There’s been a new development in the ongoing mystery over how Marvel will integrate the X-Men into the MCU. Reports are saying that the studio is considering casting people of color in the key roles of Professor X and Magneto. It’d be a bold change for two characters routinely portrayed as Caucasian, but in some ways it would be a natural development seeing as Stan Lee originally based them on black civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
There’s traditionally always been a big backlash when movie studios recast a white comic book character as a POC but in this case, it seems like, on the whole, X-Men fans are open to the idea of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr being depicted as non-Caucasian in the MCU. As long as they get the important parts of the characters right, many don’t seem to care, as evidenced by the Tweets below.
I’m cool with Marvel wanting to make Magneto and Professor X be played by POC actors. Since they’re technically inspired by Martin Luther King and Malcom C.
— I SAW DAY6 190915 (@ablind_bitch) September 15, 2019
i think we’ll be fine if Professor X and Magneto are POC. get over it
— Dan ? currently playing Astral Chain (@DannyDoesSuff) September 14, 2019
Fun fact Magnito was inspired by/based off of Malcom X and Professor X was inspired by/based off of MLK Jr. so it wouldn’t be out of nowhere to actually have black or POC actors to play them since they were made white to basically be palatable to a white audience https://t.co/vh9NPCDrLK
— Maya (@MayaTheeePapaya) September 14, 2019
One fan in particular isn’t bothered by Charles’ potential change in ethnicity, but a change to his country of origin – after watching Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy play the character for the past 20 years – would be too much.
Ok, having Professor X as a POC doesn't exactly bother me. I mean, hey, they picked a great actor! Just make sure he's British. https://t.co/MsCuhxo2IP
— David Earl Kronk (@shepherdb0y) September 17, 2019
On the other hand, many are fine with Professor X being recast as a POC but have mixed feelings about the same happening for Magneto. As his Jewish heritage is so key to his story arc, a lot of fans are stressing that this must be retained for the MCU.
I thought long & hard about this & here's my thought on it this
I think casting a PoC as Professor X would be fine but not necessary doing the same with Magneto because being Jewish & a holocaust survivor is essential to his character https://t.co/5l3ahf5Aee
— John Heflin (@jch6289) September 15, 2019
IDC who plays Professor X. That role could be anyone; male, female, white, PoC, it doesn’t matter.
Magneto on the other hand is very much defined by being a holocaust survivor.
— ?️? Chris [MMXIX] (@Rune_Bull) September 14, 2019
I don't mind making Professor X a POC, but unless y'all plan on making Magneto Half-Jewish, don't change him please… that's literally a MAJOR (If not the most important) facet of his character development
— Dane Johnson (@MF_DANE) September 13, 2019
An alternate take is that perhaps Charles and Erik aren’t the two characters who should be revamped as people of color. One fan personally wishes that leading X-Men like Jean Grey and Cyclops will be portrayed as non-white instead as that would mean more to kids.
who will, you know, be at the front of the movie posters, will have the most merch, and will ultimately be the characters little kids watching the film will look up to.
— cash (@cashewnoodle) September 15, 2019
From what We Got This Covered has heard, Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito is one name being looked at for Professor X while Denzel Washington is being eyed for Magneto. The X-Men reboot is still a few years off, however, so who knows how things will develop. As always, though, we’ll be sure to keep you posted once we learn more so stay tuned.