Generation X was always something that held a special place in my heart; it drew me into the Marvel Universe right before they launched their epic alternate universe storyline ‘The Age of Apocalypse’ which was just fantastic beyond words. I loved the series so much it was always on my monthly lists of pick ups at the comic book store. Recently I’ve had the urge to go back and watch the made for TV Generation X movie that was done back in the 90’s and in my quest to obtain a copy of it I learned that it was originally intended as a two hour pilot for a potential TV series.
Back in the 90’s super hero/comic book TV shows were around but the quality of them simply can’t hold a candle to the comic book based shows of today, the special effects and graphical capabilities simply didn’t exist back then. So long story short, it got me thinking about what a Generation X TV show would be like today. There would still be some CGI issues, especially with the cost of having to do specific characters on a regular basis as well as plot issues because so much has happened not only over the course of Generation X’s run, but since the series ended.
I want to keep this Wishful Casting as close to the original cast line up as possible, but I did do some adding of characters and blurring of plotlines to deliver the most bang for the buck.
EMMA FROST/THE WHITE QUEEN – TABRETT BETHELL
In the end I decided to go with Tabrett Bethell as Emma. There needs to be a bad-ass HBIC quality to Emma and that was something Tabrett did very well as Cara on the now (far too short lived) canceled Legend of the Seeker. Visually she looks like Emma, plus Cara’s Mord Sith outfit is basically the red leather version of what network standards would allow for Emma’s outfit. I think it would be a good fit because Cara and Emma and their storylines are similar, but honestly if it were humanly possible I’d give all the female roles to Tabrett just to see more of her on my screen.
THERESA ROURKE CASSIDY/SIRYN – KAREN GILLAN
Okay honestly, part of why I didn’t use Sean was because I couldn’t think of an actor who would fit the character at all; it was easier for me to think up someone who could play his daughter. Now for the second WTF moment… yes I know Sean, Tom and Theresa are all Irish, and that the banshee is Irish and that I picked Karen who happens to be Scottish to play Theresa. I picked Karen for a couple of reasons, mostly because I absolutely fell head over heels in love with the girl on Doctor Who (which is saying a lot considering I’m still not over Billie Piper leaving the show and I’m not over Rose being gone – so naturally I didn’t think I’d be over David leaving Doctor Who but that’s going to be another post at some point) but she’s also a good actress and has proven that she can keep up with the demands of genre TV.
JONOTHAN EVAN STARSMORE/CHAMBER – AIDAN TURNER
My pick for him is a bit of an odd one, though not as odd as casting a Scottish actress to play an Irish character… but I decided to go with Aidan Turner from BBC’s show Being Human. There’s not that many people out there that could pull off a role like Jono and Aidan can, it also helps that from the nose up the two are almost identical. I could easily see Jono as a character that could lean a little bit more to the older set simply because it would be difficult to tell his age due to Jono’s disfigurement add to that the fact that he didn’t have a mutation that he could even attempt to hide in real life it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for a 19-27 year old(ish) to still be involved with school. The only obstacle to this though would be that Paige would HAVE to be 18 years old in order to even touch on their romance.
JUBILATION LEE/JUBILEE – ALLISON SCAGLIOTTI
The problem comes with casting her though. The character is a Chinese American, yet half the time she’s cast with a Caucasian actress and that is almost always a source of contention when it comes to the fans. Honestly I couldn’t really think of a Chinese, or Chinese American actress out there today that could fit the age range of the character, so I had to base this casting strictly off of personality and how she would look physically (not racially) given the extent of her history. I mean for crying out loud she was friends with Magik back in the 80s, she was a ‘teenager’ back when the X-Men were in Australia, she was around for the Goblin Queen/Inferno era/saga, and Madelyne Pryor’s kid (in any reality) from that time frame has never been shown as anything younger than 25, so technically Jubilee should be *OLDER* than Nate. But that wouldn’t work. So much like the casting of Jono, Jubilee must be age ambiguous. I went with Allison Scagliotti from Warehouse 13 for this. Her character Claudia is a smart ass, mall-rat type character who is too quick witted yet self-conscious for her own good. That’s how I picture Jubilee.
PAIGE GUTHRIE/HUSK – ALONA TAL
Alona Tal was one of the few actresses in the age bracket that came to mind. It was more of a process of elimination but ultimately it was her recurring role on Supernatural that clenched it for me. Desire to be just like her family and be ‘in the family business’ check, needing to constantly evolve in the situations that most people don’t know exist, check; innocent yet deadly, check. Not to mention that Paige’s story arch in the Age of Apocalypse, and the final scene she had in Generation Next (the name given to Generation X while under the Age of Apocalypse plot) is quite possibly the most powerful moment for me in that entire alternate universe and Alona proved she could pull something like that off with the last episode of Supernatural her character was in.
LAURA X(KINNEY)/X-23 – NINA DOBREV
For casting I decided to go with Nina Dobrev. She obviously looks an awful lot like Laura but her recent turn playing the evil and twisted vampire Katharine on The Vampire Diaries gives me hope that she could pull something like X-23 off. At the very least we know she can to tragic and tortured very well, so there’s always that.
EVERETT THOMAS/SYNCH – SAM JONES III
For casting him I tried to be fair with who I would have playing Everett, it had to be someone that could pull it off, yet someone who would almost be expendable. There were a few people that came to mind, but they would have skewed the character a little bit too old to fit in with the bunch so I eventually settled on Sam Jones III. He’s got experience with the whole superhero thing from his years as Pete Ross on Smallville, which also makes him no stranger to genre TV that relies heavily on green screens and CGI.
MONET ST. CROIX/M – AMBER STEVENS
Despite the overtly complex history and shoehorning in of almost everything and anything any writer that touches her can think of she was actually the easiest for me to cast. The only person that came to mind was Greek’s Amber Stevens. She’s been playing the sort of stuck up and snobby girl who you’re supposed to hate for her personality yet you can’t because she’s so sweet with everything she does for over four seasons now, throw in some superpowers and throw her in some high end clothing and you’ve got Monet St. Croix in a nutshell.
ANGELO ESPINOSA/SKIN – DIEGO LUNA
Casting Angelo was problematic because much like Synch he’s a character who is destined to die. So what do you do? Do you cast someone who is unlikeable and it you can’t help but wait for them to die; do you cast someone who is so likeable that you desperately hope that the writers will decide to ignore the fact that the character’s ultimate fate is to be crucified and then his body was dug up and removed from his grave because the cemetery wouldn’t allow him to stay there because he was a mutant? Or do you cast someone who you hope the writers won’t kill off, but you can’t help but be deeply moved by the actor’s portrayal of Angelo’s death scene if they decide to go that way? I went with the third option so that’s why I landed on using Diego Luna.
JULIAN KELLER/HELLION – JUSTIN CHATWIN
I decided to go with Justin Chatwin for this particular character. He has proven many times that he’s good at pulling off the sarcastic jackass you can’t help but like, and lets face it… he owes the world a decent genre/superhero portrayal after having to suffer through the horrible writing that was the live action Dragonball movie.
JOSHUA FOLEY/ELIXIR – MARSHALL ALLMAN
I picked Marshall Allman because he’s no stranger to series TV given his stints on Prison Break and most recently True Blood. He’s sort of the ‘ohh that guy’ you’ve seen him before, even though you might not remember who he is.
ADRIENNE FROST/BLACK QUEEN – ERICA DURANCE
This one was hard and easy at the same time. You want someone who can pull off such a catty role but still be likeable even though you know if you turn your back on her she’ll kill you in a heartbeat. There are a few actresses who do well playing that type of role and not come off ‘diva’ like and even fewer who have the acting ability to play a character that could rival HBIC status with Emma Frost. I went with Erica Durance for this, she’s done great with Lois on Smallville which speaks volumes for her.
KEVIN FORD/WITHER – BEN BARNES
I couldn’t think of anyone for this other than Ben Barnes, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. Kevin needs to be a dark character and honestly it was almost impossible for me to even find a picture of Ben without a giant grin plastered across his face. It would be interesting to see what Ben could do with a character so ‘dark.’
CLARICE FERGUSON/BLINK – ALISON BRIE
Blink was tough to cast for a reason, pre-GenX Clarice was a scared little girl who ultimately made the greatest sacrifice, in AoA you get a girl who while is still scared can more than hold her own against the likes of several heavy hitters in the X-Men universe, and then you get her return to this reality and she’s spent years being brutally tortured by her own powers only to be manipulated into believing that Emma abandoned her because her powers were too much of a threat. You need an actress who can play socially awkward, scared, innocent and it’s hard to find that (outside of Summer Glau) can also pull off a dark and twisted ruthless badass. I went with Alison Brie for this, she’s got the first half down and after her role in Born I want to see her turn out something twisted and evil.
NATE GREY/X-MAN – CHRIS PINE
Why Chris Pine? Honestly I don't know. Nate (along with Hellion, Magik and Madelyne Pryor are my favorite characters in the X-Verse ever) was scary to cast because of how much I like the character. I didn't want to put certain people in there because I don't think they could take on the role and have it be appealing to the masses. I'll admit I have never seen a single thing Chris Pine has ever been in, but everyone seems to love him so if he could pull of Nate I'd be willing to watch his other works.
CELESTE-MINDEE-PHOEBE CUCKOO/STEPFORD CUCKOOS – DAKOTA FANNING
Why Dakota Fanning? Simple… she’s the new Christina Ricci, you look at the girl and you just expect the still picture of her to come to life and rip your soul out through your eyeballs, so can you imagine her playing FIVE characters who are genetic clones of the biggest bad girl this side of Dark Phoenix/Goblin Queen? Mm hmm, don’t tell me you can’t picture it.
ILLYANA RASPUTIN/DARKCHYLDE – ASHLEY TISDALE
Now I know I’m going to catch a hell of a lot of heat for going with ‘a Disney girl’ for this one, but there’s just something about Ashley Tisdale that makes me want to see her do this. We know from her previous roles (even her new role on Hellcats) that she can be ‘the nice bitch’ but can she pull off something this dark and raunchy? I’d like to see her try (worst case scenario they could just kill her off or retcon her back into being 7 again.) Her powers though… that is a bit problematic, not the teleportation and ‘stepping discs’ or CGI-ing up Limbo and her Soulsword but the fact that this incarnation of Darkchylde runs around half naked with demonic horns coming out of her head, a pointed tail and goat legs ending in cloven feet. I’d say save that for the few times she goes full on demonic, but keep the horns when she’s ‘normal’ – they seem like they’d be the easiest to pull off and remain cost effective.