Fantasy Casting // X-Men: Days of Future Past in 1981!

With Secret Wars offering up a glimpse into the past and the recent movie sequel it seems like a reasonable time to take another crack at else-world else-time fantasy casting. This time I’m concerning myself with one of the X-Men’s most vaunted adventures – Days of Future Past!

The Rules / So here’s the rules to the fantasy casting business – I’m looking to find the most appropriate cast, primarily based on their ability to embody the role, for the characters in the original version of the adapted story; the kicker is that they have to right for the roles if the movie were released the same year as the comic.

The Book / Running to only two issues the original Days of Future Past story appeared in Uncanny X-Men #141-142 way back in 1981, written by Chris Claremont and with art by John Byrne. The story is roughly the same as that seen in the movie, although there are a few major differences (including Kitty being the time displaced the lead not Wolverine) and the central cast is quite different. That said, the X-Men are still the X-men, Mystique is still Mystique (leading a misfit brotherhood), and the future timeline (2013!) is still a Sentinel controlled hell-hole!

Kitty Pryde / Karen Allen

1981 DOFP Casting - Kitty & Karen Allen

1981 was the same year that Raiders of the Lost Ark was released where Allen played Marion Ravenwood with the kind of gutsy independent spirit that would be perfect for future Kitty. Allen also looks the part for young Kitty and has the ability to imbue the role with the necessary vulnerability.

Storm / Pam Greer

1981 DOFP Casting - Storm & Pam Greer

Leader of the X-Men and an elemental force to be reckoned with Storm could only be played by someone with an incredibly strong screen presence; Pam Greer has that in spades, along with a don’t mess with me attitude that is perfect.

Colossus / Arnold Schwarzenegger

1981 DOFP Casting - Colossus & Arnold schwarzenegger

Still a year away from taking on the role of Conan the Barbarian Arnie none the less has the right look for the big hearted metal man Colossus. He can also play a man of few, but meaningful, words as demonstrated by his breakthrough smash a few years later – The Terminator.

Wolverine / Kurt Russell

1981 DOFP Casting - Wolverine & Kurt Russell

The gruff, knowing, cynical, but beneath it all caring Wolverine would be in good hands with Kurt Russell. An actor with incredible versatility and presence.

Nightcrawler / Jackie Chan

1981 DOFP Casting - Nightcrawler & Jackie Chan

The joyous, physical, funny Nightcrawler? Who better to play him than the best action comedian that’s ever lived! The timing is perfect as this is the year Chan began breaking into Western cinema with a role in Cannonball Run.

Angel / Warren Beatty

1981 DOFP Casting - Angel & Warren Beatty

Handsome and rich and with a butter wouldn’t melt vibe; all of which would cover a certain missing something and a sense of doom in his future. Beatty would nail this role.

Professor Xavier / Patrick Stewart

1981 DOFP Casting - Professor X & Patrick Stewart

Sure he was a lot younger, but this was the same year Stewart turned in a performance full of gravitas in Excalibur. In any case, the Professor was a young man once.

Magneto / Laurence Oliver

1981 DOFP Casing - Magneto & Laurence Olivier

Magneto is seen only in the future timeline where his wisdom and gravitas are on full display. Who better than the acting legend Laurence Oliver, who just got finished playing Zeus in Clash of the Titans.

Mystique / Meryl Streep

1981 DOFP Casting - Mystique & Meryl Streep

For the character that can take any form the actress that can play any role. Streep released The French Lieutenant’s Woman the same year and already had an impeccable catalogue of roles.

Pyro / Michael Caine

1981 DOFP Casting - Pyro & Micheal Caine

The Englishman Pyro had a dangerous streak and a certain charm. Caine just finished up Escape to Victory, so maybe something a little more realistic movie would be a refreshing change!

Destiny / Sigourney Weaver

1981 DOFP Casting - Destiny & Sigourney Weaver

Potential assassin and possibly Mystique’s lover Destiny was a little older in the book, but Weaver, who completed Alien two years earlier, proved that she can handle scifi and special effects movies whilst delivering a real, emotional, and powerful performance.

Avalanche / Carl Weathers

1981 DOFP Casting - Avalance & Carl Weathers

Avalanche is not a foe to take lightly and he causes more than a few problems for Colossus and the X-Men in this issue, hence the need for a strong, charismatic actor in the role. The chance to see Weathers and Arnie go head to head a few years before fighting side by side in Predator would be too good to miss.

Senator Kelly / Christopher Reeve

1981 DOFP Casting - Senator Kelly & Christopher Reeve

Superhero legend Christopher Reeve proved beyond doubt that he made an excellent good guy, but his range was far greater than just playing heroes. Reeve could play intense, self righteous and dangerous just as well, and he would have delivered a knock out performance as Kelly.

Are there any of these that you completely love (or hate) the idea of? Let me know what you think in the comments, as well as any better suggestions you have!

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