Fan Casting: MCU X-MEN

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So, as we all know, the X-men franchise in the movies has had a lot of ups and downs. A lot of ups and some downs, it really depends on how you look at it. One day I’ll watch all of them and review them (I’ve reviewed X-men: Apocalypse) but for the most part, I have liked the cast chosen to play these iconic characters.

So, when I started this post, it was last year lol and the merger between Fox and Disney wasn’t confirmed. Now that it is, I really wanted to put this out with my ideas of their casting. I think as X-men is such a large group of people that they should definitely consider really exploring the multiverse because an entire group of mutants we never knew about? I mean obviously because they didn’t exist in MCU but still lol. Also, with them now being part of the MCU, they could kind of retcon what they’ve done with Wanda and Pietro’s origins. But after Doctor Strange’s sequel, perhaps they really should do the multiverse, if Wanda breaks a hole through the universe… I mean it would be awesome. Gives the opportunity for way more heroes and villains.

Complete Restart

In my mind, when they restart, they have to restart completely. Don’t get me wrong, I looove a lot of the cast from the other movies, the older movies and the newer ones. But unfortunately, I’d only pull a few of them to come over to the MCU. Not many though. In the comics, the first group of X-men was: Scott Summers/Cyclops, Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, Hank McCoy/Beast, Bobby Drake/Iceman, and Warren Worthington III/Angel. 

I think that since we haven’t seen this particular group together, it would be nice to see them to pay homage to the comics, since they were the first X-men. They can introduce Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird and some others but I’m not going to cast everyone though.

I think in the first movie, it should be the original group or at least people we haven’t seen a lot of. So, that means NO Logan/Wolverine and NO Mystique. As much as I enjoy Logan, he’s never been my favorite X-men. Hugh Jackman really owned that character which helped me like him more. As for Mystique, Rebecca Romjin’s version was awesome and Jennifer Lawrence’s started off fine but she irritated me later. So definitely don’t need her for a while. I would even argue, we don’t need to Magneto for a little while either. I mean, he could be a looming presence but we don’t have to see him.

Sooo you’re here for my casting choices so let’s get to it! You don’t have to read anything clearly, you can just skip through the pictures. It’ll hurt my feelings but that’s okay. Oh and get used to me mentioning X-men: Evolution because I was really into that show and while I am aware of the comic book storylines, that is most of what I remember lol.

My Casting!

I’m going to cast a younger version and an older version. It just depends on where the MCU wants to start out the X-men, as teenagers/young adults or a hero whose been doing this for at least a decade and a half or something lol.

The Uncanny X-Men

Scott Summers/Cyclops. 

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He is the leader of the X-men and we need to see that! We have not seen that yet and it kills me. Scott is brave, self-less, a master tactician and first-rate leader. I know he isn’t very popular with fans lol, which is fine but we haven’t had the chance to see him lead and grow in the movies and this could be that chance. He’s a leader, he’s no-nonsense and serious, dedicated and perhaps a bit of “Boy Scout” in the beginning. He can often hold a low opinion of himself and obsess over his shortcomings and failures. Socially, he has described himself as an introvert. As a leader, he is very strict and no-nonsense, demanding seriousness, dedication and skill, usually earning him the dislike of more rebellious team members. Scott also has a plethora of mental issues, bottling up his emotions and refusing to confront his issues, despite this affecting him adversely.

In the movies: James Marsden and Tye Sheridan

I really liked Tye Sheridan as Scott in X-men: Apocalypse. I don’t think they allowed him to really be the Scott that is the leader. He didn’t have much to do in Dark Phoenix other than worry about Jean lol but he wasn’t bad. James Marsden didn’t get that chance either. I’ve always liked Scott fine and he should be able to be the leader like he’s supposed to be. Of course, Tye Sheridan played him like a cool dude in his first outing and I didn’t mind that but it would also be nice to see him as the introvert he comes off as in earlier iterations. Marsden was just there unfortunately, a little smug sometimes but just there. I wouldn’t mind having Sheridan back but I think I have some better choices. FUN FACT: Kirby Morrow who voice Scott in X-men: Evolution also plays Miroku in Inuyasha. 😀

Young Scott: Graham Phillips Adult Scott: Armie Hammer

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Younger: Sooo I was going to choose Nick Robinson for my younger Scott because I really like him, but Graham Phillips‘ face popped in my head. Last I saw him was in Riverdale, which I know doesn’t say much, but he played a “villainous” character and it didn’t quite work for him. Perhaps a boy scout character would work instead. He has an earnest face, I think. I know Scott has blue eyes which you don’t see most of the time, but if it is an origin story, it would be nice to flash Graham’s lovely blue eyes. But I think not only would he rock the glasses but those goggles he’d have to wear. He would be able to portray that introverted, loner personality that Scott has while also doing the “learning how to lead” aspect which would turn him confident while he’s Cyclops. Besides, Graham can come off a little awkward and it would work for Scott, make him very endearing. I think Graham could walk that fine line of being endearing and being annoying which how people view Scott anyway.

Older: I love Armie Hammer and I think he’s a great actor. I’ve seen him in many films and he can do action, especially the serious kind, if you’ve seen A Man From Uncle, regardless of your thoughts on the movie, he did a great job. Not only does he have the right physique (being tall and strong lol), but his deep voice would be a little shocking for someone who would come off so quiet. I think Armie could handle the “Boy Scout” personality of Scott, while also being an already commanding leader! Plus, Armie Hammer can skew a little older, so while he’s 32, he can present a few years older.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Nick Robinson, Ansel Elgort (meh though)

Honorable Mentions (Older):Matthew Daddario, Jeremy Sumpter, Drew Van Acker, Richard Madden

Jean Grey/Marvel Girl/Phoenix

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So, Jean, has a lot of positive attributes, she’s loving and she loves everyone, especially those who mean a lot to her. She is very optimistic, even with the negative things. She’s very self-sacrificing. Jean has a very determined and stubborn personality, I would consider her a second-in-command type, even a leader when it’s needed because she doesn’t take carp from anyone and doesn’t know how to stay down. Of course, everyone has a wild side and Jean has that. Plus, her powers are awesome and she’s extremely powerful. I would like to see the full extent of her powers, without the Phoenix stuff, really shown on screen.

In the Movies: Famke Janssen and Sophie Turner

So, this role they kept jumping the gun with trying to get to her phoenix stuff, which hasn’t really worked out the way it might have. Janssen was fine, she was probably the best in the Cyclops, Jean, Storm group (not counting Logan). If the writing for her was handled better then I’m sure it would have been great! I also didn’t mind Sophie Turner. She did a great job in Dark Phoenixand I wouldn’t mind casting her again but I think since we’re getting new X-men I think Jean should have a fresh start as well.

Young Jean: Zoey Deutch  Adult Jean: Bridget Regan

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Younger: There are a lot of choices of Jean, especially for redhead ladies, or those who can pull it off. But I chose Zoey Deutch as I was looking at young actresses and I decided on her because I like her, she’s a good actress and she can go many ways. She can skew older or younger, make her hair a bit redder and depending on the way they decide to go with Jean, she could play it. She can definitely do the vulnerable, selfless, loving and determined personality because I’ve seen her do it and she always remains likable to me. Plus, she just hasn’t seem to be someone that people know that much and I think portraying a younger Jean, it would do that for her. I think down the line, if they do the Phoenix bit, she could handle that really well without it coming off super whiny or super crazy.

Older: So, Bridget Regan. always comes up randomly when I’m fan casting and most times when she comes up, I can’t forget her lol. I think she could do an awesome Jean Grey! I remember her from this fantasy-esque TV show (Legend of the Seeker) from some years ago and she was great. Her character would be similar to Jean just a bit softer…? lol just make her hair redder of course and I think she could handle all of the emotions and characterizations Jean goes through. If they did the Phoenix thing with an “older” Jean, she could handle it.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Lily Reinhert, Jane Levy, Holland Roden

Honorable Mention (Older): Alexandra Daddario, Evan Rachel Wood, Holland Roden

Hank McCoy/Beast

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Hank is a mutant who struggle for the acceptance due to his appearance. He is an extremely smart man. A “renaissance man” who excelled in arts, letters and the sciences. Hank wrestles with demons of loneliness and rejection but he also has a lot of wit and can be a prankster. Hank is SMART but he is very loved by those around him and he loves his people hard as well. I really really love the friendship between Hank and Ororo and I want to showcase that in future films.

In the movies: Kelsey Grammar and Nicholas Hoult

So, in the first set of X-men films, Kelsey Grammar shows up in X-men: The Last Stand,  and honestly, he was perfect. I mean, he had everything that I remember Beast being in X-men: Evolution. Nicholas Hoult had a much longer outing as Hank and I liked him mostly, he could get a little annoying but he was a good friend to Charles, loyal and of course had his little romance with Mystique. I think though that Grammer’s look as the blue Beast was much better than Hoult’s because I hate every single one of Hoult’s look as Beast. Just really bad.

Young Hank: Daniel Radcliffe Adult Hank: Oscar Isaac

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Younger: I thought about a lot of options for a younger Hank McCoy and I went through a few people but I really like Daniel Radcliffe for the role. For one, I think he could embody everything Beast does. He can even maintain his British accent honestly. But I think he could handle all of his emotional ups and downs and plus, the Beast makeup, whether it’s prosthetic or motion capture, I think he could wear it well. He has very expressive eyes and he would really be able to push past the makeup or the motion capture. Plus, Hank can be very funny, a bit of a prankster and Radcliffe is awkwardly funny and very likable and very endearing and he’d fit right into my group for the younger X-men. I think he’d come off as the “older” one, which is fine, it works for him and this group.

Older: I found Oscar Isaac is the best choice for the role because I looooove him first of all and I think he would kill this role. He is such a chameleon and if they do right by him this time compared to that outing as Apocalypse, he would wear the costume instead of it wearing him. He would be able to handle all of the emotions that Hank goes through with how he looks and then if they do the thing with his love. Plus, the really smart demeanor he has, while also freaking out and being animalistic, Oscar Isaac can do all that. He’d be so great at it. Man!

Honorable Mentions (Young): Alden Ehrenreich, Stephen James

Honorable Mentions (Older): Joel Egerton, Jason Clarke

Bobby Drake/Iceman

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Since I’m showcasing the original group of X-men first, it’s important to show that Bobby was considered the “class clown” often making jokes and clearly the youngest of the group. The others may not appreciate him often but he would become really close to Hank, due to Hank and him connecting through pranks. At first when Bobby is turning to Iceman, he had a snow like exterior, but with the help of Cyclops he learned to increase the temperature and turn to the icy form we all know. It would be nice to see him be the most reckless with his powers, meaning he not knowing how to control it and having to learn from the others because he’s probably struggling a bit more with his powers. They always show Jean struggling which is fine but let’s have someone else who doesn’t quite have a handle on their powers either.

In the movies: Shawn Ashmore is the only version of Bobby we see in the films and he’s fine. I mean his character grows as the movies continue but not by that much, at least not that’s interesting. He’s mostly known as being Rogue’s boyfriend lol. He does some cool things, like when he finally turns fully Iceman in The Last Stand while fighting Pyro but that’s about it lol. Shawn Ashmore was fine in the role, he’s likable and cute and the boy next door and I guess that’s all that’s needed.

Young Bobby: Brandon Flynn Adult Bobby: Matt Bomer

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Younger: Brandon Flynn is from 13 Reasons Why and he was fantastic in that, particularly in the first season and I think he’d be great for this role. I know that in recent times, Bobby has been confirmed part of the LGBT community and Brandon is as well, so it would be nice to have that reflected in Bobby’s character in the films. But outside of that, he has a great smile, so he would be able to enchant anyone, because as soon as he smiled in 13RW I was like O.O. Plus he seems to have a lighthearted energy while also coming off innocent in ways which I think works really well for Bobby. He’d have great chemistry with my pick for Hank as they should become really close friends in the group and Bobby would be able to have someone he could lean on.

Older: MATT BOMER needs to be put into everything because he’s gorgeous, talented and he’s great! That is all.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Dacre Montgomery, Charlie Rowe, Dylan Minnette, Tye Sheridan

Honorable Mentions (Older): Don’t have any, put your cast in the comments!

Warren Worthington III/Angel

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Warren Worthington has a very interesting and sad life to be honest. His feathered wings began to grow from his shoulder blades while at school. At first, he thinks he’s a freak but when he learns he can fly and help people he does, particularly during a fire in his dorm. He gets recruited by Charles later. He does come off as a wealthy playboy and very outspoken, and hates being told what to do, which makes him the cause of tension in the group, particularly with Scott who is the leader, and who is also different from Warren in personality. Apparently, he also is in love with Jean for a long time. Then of course there’s a lot of stuff that happens when he dies, or when his wings get stolen and he gets the metal wings… I mean he has a lot to pull from. But I would like to see a younger Warren with this whole personality of being a playboy and then all the emotional stuff.

In the movies: Ben Foster and Ben Hardy. Honestly, both choices were good choices for the role. I think Ben Foster’s characterization was probably a bit closer to what’s known about Warren’s character but he was so underwritten and underused that it was painful. He was so good. His character was so sympathetic and emotional that his first scene as a kid, was emotional, I might have teared up a little and then his next scene as an adult was also really great. As for Ben Hardy, his Warren was a bit random in his introduction, I still want to know what he was doing in that cage fight. Was he kidnapped like Kurt? I still want to know lol. But he was extremely underused and underwritten and then he dies lol. I mean really?

Young Warren: Austin Butler Adult Warren: Dan Stevens

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Younger: Austin Butler is great! Karina brought him up and I was like “Omg yes!” He’s one of the actors I will put in everything! lol but Austin has this ability to be both earnest and lovable but smug and a little douchey at the same time. He has that look and I think he would be able to walk that line for Warren. Plus, he has gorgeous blonde locks, especially if he grows it out long again. Plus, I can see right now, him going back and forth with Graham Phillips as Scott because, I think he’s taller, a little cooler and he would wear that on his sleeve. I also think he could pull off a very emotional, heart on his sleeve personality and Austin is good at that. His eyes are very expressive.

Older: Dan Stevens is about 36 right now and I know he’s on that show Legion, as a mutant, which is fine, but I don’t think those shows count in the MCU but he has that pompous look that Warren has being a rich kid, but he also has an earnestness too. Just like Austin, he can walk that fine line of what Warren needs to be and it could come off either way. I think Dan Stevens also is pretty funny and I can imagine him and Armie Hammer going back and forth too.

Honorable Mentions (Young): I don’t have any, if you do, put them in the comments!

Honorable Mentions (Older): Alex Pettyfer, Freddie Stroma, 

So, the people I have chosen for the original X-men team, I think are strong contenders in both the young and older casting.

New Recruits

Ororo Munroe/Storm

3ecbbe87f8064f96bee4863ae3abeefdFirst of all, Ororo is awesome and has an awesome backstory. She comes from a tribe of women, African priestesses, who all have white hair, blue eyes and can potentially wield magic. Her parents were killed when a plane crashed into their home, she was buried under rubble which caused claustrophobia. She was found by a gang of street urchins who took her to theOir master and she was trained in the art of thievery. She was really good at it and one day tried to pick Charles Xavier’s pockets but it didn’t go so well lol. He used his abilities to stop her. There is also a ton of other things that happen which is dope but it’s a lot to share, but she ends up joining the X-men years later when Charles had no choice but contact her when his original group was in danger. He explained to her that she was a mutant, not a Goddess, though she’ll always be a GODDESS lol.

In the movies: Halle Berry and Alexandria Shipp

I didn’t like either one of these casting choices. I don’t find Halle Berry that consistently good of an actress and Storm has always been one of my favorite superheroes/X-men and I will never forgive her, Brian Singer or the writing team in those earlier movies. She was a little better in The Last Stand but that movie was so not good lol I can’t even think of her being good. She didn’t have any of the regality or strength that Ororo has and I’m sure it was a mixture of everyone not knowing how to write her character. Besides, she was always a background character which is also ridiculous. Alexandria Shipp already had us worried because of her portrayal of Aaliyah which also has to do with writing, direction and acting. Also, it sucks that neither of these actresses could handle the African accent, they tried but then Halle Berry stopped having one going forward and Alexandria Shipp was okay but she hardly talked. I mean, either way, she was just there. I also hated the fact they wanted Mystique to be such an inspiration to Storm… for why? Stupid. UGH! UGH! *sighs* let me bring it back.

Young Ororo: Kiki Layne                   Adult Ororo: Sonequa Martin-Green

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Younger: I haven’t seen If Beale Street Could Talk yet to comment on Kiki Layne’s acting ability but I think her look is perfect for Ororo. I mean, obviously it would be nice if they found an African actress, but I’m pulling from who I am aware of. She is tall and statuesque, with beautiful brown skin and I think she could at least handle all of the strength that comes from Storm, especially when it comes to using her powers, which IS MORE THAN HARNESSING LIGHTNING. I want to see her fly, I want to see her affect the weather, I want to see her lose her temper where she affects the weather but then learns she needs to leave the atmosphere to do it. I want all of it.

Older: I’ve had Sonequa Martin-Green as Storm for so long lol. I’ve been sitting on her casting for a while, I think I started this piece like earlier this year or last year lol. She’s not that much older than Kiki Layne but she has a more mature look to her, so while Kiki can pull off the younger Ororo, Sonequa could do a Storm whose been hereoing it up for some years. So, I want all that I said for young Storm, just in adult Storm lol.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Deborah Ayorinde

Honorable Mentions (Older): Aja Naomi King, Tika Sumpter

Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler

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There is a TON about his backstory but I’m not going to go into it because it’s sooo much. Kurt has always been my favorite X-men so I’ve liked both iterations of him we’ve seen. Now, I think an interesting thing that they haven’t done is show that he has fur. His skin isn’t blue, his body is coated in blue fur which I’ve always thought was cute, especially since Wolverine calls him “fuzzball” and what not lol. Kurt has tragedy in his background. Of course, there’s the whole thing with Mystique being his mother, so I definitely want them to talk about that. It should be a thing instead of this vague nonsense they kept doing. He ended up in the circus and during shows, the ringmaster who did not like him, kept him heavily sedated the entire time. I also believe he was a bit abusive. That helped shape Kurt into the religious man he turned into. Let’s get into all of that.

In the movies: Alan Cummings and Kodi Smit-McPhee who played Kurt in X-men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix and he was literally my favorite casting of the newer movies. Kurt is my favorite X-men and it always sucks that they bring him into the movie and he’s underused! In both movies he was underused! I hate the fact that he just randomly shows up during the cage fight and I want to know HOW THEY CAUGHT HIM because he was just there and his final fight with Angel was so lackluster, which should have been great considering how they set it up. He had a bit more to do in Dark Phoenix but not that much. But HE IS SO GOOD as Kurt, so likable and sweet and I think it would be crazy to not keep him. He’s the only actor I would really keep from those characters. They should just give him so much more to work with. They don’t have to keep the markings on his face, which is such a big part of the Fox version of Nightcrawler but it’s not necessary. As for Alan Cumming, he was fantastic for the first outing of the character. His first scene is literally the best scene in the X-men movies, fight me.

Young Kurt: Kofi Smit-McPhee or Timothee Chalamet Adult Kurt: Matthew Goode

Younger: Kodi Smit-McPhee played Kurt in X-men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix and he was literally my favorite casting of the newer movies. I really liked Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt. I thought he did a great job with the character, with his naivety, but his fierceness, his humor and he just embodied for me, what I’ve always loved about the character. Plus, he looked really good in the makeup for the character. I could also see his Kurt growing up into the Kurt we saw in X2. It flowed well enough for me. I liked that he was kind, because Kurt is and always has been but I also like when his survival instincts kicked in and he fought. I thought Kodi did a really good job, probably made me love Kurt even more.

Timothee Chalamet has been my other choice for Kurt if Kodi wasn’t brought back in. I really want to see him do something against type. Something he hasn’t done yet and I think this would be a great role to try out for him. I think all of the emotional stakes that Kurt has to go through he would absolutely KILL it, but I would also like to see him bring his goofy personality that I see in interviews and what not, to Kurt’s goofy personality. He seems to do well with languages, I’m not sure about accents but I’m sure he could do a German accent and I think he’d look good in the blue look for Kurt. I don’t like the idea of Kurt being full CGI because I don’t think it’s necessary, they just need to make sure whatever design they give him, works and isn’t painful. I would love to see him play in an action movie BUT Kurt is also a tragic, sensitive and emotional figure that it’s right up Timothee’s alley. Omg, I can see him doing this right now.

Older: I’ve seen Matthew Goode in a couple of things and he’s a really good actor. I chose him really because his physicality and I think he would look great! But he also has this mysterious look to him that could go either way. I think he could do a good job.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Honorable Mentions (Older): Robert Sheehan, Rami Malek, Gaspard Ulliel

Anna Marie/Rogue

4440808-6947826028-rogueShe has powers that will take other people’s life-force and their powers if they’re mutants. That is all.

In the movies: Anna Paquin was a hit or miss most of the time. The emotional moments she did well but Rogue was never the sassy and strong vixen she normally is. Of course, a lot of my knowledge is from the animated show (not the 1992 one) where she was in the “goth” phase and very Southern lol. They can do that or just go off of what she’s normally shown like in the picture above. Anyway, lol Paquin was too whiny as Rogue and we never really got to see her use her powers, she was always scared of them or whined about them. Let’s see her fight Carol and steal her powers so she can fly and be strong and stuff! lol

Young Rogue: Sofia Carson Adult Rogue Mary Elizabeth Winstead

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Younger: I almost went with one of the last two of my honorable mentions but then Sofia Carson popped into my mind. I really like her. She has an interesting voice which I think would work for Rogue. I’m not sure how Southern she sounds, or if she can do a Southern accent but I think she would be able to embody all of Rogue’s feistiness, strength, and sensuality.

Older: Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a great choice for Rogue! I think she would be able to handle her Southern accent and keep that same personality and airs that Rogue has. I know she’s slated to play Huntress in this Birds of Preymovie, but let’s just forget about that and get her to play Rogue, if they go with more seasoned heroes.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Elizabeth Gillies, Hailee Steinfeld, Katherine Langford, Billie Lourd

Honorable Mentions (Older): Lyndsy Fonseca, Candice Patton, Alexandria Daddario, Sophia Bush

Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat

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I was always more familiar with her from X-Men: Evolution where she was an upbeat, sunny girl who was pretty much popular and liked by everyone because of her open personality. I really want to see a strong friendship between her and Kurt as that was one of my favorite aspects of the animated show and I know it was also part of the comics as well. Plus, if we do get a Wolverine, I definitely want the friendship we get with Kitty and Logan, along with Logan and Kurt AND Kurt, Kitty and Logan.

In the movies: Ellen Page was fine in her outings as Kitty. I was mostly familiar with X-men: Evolution’s Kitty who was super girly and kind of a valley girl so Ellen Page who wasn’t like that was kind of weird for me lol. But she was fine and likable enough, I just didn’t like the whole Bobby/Kitty thing. I don’t know, we didn’t really get the chance to spend much time with her.

Young Kitty: Sophia Lillis or Millie Bobbie Brown Adult Kitty: Emmy Rossum

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Younger: So, I have two choices for a young Kitty. I think Millie Bobbie Brown is an obvious choice but I think she’d do well in the role no matter which kind of personality they decide to give her. I do think she should be a bit more upbeat, like a typical teenager instead of all these sullen, brooding teens lol. MBB seems to have that kind of personality in real life. As for Sophia Lillis, I really like her and I think she would be an interesting choice for Kitty. She would make Kitty a bit more relatable and sassier and I like that about her, besides she’s a little older than MBB. Either choice I think would work out just fine. Besides, I think both of them would be able to have a great rapport with either of my choices for Kurt, as they are older than both SL and MBB, it would hopefully come off more sibling like. Otherwise, I’d age up Kitty’s actress with casting one of my honorable mentions.

Older: Emmy Rossum is an amazing actress and as soon as I saw her photo when I was looking at brunette actresses, I was like BAM that’s Kitty. I think she would maintain that bright personality that Kitty has but also be a bit “harder” because I would think she’s experienced and been through a lot. Plus, I think she would fit into my choices of the older X-men really well and have good besties chemistry with Matthew Goode as Kurt.

Honorable Mentions (Young): Kaitlyn Dever, Maia Mitchell, Natalia Dyer

Honorable Mentions (Older): Put your choices in the comments!

Remy LeBeau/Gambit

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He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Remy’s bio-kinetic charging abilities manifested early in his teens, although he kept his powers secret from his family and friends, practicing his powers away from prying eyes. Remy discovered his signature attack when he picked up a playing card that Etienne had dropped, charged it, and threw it in the Pig’s face, taking out his eye. He’s had a lot of adventures, he’s really interesting lol and we need to see more of him, I definitely would like to, especially see his relationship with Rogue. My picks for the older version of Gambit and Rogue would be soooo great together! Plus, he just looks really cool. Let this Channing Tatum nonsense GO!

In the movies: Taylor Kitsch was honestly fine in his role; it was a bad movie and bad writing. I thought he did well and I wouldn’t mind having him back.

Adult Remy: Garrett Hedlund

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I thought about doing the young/older for Remy but I couldn’t think of anyone I liked as a young Remy, so I’m just casting an adult one. The younger one might have to be an unknown. If they go with the younger X-men he shouldn’t really show up that soon anyway. But I think Garrett Hedlund would be perfect, he’s tall, handsome, likable and he normally has the hair that Remy sports and he has this charm to him that I think would snare anyone. Now, I don’t particularly know how good his accent would be but I’m sure he’d be fine. I’ve liked him in every role I’ve seen him play for the most part, so Garrett for the win!

Honorable Mentions (Older): Gaspard Ulliel, Dave Franco, Ian Somerhalder, Kevin Zegers, Taylor Kitsch, Jared Padalecki, Daveed Diggs, Jared Leto

Supporting X-men

Caleb McLaughlin as Evan Daniels/Spyke

People have brought him up for Miles Morales and I disagree on that. So, if they bring in Spyke mostly from X-men: Evolution, Caleb should play him. He doesn’t have to quite have this look but still lol.

Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/ Jubilee

She was so wasted… so bring her back.

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Returning Players

These are the characters we’ve seen many times. I didn’t want to quite include them in the detailed bits above but I’ll have everyone here except for Wolverine. I don’t have anyone I really want to see play that role right now.

 Ralph Fiennes as Charles Xavier/Professor X

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I actually couldn’t think of anyone else once I saw a picture of Ralph Fiennes. I think he’d be a great mentor to either of my groups of X-men. He has a stern face but he also knows how to soften it when necessary. Plus, I can see him going toe to toe with Jason Isaacs in a battle of wits.

Jason Isaacs as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto

He’d be great and you know it! Both McKellen and Fassy were great as Erik but neither one of them intimidated me. I want a Magneto who would intimidate me even when he’s not on screen. I never quite felt the threat from the other two. They were great but I think Jason Isaacs would really be able to sink his hooks (hehehe). I mean this dude intimidated me as Captain Hook lol. I think he’d look great in the classic Magneto suit and go toe to toe with my Charles.

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Charlize Theron as Raven Darkholme/Mystique

I don’t think they should do the scales thing again. It was cool when you first see it with Rebecca Romjin, but they should stick to her comic look. Blue skin, red flowy hair, yellow eyes and then of course clothes lol. She often wears that white outfit; she can wear that as her default but she can literally change clothes at the drop of a hate. Just no scales.

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Honorable Mentions: Lena Heady, Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale

So, these are my choices for how the MCU should cast their X-men. I didn’t of course go into sooo much detail about other characters, nor did I cast everyone, or even people we meet along the way, like Colossus and Banshee etc. I think this first group I’ve chosen would be a good group to start out with because then we get to see people get development we haven’t seen like Scott, Warren, and Bobby. Hank and Jean has gotten it in the past, but I’m hoping for a different kind of development lol. I’d also hope that the additional characters like Ororo, Kurt, Rogue and Kitty would be put to much better use.

But that’s it! This took a long time to put together and I want to thank Karina for helping me when I was stuck!

Thanks for reading and please let me know your thoughts on my Fan Casting for the MCU’s X-men and leave your casting choices in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

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Movie Review: Dark Phoenix (2019)

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Summary: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all of humanity.
This is a really late review lol but finally here it is!
Pros:
Cast and CharactersHonestly, we have a lot of characters in this movie but I don’t think there is enough screen time for most of them for us to really care about them outside of the fact they are characters we have seen in previous movies or we know them from the comics.
  • Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. She is an extremely powerful mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers. In this film, the X-men have been working alongside the government in certain missions. In this one, it’s something with NASA so the X-men are sent to help out which causes Jean to have to hold the spaceship together while Kurt tries to save the last astronaut. This causes her to be hit with the cosmic cloud. Throughout the film, she deals with the unraveling of her mind and the strength of her powers. She goes back and forth between being vulnerable and confident as she loses more of who she was and goes into someone she’s not sure she wants to be. The film is ultimately about her and her journey and I think Sophie Turner does a good job with the ups and downs Jean goes through. If you don’t like Sansa Stark then you might be reminded of her in the beginning when Jean’s all crying and what not but when she takes on the confidence of the Phoenix she does the smirking expressions and the kind of darkness of Phoenix to the point where I was like “Yass I’m into it” lol. Also, her American accent was a lot better in this one compared to her first outing as Jean. She slipped a few times but it was overall good.
  • James McAvoy as Charles Xavier / Professor X. He is a mutant pacifist and he founded Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. In this, Charles seems to be loving the attention they are getting from the world and others call him out on it. If anything can be said about Charles, it’s he tries to make decisions with the best intentions, for the “greater good”. He never does anything to ruin a person’s life, or to better himself. He does it to help and I think that’s always been his thing. Sure, he may not always be morally right and he may not make the best decisions, but it’s not like he’s a bad guy. Anyway, James McAvoy is so good as Charles though, he’s always so good.
Supporting Characters. 
  • Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto. He’s not in the movie that much, he comes in maybe the halfway mark and then sticks around but he’s not a big player like he has been in the past. He only really gets involved because he’s living on some mutant island where they can be safe and Jean goes to him for sanctuary. When he finds out what happened, he spends a good chunk going after Jean. Michael Fassbender is still good as Erik, he doesn’t get a ton to do in this movie but when he’s on screen, he still is very dynamic.
  • Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy / Beast. I like Nicholas Hoult and I think he does really well with the emotional weight his character goes through really well. I do not like him in the movie but I think Hoult still does a great job with Hank though.
  • Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers / Cyclops. He can fire optic beams with his eyes. In this film he and Jean are in a developing relationship and it’s part of what helps her stay grounded, that and the idea of family. He’s a foundation of hope for Jean. I like Tye Sheridan and I like him as Scott, he doesn’t get a ton to do in this film but I like the chemistry with him and Sophie Turner.
  • Jessica Chastain as Vuk. Without going into any spoiler details, she is trying to lead Jean and teach her how to use her power that causes her to give in to the power. She is very clinical and unsettling. I think a lot of it has to do with her appearance but I think Jessica Chastain does a fine job in the role.
Story Idea. Of course, the story idea of Jean dealing with the cosmic powers from space and the whole dark phoenix thing is awesome. I think it’s really great to see her struggle with her power, her trauma and identity.
Use of Powers. The action in this movie is handled well. How Jean’s powers are used, while not as massive as they could be, I thought was handled really well, particularly the scene at the end when she really gets to show out. I also think how Nightcrawler gets to use his powers, particularly in the last half of the film is super exciting! Getting to see Charles in the midst of battle use his powers against someone else who also has his powers… to see other characters get to shine during action scenes was really fun to watch. If anything, the action and power use is really exciting! On a negative (?) note, they do know that Storm can do more than harness lightning, right? Just thought I’d ask.
Cons:
Other Characters. I swear, the other characters are just there because they were in previous movies. I love both Storm and Nightcrawler. They are my favorite X-men and I feel like the movies just don’t know what to do with them, or at least how to utilize them the way they should. Even Scott, is just reduced to “Jean I’m here for you…” and blah blah blah and I’m like *rolls eyes* I know the movie is about Jean and while the other characters KIND of get to shine in action pieces, I just wish their personalities get the same love as the action.
Nothing’s happening? For a good chunk of the movie there’s not much happening. It just seems like Jean’s going from place to place, crying and being afraid of whatever’s happening to her. She goes from person to person to find help and finally when she meets Jessica Chastain, things seem to be kicking off. It just felt like an hour of nothing really going on until the last 30 minutes or so.
Forgettable. I don’t think this movie makes the stamp it really wants to make. I feel like in the sea of X-men movies we have, this one will kind of just float on by because the tension isn’t really there. I didn’t feel like anything was really going to happen that would be long lasting. I mean, it’s hard to really take it seriously considering what’s going on behind the scenes with Marvel Studios taking over now, but even without that, I don’t think it would really make the impression it wants to make. I mean, outside of me doing this review, I’m like… okay.
Freaking Mystique. She’s never been my favorite character in the X-men universe but she’s a bit cool and the movies made her cooler however, I don’t care for this whole thing of trying to make her be a good guy or make her be an X-men. Is it because it’s Jennifer Lawrence? Is she not allowed to be a bad guy? In this movie she’s leading the X-men team out in the field but she is also upset at Charles, even more so than she’s been in other movies. I’m over her. Mystique has always worked at the betterment of herself. Yes, I don’t mind her wanting to protect the kids, but stop trying to make her into something she’s not because it’s just really annoying and it makes me hate her. I don’t think Jennifer Lawrence is a bad actress, I think she’s fine, I just find her character (particularly in this) super annoying and I don’t like the direction or the writing for her character. She comes off really whiny.
Do We Hate Charles Now? I’m sorry this might be spoiler-ish? I feel like they might have been setting this up in other movies, which is fine, but since when do we all hate and distrust Charles? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to act like his choices were perfect, especially when it came to helping Jean, but let’s not act like he does things for his own ego. He does things to help others. Sure, he’s at an interesting place in this movie but don’t sit here and allow Mystique, and then Hank to sit here and act like Charles is the reason for every bad thing that’s happened? No thanks. I did not like that and I was upset every time it was brought up and the first 30 minutes, I was sitting in my chair fuming. I don’t think it was a good plot point because it was stupid. Having Jean be upset or whatever is okay because that makes sense but the other stuff? Meh. I hate it.
Overall, I didn’t hate Dark Phoenix, especially not in the way I’ve seen other people call it ‘trash’ which I don’t think it is, but I don’t think it’s as good as it should be. This movie has gone through a lot in terms of reshoots and what not and I think it shows. I think Jean and Charles who are the main leads are interesting and Sophie Turner and James McAvoy handle their characters really well. The other characters do just fine overall and the acting is good. The story is really interesting and I just wish we got to see a bit more and I really like how the powers are used in this film, everyone kind of gets their moment to shine. Now, I don’t think the character development and personalities get the same amount of love the action does. I think it’s a very forgettable movie in the sea of comic book movies or even X-men movies. I HATE Mystique in these movies and I’m sick of her being shoved in my face as a good person, they’re giving me whiplash with who she is and what her motives are. JUST STOP. Jennifer Lawrence clearly doesn’t want to do these because I swear, she’s phoning it in. Also, this whole thing of people wanting to turn on Charles because he’s made some bad decisions, I mean please. UGH! I hated that too. In the end, this is a fine movie to watch, especially if you are an X-men fan. Check it out.
Rating: 2.9 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Dark Phoenix? What were your thoughts? Comment below and let me know! I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for any future reviews!

Movie Review: Ready Player One (2018)

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Summary: When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts / Parzival. He is a Gunter, someone who is searching for the Easter eggs within the Oasis “Egg Hunter= Gunter”. He lives in the stacks of Columbus, Ohio and his real life is kind of meh, so he finds a lot of his relief within in the Oasis. Wade lives and breathes the Oasis, he loves it, he looks up to Halliday and the things he creates and loves. He also loves nostalgic things, particularly from the 80s. Wade is likable and Parzival is cool. We get to see him do some really cool things while in the virtual world. I like Tye Sheridan a lot, I’ve always kept my eye on him and films he’s doing and I think he’s good in the role. He’s likable and I think Wade could easily come off as unlikable or annoying but I think Tye who seems almost “too cool” for the role, manages to still feel like a teenager in this world. He also has some great facial expressions and I like his delivery of dialogue.
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  • Olivia Cooke as Samantha Cook / Art3mis. She is a famous Gunter who works with various allies to try to keep the OASIS free and out of IOI’s hands. She is enigmatic when we first meet her, she’s cool, she’s obviously been doing this a long time as she’s able to do some really cool things with really cool tools. She has a reason as to why she’s trying to win the contest, in ways, its noble and she has her mind-set on it. Tunnel vision in a way. However, compared to Wade, she has a distinct plan on what she wants. We do meet Samantha and she’s pretty much just as cool as Art3mis, she’s just a bit more self-conscious. She’s smart, quick on her feet and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. I’ve only seen Olivia Cooke in one film, I believe and I like her. She’s a good actress, I think she is emotional and you can feel it. She does a lot with her eyes, which is what I praised I think in my Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review.
Art3misSupporting Characters. We have our supporting characters who are all fun when they’re on screen. I believe at least two of them has either a really cool or really hilarious scene. The other has kind of running joke. I don’t want to really say who they are as if you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t want to ruin the moment where they actually show the real people. But definitely shouting out Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao and Win Morisaki. All likable.
  • Mark Rylance as James Halliday / Anorak. He is the deceased co-creator of the OASIS. He includes an Easter Egg hidden in the OASIS after his passing so that the winner will gain control over the OASIS. He seems to be a smart man, who also loves the 80’s and someone who is socially awkward and a bit…strange anyway. But he seemed like a nice guy. Mark Rylance is always good. I think you can’t help but to like him as Halliday and he manages to make you feel sorry for him as well.
Nostalgia. Unlike the trailers, which I thought threw a lot of nostalgia at you, I think the movie itself breaks it up enough where it doesn’t feel like a giant nostalgia bomb being thrown in your face. Besides, if you have no idea what any of it is, or if it doesn’t mean anything to you, I can’t imagine it being that big a deal to someone. I loved the nostalgia. Just seeing the DeLorean was great. The Iron Giant! There are a few other moments that I don’t want to ruin because either it’s cute or it’s funny.
The Oasis is Dope. So I haven’t read the book so I don’t know how many places on The Oasis they visit, but from what we see, it’s pretty cool. It’s a virtual reality world, where people pretty much do everything. I do believe in the book, school happened virtually, so that would have been cool to see, so that’s missing but that’s fine. I thought watching them travel to different places allowed some exploration which was cool (I feel like I’m using “cool” a lot lol).
The Race. I think that was probably one of my favorite scenes. It’s just this huge death race where you face off against the T-REX from Jurassic Park (I’m assuming), King Kong, and various other dangers. It was so cool, plus watching my favorite car the DELOREAN be used that way, was friggin awesome, I loved it. Plus, watching how King Kong demolished everyone, or how people lost while playing, it was pretty cool. I also loved the scene we see later where Parzival goes backwards.
The Shining sequence. There’s a part where they go into one of Halliday’s favorite movies, and they get to experience parts of the movie which was scary for them but hilarious to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, it later had this Haunted Mansion feel to it which was an awesome challenge. It was visually awesome, fun and something I would probably crap my pants if it happened to me.
The Visuals. This is a beautiful movie, mostly on the Oasis and I want to see it in IMAX 3D because I bet that’s just a feast for the eyes. I like the design of the characters and how you could really see some of the actor’s expressions and just their face within their character. I also loved the color choices that indicated Parzival and Art3mis. Though the OASIS was virtual, I thought all of the avatars looked pretty real, but still computer generated. I loved the visuals of what would happen when someone won a challenge. I think The Shining sequence had some great visuals.
Cons:
The Villain. So Ben Mendelsohn is the main villain, he’s the head of IOI and he has employed many people to learn and understand Halliday in order to find the Easter Eggs themselves so they could become the sole proprietor of the OASIS. I did not find him scary at all, or even very menacing. I think he would normally be a scary guy, according to a coworker, he is scary in the book, but that definitely does not translate in the movie. He’s comical. I think Ben Mendelsohn could be a great villain but the two times I’ve seen him be a villain it was kind of sad because he just wasn’t. Probably the writing. He was a threat… at one point but meh, wasn’t impressed with him at all.
Character Development. I think everyone lacks character development. In terms of Wade we don’t see him grow or become something else by the end of the movie. He’s a leader, and he stands up for himself but I thought he did that throughout. He’s awkward, he’s smart, and like a teenager, he does stupid stuff. I mean, I want to say there’s a character arc but he really just stays the same. Just maybe more bold? I don’t know, there’s a disconnect. Artemis is the next lead, she’s just mysterious and a bit self-conscious about her appearance (her real world self is) but ultimately a leader and a badass and we learn about why she’s leading a rebellion but we honestly don’t learn anything about the rebellion otherwise. Not really. Then we have Aech, Sho and Daito who are Wade’s online friends. Aech is probably the most important as we spend the most time with him but as they become more prominent in the story, we see them more but know nothing about them. They’re all awesome don’t get me wrong, and I like them but as far as characters go, they’re just there.
Character Motivations. Along with the lack of character development, we don’t get a sense for motivations. Samantha is doing this because of something that happened to her father, but she says it so fast out of anger, that if you blinked, you missed it. We do see her freak out when she comes face to face with where he died, but it’s so fast and unattached that I can’t get behind her “rebellion”. Plus, when she said “Welcome to the Rebellion”, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was being serious because we literally only see her doing anything, in terms of rebellion. There was no big group of people, I mean there were people but they were in the background. Was it really a rebellion or was it just some girl’s quest to avenge her father? Who knows man. Wade wants to win so he can leave the stacks and that’s about it. It becomes more important later but that’s about it. Everyone else, we never really learn their motivations, as far as we know, they want the glory.
Coincidences. These things happen every day, but it can’t always be chalked up to a coincidence because first of all, which is the biggest thing for me… how the heck did the others even know how to find each other? Or find Wade? You can argue that Samantha sent out her SOS but does that mean it pinged them to tell them where she was? Okay, I can dig that, but how did they find each other? I can imagine the Sho and Daito knew each other in real life but how did they find Aech?? Also, I know that lady was evil and crazy but there is no way she lived after how she fell out of that van.
Story Flow. This movie is non stop and it’s fun. I don’t think there is a dull moment in the movie but I do think the movie lacks story flow, or at least a clear line of narrative. I get what’s going on, I understand what’s happening, or what it’s trying to accomplish, but I think it gets so focused on the spectacle that the story gets muddled in all of the movement. You know what it’s trying to be, or at least trying to do but I think the movie loses sight of that by trying to make it be familiar but at the same time be different.
Overall, I really enjoyed Ready Player One, I haven’t read the book yet so I’m not comparing it all, but I had fun. It’s visually stunning when the OASIS is on screen. The cast is fine, the acting is good and I thought Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke had really good chemistry and played off each other very well. I loved the nostalgia that’s in the movie, I don’t think it was abused or thrown at you in an annoying way, it was used in an exciting way. I liked the soundtrack of the film, it was used in a way that felt familiar and new at the same time. I loved a lot of the challenge sequences in the film, particularly the Race and the The Shining sequence. They were fun and got me completely amped up into the action and adventure of the film. The OASIS is dope and someone needs to get on that lol. On the other hand, I think the movie lacks character development and motivation. It’s hard to connect to any of them without truly understanding them, or watching them evolve throughout the movie. No one in this movie does that. The villain is lack luster and comical when he should be menacing. There are some crazy coincidences that happen that I can’t ignore and I think the narrative isn’t strong nor does the story flow as well as it should. It’s a really fun movie and I think a casual movie goer or someone who likes fun action/adventure AND who loves to remember the past, will enjoy it.
Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Ready Player One? Did you enjoy it?
What bit of nostalgia from the movie was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more movie reviews!

Movie Review: Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

I came across this movie seeing the trailer on Facebook and I was like “oh yeah, this looks great. It has Ezra Miller?!? Oh I love him. Tye Sheridan? Oh yeah. Michael Ang-whose name I never get right lol. I’m all over this movie.” I’m about to see this movie in theaters and then I find out it’s already out. So, the next day I picked it up from the library.

Summary: Twenty-four male students out of seventy-five were selected to take on randomly assigned roles of prisoners and guards in a mock prison situated in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Based on true events.

 

Pros:
Cast and Characters. Now, as I always do, I will mention the standouts but I think overall, everyone in this movie does a good job in their roles. I think the students are the ones who really steal this movie. The “adult” roles are fine but honestly outside of them being there, they’re rather forgettable.
  • Ezra Miller (Daniel Culp/ 8612). First off, I adore Ezra Miller and everything I have seen him in, I think he excels so this role is no different. Culp is the first student we see and he says he would like to be a prisoner in the experiment as it “seemed like less work” and when he actually is randomly selected to be a prisoner, he takes the role on as a joke. He is the only student we see be mock arrested and put through the process before actually going to jail and immediately the viewer connects with him. He takes it lightly in the beginning, laughing, cracking jokes with the other prisoners, knowing in their contract they could rebel and the guards couldn’t physically harm them. When things start getting a bit to…serious he is the first one to speak out. Miller does these little ticks that show how the character is reacting to certain things. When he is first arrested, he’s laughing but when they blindfold him, there’s a sharp intake of breath because that’s new, then later when he’s told to strip naked, he has to wait because the guards forgot to bring something and though he’s still blindfolded, it’s plain to see he’s already starting to get nervous. When the next shift of guards make them repeat their prisoner numbers over and over, one of the prisoners is told to do a series of exercises, he does these little twitches which shows he wants to say something so badly. He does, usually every time, and some of the guards purposely seek him out because of it. There are a lot of great scenes with this character that I need to stop talking about him before it gets longer.
  • Tye Sheridan (Peter Mitchell/819). He seems like he was one of the younger students but wary from the beginning as we see him when he goes through the process (the name is totally escaping me). He already is questioning the guards taking their roles “too seriously” and for a while, his character is more or less, Culp’s friend and the intended partner in crime, but once they share a “solitary” sentence together, they’re put into separate rooms and his new cellmates do their own form of rebellion. Later, his character becomes a bit more emotional and Sheridan does such a great job in showing the nervousness of this young man, his want to be rebellious, him actually being rebellious and then his ultimate freak out. The emotions with this character is amazing where there is a scene, where I felt so bad for him I wanted to cry.
  • Michael Angarano (Christopher Archer). He plays one of the guards, at first he wants to be a prisoner because he recognizes that no one likes guards but is the last option next to Culp for a role and is ultimately drawn as the guard. Archer practices his role a few times in the mirror and eventually settles on a persona, it’s just a role to him, and he falls into it very well. Angarano is playing Archer playing this guard whose persona is “John Wayne” and he does it so well that he’s intimidating and degrading with his words alone. Towards the end, his character gets a bit more crass but it’s obvious this guy is just enjoying his role and doesn’t even think what he’s doing is that bad. His scene with Ezra Miller where he keeps making him remake his bed pushes the film into dangerous territory.
  • There are many others such as Johnny Simmons, Brett Davern, Chris Sheffield and Nicholas Braun who are also notable in their roles as well. These students go through so much in such a short amount of time and even Braun who plays a guard, becomes a very scary presence who is a step forward to the extreme than Angarano’s character is. He definitely purposely had it out for Miller’s character.
The Story. As this is based on a true story, there is a lot that could be taken from the real experience and I’m sure there is but the movie stands on it’s own so well, that it’s horrific and something that is not easily looked away from. The fact that the professor thought his study of “what happens when good people are put into bad situations, mainly in prisons” would work without people actually getting too much into their roles was already intriguing and sad. You’re a psychology professor SIR! Also dealing with the fact that Dr. Phillp Zimbarda who was leading the experiment, got swept up in it himself that he allowed it to go on for so long and only stopped it when an outsider, his girlfriend, brought things to his attention that he was already a witness too.
The Emotional Aspects. It’s not a tear jerker, unless the viewer is emotional but it’s so conflicting. Just as the prisoners are being introduced to their new “reality” or are emotionally going through the situation, we are as well because it’s like we see the situation as both an outsider and a prisoner. As an outsider, we’re upset at their situation because we cannot fathom being in it just as they were stunned at their treatment because they didn’t think it would happen. But as we watch it, we can see the situation through the eyes of the prisoners where it’s hard to decide whether or not to fight back or just sit and take it. It’s so conflicting that by the end of the movie, you can’t help but to think about it more afterwards. I can’t imagine anyone thinking what happened was successful or positive but it does raise so many more questions in this experiment. There are a lot of scenes where I couldn’t look away even if it was too horrible, especially towards the end with Prisoner 2903. Prisoner 819 has some great emotional scenes where you want to save the poor boy and of course 8612 has great stuff.
The Camerawork/Cinematography. There’s a lot of cool camerawork in this movie, a lot of directing choices that enhanced the storyline. The film is set in the early 70s, so there’s already a smoky, almost tan tint to the film that makes it look like it’s pulled directly from that time period. There is a scene where the guards are storming the cells after facing some rebellion and the camera does a long tracking shot from above, where we’re looking down into the cells as the other prisoners react to what’s happening around them. The slow motion choices used during “violent” parts to emphasize the treatment from their classmates who were really taking on these guard roles, as well as showcasing the prisoner’s fear. It’s so claustrophobic that it’s so easy to get uncomfortable.
The Escape Scene. Without trying to spoil much, there’s a scene where two prisoners manage to escape their designated area and attempt to flee the basement. However, they don’t know where they are, or how to get out as they were all blindfolded when led inside. They run through the hallways, trying to find an unlocked door but the guards on duty catch them and the Professor and his colleagues block another exit. That scene is done so well, with the prisoners involved, they are really trying to find a way out as they’re fed up and tensions run high as you want them to escape but at the same time, you’re wondering, how are they going to get out if they have no idea where they are? What are they going to do? If they get out are they really going to send help since it was an experiment they all signed up and are getting paid for? Also, what were the doctors going to do?  That scene is done so well, from them escaping their cell all the way to them being caught… so good.
The Characters’ Ages. We are never actually told their ages which I first considered a “con” because it would help me be a bit more emotionally invested in knowing their ages however, I think not knowing is a good thing because obviously the ages range from 18 to probably 22, or even 26 depending if anyone is in graduate school, but you know they’re just students. They think this experiment was going to be fun, they think it was just going to be a simple two week thing but when the terror starts to happen, you have to constantly remind yourself, they’re boys, they’re young boys because their ages don’t matter anymore. It makes them more vulnerable because we’re left wondering… how old is the oldest and how young is the youngest? But… how could these guards who are the same ages as the prisoners do this?
Cons:
Disappearing Characters. Again, I know this is based off a true story and I read that some students really did manage to be released early from the experiment, but that sucked for the movie as the ones who were released early were the most interesting prisoners! Once they were gone, especially one of them (without spoiling, you know exactly who I’m talking about when watching) it’s hard to care about the remaining prisoners because they weren’t focused on beforehand so outside of the situation, there’s really no connection to them.
The Look of Some Characters. This is not necessarily their costumes, but more of the choices in wigs/hair/mustaches. It’s a small thing but it’s so noticeable that it was annoying. One of the guards seemed young and he had this ugly blonde mustache that he didn’t need. Another guard, had this long wig, which I didn’t even recognize the actor until the end and when I rewatched the film, I paid more attention and wow, his hair looked horrible. I don’t know if the excuse would be because it was the early 70s but those who had facial hair, outside of Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano and another prisoner, everyone else’s facial hair looked fake. It was nice they all looked so different but they could have looked better.
Supporting Characters. Everyone is not bad, in fact the cast is good as a whole but some of the characters are just there. In the group of prisoners, everyone has their moment to “shine” but there’s at least four or five of them who are easily forgotten. One of them gets a big emotional part towards the end but otherwise, 8612 and 819 are way more interesting. Then with the adults, there is Dr. Zimbarda who is an interesting character as he’s the one who put the experiment together, but he didn’t calculate for everything and he hates it when people question his experiment and his methods, he gets a bit more interesting at the end, but outside of watching him watch the students, it’s not easy to connect with him because it’s so easy to be disgusted with him. The only other notable person is Jesse Fletcher but his character is conflicting enough that his arc is understood but again, he’s not really a character to fully connect with though it’s probably easier to get with him than it is Dr. Zimbarda.
The Tone. While the camerawork and everything is great, the movie gets a bit too… repetitive. There’s bullying, there’s rebellion, the doctors just sit and watch… then rinse and repeat. I’m sure that’s how it went most of the time in the real experiment, but I think it would have been… more emotional, dramatic and refreshing in this film, if other things happened. Of course the prisoners didn’t need to be let out of their confined area but there could have been more camaraderie seen between them, Miller’s character tried to inspire rebellion but not everyone lived up to it, or were on the same page as him.
The Payoff. This is probably more at fault with the real experiment than with the movie but it’s noticeable in the movie as it’s closely based off the real life events but in the end, we are tortured alongside these young men that when we get to the end, we expect to see something that comes from the experiment and honestly there isn’t. In real life, the experiment is the reason why people must go before an Ethics Board before conducting social experiments but in terms of findings, conclusions, nothing is really… there so the end is so frustrating that the journey almost doesn’t seem worth it; it is though but I can see why someone might feel differently.
Overall, this movie packs a punch to the gut because it makes you want to know more about the experiment itself. Most have heard of it as it is touched on in most Psychology classes, but this film allows a theatrical look that a documentary cannot provide. The creative camerawork helps to put the viewer right in there with the prisoners with the confined feelings, the emotional torture, the rebellion they try to fall into but ultimately getting cut off at the knees. The cast is strong working together, while all characters aren’t all that interesting themselves, you find the ensemble is what this film really stands on. Ezra Miller is a strong stand out in his role as the rebellious Daniel Culp as well as Tye Sheridan and Michael Angarano as Prisoner 819 and Guard “John Wayne”. The emotional weight is hard to stomach which is the point and the story is such an interesting and rich one that you want to know more. Unfortunately, more interesting characters fall away which leaves characters the viewers haven’t connected with left to lead the rest of the film which kind of makes the emotional connection decrease. Other supporting characters such as the adults aren’t as interesting, we do get to see character arcs but they’re just there until the plot needs them to react differently to what is going on. But this movie is so good that I would watch it again, even if it’s a hard one to watch, it’s so fascinating that it’s hard to not want to watch it again.
Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Stanford Prison Experiment? What do you think about it? Do you think this particular experiment could have had a more positive outcome if Dr. Zimbarda prevented the guards from degrading the prisoners or if he was on the prisoners’ side as much as he was on the guards? Check out the actual experiment. So fascinating.