snatch, Statham has proved again and again that he is just a peaceful thinker, who occasionally gets into massive car chases and fistfights with gangsters. It’s time to see the real Jason Statham. Deep down he just wants to give you a hug (and hit you with a lightning bolt).
Gambit – Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes proved in the final scene of Blade that he is capable of speaking at least one sentence in flawless Russian, and that single moment from 15 years ago was all this casting couch needed to assume that he can fake a Cajun drawl for a couple hours as Gambit.
Rogue – Ronda Rousey
I think Ronda Rousey might actually be Rogue in real life, so this was a no-brainer. She’s super strong, she can fly, and she sucks the life force out of everyone she touches (at least in the ring). The character of Rogue was almost certainly based on a premonition of Ronda Rousey that Stan Lee had in the 1981.
Iceman – Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford seems like kind of an icy dude, so this makes sense. NEXT.
Quicksilver – Antonio Banderas
There’s something about Antonio Banderas that seems quick. Even the name ‘Antonio Banderas’ (which I am obligated to say out loud in a horrible Spanish accent because it is just too much fun) comes flying out way faster than a name like, I don’t know, Jonathan Safran Foer. A guy like that could never play Quicksilver in the X-Mendables.
But that is why we have Antonio! He’s already got action chops from his Zorro trilogy, he’s witty, and I am assuming he still has the foot speed to make this work.
Colossus – Dolph Lundgren
I have been convinced for years that Dolph Lundgren is actually made entirely of metal just like Colossus (when he’s plated up), and there is no medical or physical evidence to prove me wrong.
Lundgren an absolute tank, and even as he approaches 60 years-old he still looks like he could take the dude who’s playing Colossus in the X-Men franchise right now. He’s not the biggest cast member on the list, but he’s a solid role player and Colossus is the same way. All the comics focusing on Colossus’ storyline are pretty rough (except when he fights Juggernaut, that was legit), but he’s better as a background guy. It’s a match made in blockbuster heaven.
Havok – Jet Li
Growing up on Jackie Chan’s self-deprecating brand of martial arts, it is easy to forget about the general bad-assness of guys like Bruce Lee and Jet Li. Jet Li in particular always had a certain cocky, puckish quality that I also associate with Scott Summers little brother, Alex ‘Havok’ Summers. Havok was always trying to prove himself and show off a bit, and I get the same sense from Jet Li (but in a less obnoxious way).
I also just like the idea of a martial arts expert who can shoot lasers out of his arms.
Toad – Kellan Lutz
This dude can’t seem to catch a break. Things started off so promisingly in his breakout role as ‘hot dude’ in the Twilight series, but like so many good Taylor Kitsch’s before him, he has struggled a bit recently. First they stick him in the bigger flop of the two Hercules films (I am assuming the one with The Rock will also flop, but not as much), and now he’s going to be one of the least interesting characters in the X-Mendables.
Oh well, at least he’s still the youngest male cast member by about 30 years.
Beast – Arnold Schwarzenegger
We saved the Beast for last! (Almost there you guys.)
Arnold is the perfect Beast, and not just because they are both super strong. It’s because they are also both super smart. If any of the X-Men were going to successfully run for the Governorship of California, it would definitely be Beast. Arnold has already done that, and the result was the greatest political career in the history of America.
Casting Arnold as Beast is the surefire way to guarantee 10-figures at the box office and secure another century of comic book movie domination.
You’re welcome. See you for the sequel.