X-Men: Days of Future Past kept comic book news sites busy last year with its constant casting updates, especially the ones involving the film’s many returning cast members. In addition to a handful of actors returning from 2011’s X-Men: First Class, original trilogy actors Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page and Daniel Cudmore will all rock the black leather look one more time in this month’s new X-Men film. But there’s one big name left off of that list: James Marsden’s Cyclops.
We know that the character did die in X-Men: The Last Stand, but so did Charles Xavier and that hasn’t stopped him from returning. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the actor himself, who recently discussed the big reunion with Crave Online.
“I’ve always been very proud of my role and it’s out of my hands,” he said. “It’s nice to see Bryan [Singer] go back in and turn the boat a little bit. I’m happy for those that made it back. I’d like to.” It’s a good thing that Marsden wants to return, because Cyclops’ death is just one thing we hope “Days of Future Past” undoes with its time-traveling plot. If Cyclops suits up once more, here are five stories we hope make their way to the big screen.
The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix
With two future installments in the X-Men film franchise being X-Men: Apocalypse and – possibly – X-Force, it looks like Fox might be making room a certain gun-toting cyborg on the big screen. If we’re on course to get a live-action Cable, then we should be on course to getting live-action Cable’s origin as well. As the son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey, that origin story absolutely needs Cyclops’ death to be undone – and it needs Marsden back in the role. Fox can even get rid of all the clone business and just make him Jean Grey’s son, just as long as they adapt scenes from the mid-’90s mini-series about Cyclops and Phoenix raising kid Cable in the future.
While actually a character and not a story, we desperately hope that Cyclops’ return will also involve Mr. Sinister. With his stark white skin, black goatee, shoulder-pads, and ribbon cape, Sinister looks like a hair metal vampire plucked out of the Victorian era – pretty much the exact type of character we’ve been dying to see in a Fox film. His fascination with Cyclops and Jean Grey and his expert cloning skills could easily explain away the duo’s return to the land of the living, even if Days of Future Past doesn’t undo Slim and Red’s deaths. Mr. Sinister is about as close as Cyclops has to an arch nemesis; if Scott comes back to life, we want it to be in a personal story that lets the character shine in ways he was not allowed to in previous films. No story can be more personal than a creepy, maniacal geneticist resurrecting your death for his own nefarious purposes. Cyclops vs. Sinister. Make it happen.
If Guardians of the Galaxy turns out to be a huge hit for Marvel Studios, then Fox would be wise to use the band of space pirates that they have in their catalog of characters: the Starjammers. Led by Cyclops’ long lost father Corsair, the crew contains a fierce fighting skunk lady, a Shakespearean cyborg, and a muscle-bound lizard creature. Cyclops could easily be our entry point to this new corner of the X-Universe, one that could also include the Shi’ar and Imperial Guard. Maybe adult Cyclops finds himself mysteriously alive onboard the Starjammer? Or maybe Fox could draw inspiration from Marvel’s newly-launched Cyclops ongoing series, which stars a teenage Cyclops going on space adventures with his dad? Either way, this movie would involve a scaly green alien named Ch’od, and we’re on board with that.
Cyclops is a brilliant strategist and stalwart defender of Xavier’s dream of coexistence. He should be the X-Men’s Captain America, but the original trilogy instead characterized him primarily as an obstacle standing in between Jean Grey and Wolverine. If Cyclops gets another shot, that film should draw heavily on Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men, where Scott really got to strut his stuff as the X-Men’s most capable and competent member. For a stretch of issues, Cyclops even managed to command the team – and kick ass – while powerless; he instead relied on his natural leadership skills and incredibly honed strategic brain to save the day. That’s a Cyclops that viewers can get behind.
If Days of Future Past resets the timeline, thus rewriting the events of the original trilogy, it would make sense for Fox to mine the current schism separating the X-Men in the comics for cinematic material. Once the franchise gets out of the 1980s, as depicted in the upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse,” they could drop in on the modern era and show two factions of X-Men fighting for Xavier’s dream in two different ways. A possibly recast Wolverine in charge of a new school could square off against a more aggressive Cyclops and his team of proactive mutant heroes. Even though Cyclops would most likely come across as the villain, as would any character placed at odds with the beloved Wolverine, this version of Scott has become one of Marvel’s most fascinating comic characters and it would give James Marsden plenty of great material to work with.