Brett Ratner’s The Last Stand may have been the highest-grossing entry in the franchise at the time, but it also suffered from the weakest reviews, leading Fox to decide that a reboot of the X-Men series was in order. Despite the incredibly quick turnaround time for a $150 million comic book blockbuster, Matthew Vaughn’s First Class is still regarded as one of the team’s best cinematic outings.
The prequel hit theaters a little over nine months after the director called action on the first day of shooting, which makes it all the more impressive that Vaughn was able to deliver a fast-paced, refreshing, action-packed and exciting rejuvenation of the mythology in such a short space of time.
Naturally, the focus tended to fall on some characters above others, and it still stings with Edi Gathegi that Darwin was killed off so soon. In an interview with ComicBook, the actor admitted that it was a missed opportunity given the mutant’s unique set of skills and the affinity he had for the part.
“I loved Darwin. He became my favorite. It was always about Wolverine for me, and then when I learned about Darwin, I said, ‘Wait a minute. This dude is a G. He adapts to survive. He cannot die. He’s fought the Hulk and transported to space because he was dying. And he’s died and regenerated. Oh my god, there’s so many possibilities. And visually, as a filmmaker, you can put him in all sorts of situations and just watch him adapt. And that’s really fun because a film is a visual medium. So yeah, I thought that was a huge miss, killing Darwin, and I think Darwin does deserve redemption.”
Obviously there’s a hint of bias when Gathegi played the role, and any rising star would benefit immensely from a recurring gig in such a high-profile property, but a lot of fans felt the same way. Darwin could have been a valuable addition to the roster, but he didn’t even make it past the halfway mark of X-Men: First Class.