One of the storytelling tragedies of X-Men The Last Stand is Warren Worthington III, better known as the Angel. Introduced in a pre-credits flashback sequence as a young boy, it is implied he will play an important role in The Last Stand story, but aside from showing his rockin' body in one scene and then having him flying away, Angel has jack squat to do in that movie. This is an incredible shame, because Warren is not only a founding member of the X-Men, but he was played by the 3:10 to Yuma's Ben Foster, a complete waste of a talented actor and a waste of an iconic X-Man. Hopefully, the possible addition of Archangel to X-Force might be the perfect time to right the wrongs of X-Men: The Last Stand. Actress Ellen Page was Kitty Pryde in The Last Stand, and although she was perfect casting, she wasn't given much to do. From the looks of it, director Bryan Singer is trying to make lemonade out of lemons, and has Page returning for Days of Future Past, presumably with more to do this time. Couldn't the same be done for Ben Foster in an X-Force movie?
Like many characters in the late '80s and early '90s, Angel was given a "grim n' gritty" makeover. Abducted by the ancient mutant Apocalypse, his wings were clipped and replaced with organic metal wings, with razor sharp feathers he could fire as projectiles. His entire look was redesigned by artist Walter Simonson, and suddenly the original X-Men who no one really cared about all that much before was a fan favorite. His status as Archangel came and went over the years - sometimes he had the classic feather wings, other times the metal wings would come back, and sometimes he could even switch them back and forth. It was during his one of his stints as the metal winged Archangel that Warren was a member of X-Force (when the book was called Uncanny X-Force) and the story many fans consider the definitive Angel story took place in its pages, The Dark Angel Saga.
If an X-Force movie uses Cable as a lead character, then it is likely that Apocalypse would finally make his movie debut and be the villain as well. If Apocalypse is around, shouldn't Angel be a part of the package as well? It would provide the perfect opportunity to do so. Whether or not Ben Foster returns, I think Archangel has a real shot of being in an X-Force film.
Poor, poor Deadpool. Despite his intense popularity with comic book fanboys, the character has had a rough go of it on the big screen. Wade Wilson, "the merc with the mouth," is known mostly for his sense of humor, so what did Fox do when they introduced the character in the abysmal X-Men Origins: Wolverine? They sealed his mouth shut for most of it so he couldn't talk, much less crack jokes. All this despite getting Ryan Reynolds to play the part, an actor known for being funny more than anything else.
There has been talk now for years about a Deadpool spin-off film starring Reynolds that would hue closer to the comics, and in fact Zombieland screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have written a fairly raunchy screenplay for a Deadpool movie that has since leaked online to pretty good feedback. But Fox is super hesitant to release an R-rated comic book movie, especially one tied to their very lucrative X-Men franchise. And they might wonder if mainstream audiences will even care to see a spin-off for a character introduced in that crappy 2009 Wolverine flick.
So maybe the solution is to re-introduce him in an X-Force movie? The character of Deadpool has a long association with the franchise, as he first appeared in New Mutants #98, right as the title was about to shift into becoming X-Force. Not only that, but he was a member of Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force, arguably the most popular version of the team in recent memory. If this version of Deadpool is closer to the comics version, and an X-Force movie proves popular, then maybe Fox will get over their cold feet and greenlight that Deadpool movie they've been talking about for ages.
Of course, the real question is, where does Ryan Reynolds fit into all this? Apparently, he only did the cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine on the promise from Fox he would get his own Deadpool movie, and that never materialized. Would he be down to play Deadpool again in an ensemble movie, possibly playing second fiddle to Hugh Jackman all over again? If he's smart, he will. The simple fact is this: Ryan Reynolds is just not a box office star. I'm not sure why, because he's handsome, likable and funny. But it's just never happened for him. He's had one genuine box office hit, The Proposal, which can be chalked up to his co-star Sandra Bullock more than anything. We all know how Green Lantern and The Change-Up performed. The upcoming RIPD doesn't look to be helping things much there either. So Mr. Reynolds should check his ego at the door and play Deadpool in an X-Force movie if it is offered to him, because otherwise they will simply re-cast him, and if a new version proves popular, then that guy is getting the Deadpool movie, and not him. Play this one smart, Ryan Reynolds.
Psylocke is easily one of the most popular and iconic members of the X-Men not to make it yet into a live-action feature film. Yes, I know that an actress who made a cameo appearance in X-Men: The Last Stand named Meiling Melançon was credited as Psylocke, but she's never called by name in that in the movie, and doesn't do anything remotely like the character, so let's just agree to not count her, ok? She wasn't even originally intended to be Psylocke in the movie anyway, as screenwriter Zak Penn said "There was some switching of character names later in production, and I'm not exactly sure how Psylocke got thrown into the mix." So we'll just call it a mistake.
In the comics, Psylocke has been a member of the team since the mid '80s, when she debuted as a sweet natured British girl with telepathic powers, purple hair and a wispy lavender blouse. In the early '90s, she got an extreme makeover, and while her hair was still purple she was now Asian (don't ask) and was a bad ass ninja warrior. This is the version that was popularized by Jim Lee during his iconic run on X-Men in the early '90s, and this is the version of the character that has stuck around the longest. Betsy Braddock was a member of Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force team, as well as the current team by writer Sam Humphries.
An X-Force movie would be the perfect opportunity to bring to life this iconic mutant heroine. The previous X-Men movies were loaded with psychics like Charles Xavier and Jean Grey, which is why Betsy was never under serious consideration. But with those two highly unlikely to be a part of any X-Force movie, now might be the time to finally bring in Psylocke.
Normally, I would place Hugh Jackman as Wolverine as the number one choice as a sure thing on any X-Men movie list, but there is some reason to be iffy on if Wolverine will even appear this time.There are factors for and against Logan showing up in an X-Force flick, so I'd say it is almost a 50/50 proposition at this point. Let's weight the pros and cons here a bit:
CON: Although a team going by the name X-Force has been around since 1991, Wolverine wasn't a member of an X-Force team until the book's reboot in 2008 under writer Craig Kyle. He's not necessarily seen as an essential part of what makes X-Force X-Force.
PRO: The two runs of X-Force he was a part of are among the book's most popular with fans. That helps a lot.
PRO: Hugh Jackman is, quite simply, the poster boy of the X-Men movie franchise; he seems to genuinely love playing the character, and is smart to recognize it as his only reliable cash cow. His other franchise starter Van Helsing didn't fare so well, and let's not even talk about the movie Australia. Outside of the X-Men franchise, he doesn't have a reliable money maker series to his name.
CON: However, by the time we get to X-Force, Jackman will have played the character six times (seven, if you count his classic cameo in X-Men: First Class) and just may be ready to hang up the claws finally after Days of Future Past. Whether or not Jackman returns as Wolverine, one thing is for sure - Twentieth Century Fox is at least going to ask him.
If there is one character that could be considered iconic who is unique to X-Force, the answer can only be Cable. Originally introduced towards the end of the original run of New Mutants, Cable was a stereotypical, hardened old military war-horse type of guy, who took over the remainder of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and whipped those whiny kids into the paramilitary unit called X-Force. Cable was originally not much more than a collection of '90s comic book stereotypes, although it could be argued that he at least created those stereotypes in the first place.
Cable Creator Rob Liefeld only really wrote the first handful of his appearances before he took off to form Image Comics. Subsequent writers fleshed out the Cable back story over the years, and it was revealed that Cable was really Nathan Summers, the son of Cyclops and his first wife Madelyne Pryor, herself a clone of Jean Grey. Nathan inherited his mother's telekinetic powers, and as a baby he was infected with a techno-organic virus by the villain Apocalypse. He was sent to the far future where he was saved from the virus, and honed his tk abilities to halt the spread of the virus to the rest of his body, except for his arm which was consumed by the virus and remained metal. Trained for combat in his dystopian future, he is sent back to our time to prevent that future, a world under the boot of the ancient mutant Apocalypse, from happening in the first place. And what I just wrote there is the Reader's Digest version of Cable's history. The man is convoluted continuity personified.
It is safe to say that for his big screen debut, his origin will have to be streamlined, probably to the point where only his physical appearance and maybe his basic personality traits remains from the comics. They may even remove all references to his parents Scott Summers and Jean Grey, But with time travel being introduced to the X-Men movie universe with Days of Future Past, the notion of Cable as a time-traveler will probably remain intact. But the character of Cable epitomizes X-Force, and without him there will be a lot of angry fanboys. Oh, and one last thing....if the casting director for X-Force doesn't cast Avatar actor Stephen Lang as Cable, they should be fired. Stephen Lang was as born to play Cable as Patrick Stewart was born to play Charles Xavier. It is meant to be.
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