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Opinion SR: The Best Way To Update The X-Men For The MCU

TGO

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Now that the X-Men are in the hands of Disney and Marvel Studios, the MCU should seriously consider updating the mutant metaphor to reflect current times. The best way to do that would be to once again use a Civil Rights allegory but to make one distinct change from previous X-Men movie adaptations in casting key characters.

Prior to the start of the MCU, the X-Men series was one of the most lucrative superhero franchises ever. Released in 2000, the first X-Men film was the start of a cultural infatuation with superheroes, even though at the time comic book fans criticized the film for its all-black leather costumes and perceived disregard for the source material. Despite those criticisms, the film was wildly successful and led to an even more successful sequel, helping to pave the way for our current superhero revolution alongside films like Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy. In recent memory, however, the Fox X-Men films have widely missed the mark and left fans eager for Marvel Studios to take over the franchise. While Logan served as a worthy send-off for the titular character, more recent outings like Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants have felt tired and a far cry from the exciting storytelling in a movie like Days of Future Past.
Ever since Disney bought out 21st Century Fox last year, comic book fans have wondered how the MCU would try and update the X-Men in a way that stands out from the work that Fox has already done. A simple but effective way to do this would be to take the mutant allegory and make it more literal by casting Professor X and Magneto as Black actors, making them children of the Civil Rights Movement.
When they were first created back in the 1960s, America was in the middle of a tumultuous social uprising that highlighted the racial disparity in the country. Though it wasn't originally intended by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the X-Men quickly went on to be seen as a powerful allegory for racial discrimination in America and across the world, mostly because of the similar oppression that mutants face at the hands of humankind. Despite them working as a force for good and seeking to protect humans, the X-Men are persecuted for no reason other than their identity as mutants (although most recently, Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X seek to challenge this status quo).
Professor X and Magneto have emerged at the forefront of this allegory due to their similarities with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively. Charles Xavier's dream of a world in which mutants can peacefully coexist alongside humans has always struck a chord in its similarity with Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech, and even though Professor X has become more sinister and calculating recently, it's his altruism and optimism that have become embedded in pop culture. Magneto, on the other hand, perfectly embodies Malcolm X's aggressive, "by any means" approach to dismantling the social hierarchy, and it's this radical gap in ideologies that often brings the two characters to blows.
For a long while, there have been questions raised about the logistics of Magneto being a Holocaust survivor in the present day, and while comics can explain it away with a shifting timeline and mutant genetics, movies don't necessarily have that same luxury. If Marvel were to recast Magneto and Professor X as Black men who grew up at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, they could preserve those same ideological differences while also literalizing the mutant allegory that makes the X-Men such a mainstay of pop culture. Many fan-casts have already picked Giancarlo Esposito as Charles Xavier, an inspired casting that reflects exactly the kind of social commentary an X-Men movie could tap into nowadays. Recasting Xavier and Magneto with a backstory tied into the Civil Rights Movement could make the MCU's X-Men reboot a socially resonant film on the same scale as Black Panther, and would certainly help to set it apart from Fox's treatment of the franchise.


They do realize that they would be old too, sorry but you can't simply update those characters .
Best to keep them in the past even if they wanted to go the Black Civil Rights route, which in that case...why bother changing it?
 
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jason10mm

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I don't get this "mutants are persecuted just because they are mutants" thing.

90% of them are homicidal maniacs, violent criminals, or cause wanton destruction due to poor self control. It's not like any of them use their powers for good other than a tiny minority. They don't seem to contribute to industry, be willing to serve their government, or do anything but act like spoiled children when they hit any obstacle.
 

-Arcadia-

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As dumb as all that is, it does raise the question to me of, how do they actually update this? They can’t do a period piece, as it has to fit in the modern MCU. Leaving behind core concepts of the characters would be weird.

The best band-aid I have is that they both get thrown forward through time somehow, and assemble the typical X-Men crew.
 

-Arcadia-

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I don't get this "mutants are persecuted just because they are mutants" thing.

90% of them are homicidal maniacs, violent criminals, or cause wanton destruction due to poor self control. It's not like any of them use their powers for good other than a tiny minority. They don't seem to contribute to industry, be willing to serve their government, or do anything but act like spoiled children when they hit any obstacle.

I mean, you aren’t wrong. They royally screwed up with the presentation, or maybe shouldn’t have grafted civil rights ideals so close to an a fantastical entertainment property.

But seeing someone write about how mutants are a menace to society on Gaf, made my day.
 
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TGO

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Hollywood - "The best way to update any character - make them black. Especially gingers, fuck them."
Glad I'm not the only one to notice this, gingers can't catch a break 😂
Edit, I'm not ginger btw 😁
 
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JimiNutz

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If they want to remain faithful to the source material and also incorporate them into the modern MCU then they are going to have to introduce some multiverse shit.

WandaVision and Spider-Man 3 are both likely to introduce the multiverse idea into the MCU and once they do that it'll be very easy to bring faithful X-Men across as well.

If not, then yeah, sure they could update them for modern audiences but is the world really ready for black Wolverine? How about Asian Wolverine? Exactly.
 
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quickwhips

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anything about changing race or sex can fuck off. I am not a fan of this. There are so many great characters of all sex and race. If you want to use a character or a certain race or sex just pick one and make a movie about it. There is enough stories already there for this just tell the what race and sex you and they will tell you what characters match that description.
 

Methos#1975

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If they want to remain faithful to the source material and also incorporate them into the modern MCU then they are going to have to introduce some multiverse shit.

WandaVision and Spider-Man 3 are both likely to introduce the multiverse idea into the MCU and once they do that it'll be very easy to bring faithful X-Men across as well.

If not, then yeah, sure they could update them for modern audiences but is the world really ready for black Wolverine? How about Asian Wolverine? Exactly.

This is really the best course, easy to keep them intact when multiverse and time travel hijinks are used, could even use the same Xmen from the Fox Films then
 
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JSoup

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I don't get this "mutants are persecuted just because they are mutants" thing.

90% of them are homicidal maniacs, violent criminals, or cause wanton destruction due to poor self control. It's not like any of them use their powers for good other than a tiny minority. They don't seem to contribute to industry, be willing to serve their government, or do anything but act like spoiled children when they hit any obstacle.

Someone have a link to that REE thread where someone brings this up and it turned into a five page thread of one guy trying to get the OP to admit to being a white supremacist?
 

jason10mm

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I mean, you aren’t wrong. They royally screwed up with the presentation, or maybe shouldn’t have grafted civil rights ideals so close to an a fantastical entertainment property.

But seeing someone write about how mutants are a menace to society on Gaf, made my day.
Well, to be fair, it applies to all superpowers, not just mutants.

Clearly it is because there are just a few 'heroes' and they need lots of bad guys to fight, so we are trapped in this "powers make you bad or mostly bad people get powers" cycle. And no one ever uses their fantastic powers to make a few bucks OTHER than crime.

"Hey Magnetic Man, you know with your powers we could unlock the secrets of the universe and build a massive supercollider in record time!"

"Fuck that, I'm gonna rob banks..."

It's why I like Larry Correia's Hard Magic series, or even GRR Martins Wild Cards anthology. Does a lot to break the superhero paradigm.
 
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Mistershine.

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I don't get this "mutants are persecuted just because they are mutants" thing.

90% of them are homicidal maniacs, violent criminals, or cause wanton destruction due to poor self control. It's not like any of them use their powers for good other than a tiny minority. They don't seem to contribute to industry, be willing to serve their government, or do anything but act like spoiled children when they hit any obstacle.
Sounds like an allegory for a certain section of today's society...