By Stephen Ippolito | August 17th, 2020
At San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Mutants were, in fact, coming to the MCU. This meant after being in their own Cinematic Universe with Fox for nearly 20 years, the X-Men would finally be sharing the same big screen as the Avengers. At the moment, there’s basically no information on how and when it will occur, but we do know it’s happening.
So while we wait, I’ve gone ahead and thought of five actors who could portray the team leader, Professor Charles Xavier. In Fox’s films, he was played by two different actors, Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy. Stewart played an older version of the Professor, while McAvoy played him as a young man and so on. For this article alone, I’m going to pretend that Marvel Studios will go the older route with Xavier. So you won’t see any actors on the young side in my list.
While I think Ralph Fiennes’ strength is portraying villains, I believe he would make a good Xavier. The British actor has quite the resume for his career. The English Patient, Schindler’s List, Clash of the Titans, and the Harry Potter franchise are just some of the films he’s been a part of. Despite his amazing career, a live-action comic book movie would be a first for Fiennes. I say live-action because he did provide the voice for Alfred Pennyworth in The Lego Batman Movie.
This is a very common pick, but I do think Bryan Cranston would make a fantastic Charles Xavier. The veteran actor has a lot of range when it comes to his acting abilities. He can be serious, funny, and portray someone described as a mentor, exactly what Xavier is. Plus, due to his appearance in Breaking Bad, we know that he’d be willing to shave his head for the role.
I would definitely watch an X-Men movie with Christoph Waltz as Charles Xavier. I haven’t seen alot of people suggest him for the role so this might be my most unique choice. Whether he’s portraying a villain, a mentor or a comedic role, Waltz is always enjoyable to watch. He is very versatile. I’m not sure though how the two time Oscar winner would look bold though.
While I think there is a 0% chance of it happening, Tom Hanks would be my first choice to play Professor Xavier. When it comes to actors in mentor roles, there’s no one better than Hanks. He’s so known for it that he’s been dubbed “America dad.” For someone like Xavier, whose a mentor/father figure to dozens of mutant children at his school, Hanks would be perfect.
The reason I can’t see him doing it is Hanks doesn’t seem like a comic-book movie guy. He loves making historical period piece films like Greyhound, Saving Private Ryan, and The Post. But when it comes to Sci-Fi films, it’s something his resume lacks.
Last month, Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito said in an interview that he hopes to join the MCU sometime in the future. Since then, many have taken to social media to voice their opinions on who he could play. One of those charterers happens to be Xavier. Some fans have gone even as far as creating fan art of Esposito as the X-Men leader.
Personally, I think Esposito would make a great Xavier. However, having been known for his villainous roles, I think he would be better suited for Magneto or Doctor Doom. Would I be disappointed if he was given the role? No, he would do an excellent job, he’s a great actor. I just think with his history and his sinister voice, he would be much better off portraying someone like Doom.