Monday, July 8, 2013

Fan Concepts: Casting an X-23 Live Action Origin Feature Film Part Who Knows.

While I've tended to cover this over and over and over again to the point of probably ad nauseum, I think this anniversary might be the perfect time to just step forward with every detail on this subject in particular that I've had brewing in my head.  This entry in particular will focus on the final bits of my views on the casting along with all the options associated to that.  To hype up a bit for the anniversary though, I thought I'd go ahead and release this entry early.  Maybe get the ball rolling on discussing this topic again overall ahead of time.

Personally I've also been rethinking the title as well.  Maybe something along the lines of X-23: Daughter of Wolverine seems more appropriate.  Giving her better focus on her heritage but also letting her stand out more as her own character too.  Since the origin does dive into her birth and growth, it might be more fitting to approach it from that angle instead with the title.  Still open to other suggestions though of course!  This path also let's any sequels potentially grow from her other stories like Not Forgotten or if Fox decides to do an Academy X: New X-Men film it'd be easier to add her in now that she's established.  The reverse is true too.  The main focus is just to hook general audiences with the gravity and fun of initial origin mini-series, with some changes to help it flow better and add some tension breaking comedic elements as well as fan nods that could be a benefit for later.

But for now!  Yup!  That's right.  Let's cover every character from the origin tale that needs to be cast.  Every actor or actress that could excel in such roles to give the audiences quite a delight alongside moving performances.

So yes, this entry in particular will be heavily focused on my bias towards who I feel should be playing each role in an origin feature.  As with all my choices though, I do have a tendency to factor in understudies as per time constraints or other conflicts of interest that could arise, but I'd prefer the lead star choices for each as they seem to provide the best on screen chemistry and potential per their individual dynamics from the information available to the public at large.  I have left some slots open as their positions vary more so on the other choices used or present unique questions and casting decisions that need to be discussed at more length.  All artwork from X-23: Target X is by Sonia Obeck and Mike Choi, while the artwork from X-23: Innocence lost is by Billy Tan on pencils, Jon Sibil on inks, and Brian Haberlin on colors.  All are from the Marvel comics of the same name.

X-23 from Target X issue 1.  Art by
Sonia Obeck and Mike Choi.

Laura Kinney aka X-23
The leading star of the feature.  If you read here, I mean, well, what else can I say about her that you already don't know then?

Selena Gomez
Yeah.  She can handle it.
From her wide range of roles, support of all walks of life, protective and caring attitude towards her fans, and ample amounts of charity work, it's hard to pick anyone else at all for this role.  She embodies an eeriness that would just play well with X-23 on screen.  From the sadness her eyes can hold at times behind a simple smile to the roaring at life with strength to protect others attitude she carries, she has it all in spades and could help elevate this film to impressive heights with her-every-one-and-thing-is-beautiful messages to the world.  She is the world's ultimate big sister to every fan and child that has lost their way or needed a beacon of hope to cling to about a better tomorrow.  Having been one of the lead stars in Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, she is a young actress known to many for being their first foray into the fantasy worlds of magic and family friendly occult on television.  The perfect actress for X-23 on screen and off that could also symbolize her graduation into the big leagues of feature film science fiction fantasy icons.  A powerful woman in her own right that uplifts others. Sadly sometimes that's even at her own expense.

I am still open to others playing the lead role as per what best suits the director's choices and style, but this list reflects my personal top choices for who I think would be best in an origin piece.  For me, that's her. Update: For preferred lead casting check this entry.

Could Summer Glau work as
Dr. Sarah Kinney?
Dr. Sarah Kinney
The role of Laura's mother.  The one who created her and eventually saved her from the Facility.
My personal final pick is:

Summer Glau
For her myriad of roles, especially Dollhouse.  She presents a strong sub-geek tone of passing the torch on or welcoming to the ranks of female bad asses.  She also quells many geek complaints of her not getting the role of X-23 herself, but still yields potential for a strong on screen presence and connection to the role as they'd like.

Megan from Target X. 
Megan Kinney
This is the role of Laura's cousin and daughter of Debra Kinney.
My personal choices I've limited it down to are as follows:

Ashley Benson
For her roles in Pretty Little Liars and Springbreakers she's displayed a wide aptitude to the kind of lines that would need to be delivered.  She has already proven onscreen chemistry with my main star choice for the lead role.  The few tidbits from what she's talked about in PLL as her character Hannah do provide much potential as an actress that gets it.  As much as Ms. Gomez embodies Laura, Ms. Benson embodies Megan.

Demi Lovato
Currently my 2nd choice for Megan Kinney.  From her previous roles she's shown a wealth of talent and this could give her an amazing mainstream comeback role as well as her outspoken nature on the topics X-23 entails. She presents a strong choice because of the more human and humane touch she brings to the table.  A woman who isn't afraid to stand up to even Disney when they make poor choices in humor aimed at various disorders. She is already a hero to many.

Jennifer Stone
Tied for my 2nd choice as Megan Kinney, and one I feel bad for overlooking previously.  She has an amazing range of talent in all the films she's been in and has been an inspiration to many.  We've already seen her onscreen chemistry with some of the stars suggested, and she should definitely be given a shot at this role.  She's a young actress that spoke about being an individual and defining your own flair however you can long before it became the cool thing to do.  Definitely one that could bring Megan Kinney to life on the big screen in ways few others could and would also hopefully give her an amazing break out role on the big screen among world wide audiences and geeks alike.  Having been another star from Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place, she's already deeply entrenched in the minds of young geeks and geekettes around the globe as well as a constant inspiration to them all.  Granted she may already have a breakout hit with one of her other upcoming features that may already have her too busy for such a role.

Brit Robertson
For her roles in Life Unexpected, Secret Circle, Under the Dome, and similar.  Though this one borderlines on typecasting as it lines up to a large chunk of her previous roles, that could also be a benefit as it shows she is outspoken about such topics which are also very heavy within the X-23 origin and range.

Debra From Target X.

Debra Kinney
The role of Laura's aunt, Dr. Sarah Kinney's sister, and Megan's mother.

Ginnifer Goodwin
Thanks to her role in Once Upon A Time, we've perfectly seen her skills in depicting a wide range of motherly concerns, action, and emotion this role would entail.

The role of Debra Kinney's boyfriend and also a Facility planted spy to monitor the Kinneys without their knowledge.

Megan's Biology Teacher.

Megan's Biology Teacher
There is a visual gag in the second origin miniseries that depicts this to be Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.  The best route would be to take that step further and have him do this role for an origin feature as well.

Megan's French Teacher.

Megan's French Teacher
There is a visual gag in the second origin miniseries that depicts this to be Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters fame.  The best route would be to take that step further and have him do this role for an origin feature as well.

Mrs. McCracken
Megan's School Principal.  Her car is the one stolen at the beginning of Laura's "discovering fun all over town with Megan" montage.  A woman with a strong authoritative presence and assertive booming voice would be needed.  Potentially another geek reference type casting opportunity that can vary anywhere from the 1975 Wonder Woman's Lynda Carter, to the more recent 2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles star Lena Headey among many other possibilities.

Dr. Dale Rice
The father of Zander Rice.  A pivotal piece for the opening scene of the origin minis and as such a pivotal piece for the opening scene of an origin movie.

Dr. Zander Rice as seen in
X-23: Innocence Lost.

Dr. Zander Rice
The son of Dr. Dale Rice.  His father was killed by Wolverine when escaping the Weapon X project with Logan's DNA sample.  Dr. Zander Rice is the man that continually tells X-23 that's she's subhuman.  That she's only property to be used.  A man of corruption, rage, and jealousy.  He is the monster that uses all those around him for his own goals without remorse or gratitude.  A role that may be very emotionally demanding and frightening for even the best actors.

Ryan Gosling
For this role, it's really hard to pick anyone else.  His wealth of talent and charm that he brings to this role could very well put it over the edge on human nature scariness from arrogance and pride.  After stumbling on this thought after seeing others suggest a want to work with him, I can't think of anyone else more perfect for this role.  The look, the skill, it's all there to carry this role beyond what's evoked on the comic page.

Ryan Philippe
Who else but one of the stars from the early 1999 film Cruel Intentions could pull this role off?  He's displayed perfectly how to flaunt the arrogance needed and also how to hold it back as he's shown in the 2001 film Anti-Trust.  One of only 2 actors I could really see elevating this role to unexpected heights though there are many others I could see rising to the occasion too.

Dr. Martin Sutter as
seen in Target X.

Dr. Martin Sutter
This is not an easy choice.  As the head of the Facility, this character is a calm, cool, and collected authoritative figure.  It needs someone that can have that presence of an older authority but also has that discerning eye rub reminiscent of the infamous Jean-Luc Picard face palm image.  The easiest way to describe him would be an "In a Mirror, Darkly" or "Mirror, Mirror" version of Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard.

John M. Jackson
This is almost all I can come up with per his various roles from Bones, Jag, NCIS, among more.  A very capable Texan actor that could carry this role.  I'm open to suggestions still though as well.  This role is a very hard one to nail down for the kinds of scenes it depicts and how you interpret the voice used.

Anthony Head
I'm not sure if anyone else could really pull this role off.  His presence in Warehouse 13 and his other geek forays really puts him as a lead in the running though.  He has that complete presence that's needed but also has the more human sides that'd be needed too.  He's displayed all these qualities in pretty much every role he's had.  Definitely my top choice for this character.

Rachel Sutter
Dr. Martin Sutter's wife and administrative assistant, she has an affair with one of the Facility staff and believes this affair led to her child that Martin Sutter believes is his.

Henry Sutter
Rachel Sutter's son.  The second child to be saved by X-23.  This one being the first of her own free will potentially(conflicting rationales that can go either direction because of timing and surrounding events).  He is approximately a third to half of X-23's age.

Sensei Tanaka as seen in
X-23: Innocence Lost

Sensei Tanaka
He is the sensei who trains Laura in much of her hand to hand combat expertise.  Nearly all his dialogue is spoken in fluent Japanese.  A corporate hired Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid almost like role, or something akin to Chiun from Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

Kimura from Target X.
X-23's opposite.  The female Sabertooth to X-23's Wolverine. Kimura is Laura's handler with the impenetrable skin.

Naya Rivera
Picked because of her dominating presence on Glee.  She presents the perfect range of outspoken to quietly contemplating a thousand ways to kill you under her smile type allure.  Also as seen from Glee, she is an advocate of anti-bullying, supports programs for teens and young adults who need it, among much much more.  So while she does embody the perfect onscreen Kimura, she also embodies the perfect off screen heroine that'd remind people there are always places to reach for help.

Dr. Kevin 
He's the man that helps Dr. Kinney and X-23 escape the facility at the end of the first act.  His story has many undertones.  One such undertone being a potential unrequited love and admiration for Dr. Kinney herself.  He is what passes for her best friend at the Facility.  This character helps provide a comedic foil for the science and drama heavy first act from some of their interactions.

Dr. Nathaniel Essex III / Mr. Sinister
Yes, in my personal vision for an X-23 origin feature, I would work in a cameo for a human form Mr. Sinister or a 'descendant' thereof.  There is a chunk of the X-23 origin tale around Kimura that isn't told.  We know Dr. Zander Rice's experiments have almost all ended in failure unless he picked up the ground work from someone else first...  This is what makes Kimura's sudden appearance and success so questionable.  How could he have finally succeeded when everything else he's tried has failed?  What if he didn't?  What if another scientist helped?  Potentially, what if he may have requested services under the table from a higher tiered genetic expert?  To this end, I'd personally write in a side cameo by Mr. Sinister in human form among the facility.  This way he can be the reason behind the success of Kimura and lead to more stories or usage later in the X-Men Cinematic Universe.  By using just a small cameo by name alone, and potentially even his own healing after X-23's escape from the Facility in act 1 of an origin feature, a subplot is established.  It can also be used to help establish a timetable for his powers in the cinematic universe.  Leaving this as an open ended point to come back to in any X-Men feature film presents large possibilities and generates fan hype.  It also presents a potential fix for the comic origin of Kimura's creation as well.  This would not reflect on X-23 herself, but does present large potential for a myriad of stories especially by using a descendant or is-pretending-to-be-a-descendant-of-himself type small story angle for the cameo.  Not much screen time would be given.  Maybe 10-15 minutes tops for all scenes combined depending upon how integrated he was to the rest of the scientist staff and their story.

Gambit's story from X-Men Origins: Wolverine as portrayed by Taylor Kitsch could continue here.  Sarah Kinney and Kevin could potentially seek him out for help.  They could use his conscience against him that kids are being harmed by his inaction, plus a sizable sum of money to entice him.  Potentially maybe even dare him to help them as only a master thief could pull this off and Remy is getting slower in his old age.  This could also add a little more comedic flair as Kevin's clinginess to Dr. Kinney could be exasperated by Gambit's advances though of course with Dr. Kinney oblivious to both(her eyes being only on saving her daughter).  It'd also allow potentially some fan nods and could leave a story point about Gambit being put into suspended animation by another doctor at the Facility.  This being after Kimura incapacitates him from growing bored with his distraction.  This way X-23 and Gambit share no actual screen time as yet, but it allows for some quick audience wide-eyed reactions and gives fans more to look forward to with later.  This could be their thief back-up plan that only keeps Kimura occupied briefly at an alternate location before the X-23 Kimura snowscape showdown at the end of act 1.  This is an uncertain addition/change and would need to be discussed for how such a usage could best be utilized within time constraints and flow of the story.  It would potentially allow an answer to bringing Gambit into the modern era X-Men films overall though.  It also alleviates many of the side issues pertaining to how Kimura was retroactively added to the original origin minis and wasn't in the building during when X-23 escaped.

Douglas Ramsey
Due to the Daredevil rights defaulting back to Marvel, this means the prepared for backup character swap would have to be used.  This could shift the timeline of the film itself depending on potential plans for the New Mutants movie in the Fox X-Men Cinematic universe.  Douglas "Cypher" Ramsey and his ability to understand any language including body language presents the best replacement for the human lie-detector role that Matt Murdock/Daredevil played in the original.  Casting could vary depending on the intended usage for a New Mutants movie.  Granted this character would be potentially a decade to 2 older than such an appearance in an X-Men prequel film, but depending on casting there are lighting, makeup, and camera angle tricks that could help this.

Agent Morales
Again thanks to the rights issues being problematic between Fox and Marvel, Steve Rogers is off limits as it stands right now.  So to correct this issue, potentially Agent Morales as a humane agent of the M.R.D. (Mutant Response Division) instead of SHIELD might work.  There is still the potential that she is tied up with the SHIELD rights over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  A more X-Men only centered character may have to be chosen from their rich lore.  Preferably not though as she presents the best outlet for a future adaption of the X-Force story "Not Forgotten."  The casting options on this character vary greatly depending on the choices made and areas picked to accentuate.  Personally I'd lean on Michelle Rodriguez or Mila Kunis, but until such details can be ironed out as what comic character to fill this slot appropriately, it's hard to narrow down entirely.

James "Logan" Howlett
The man known as the Wolverine, as portrayed on screen by Hugh Jackman.  Seen briefly at the beginning  but mostly featured in the third act when X-23 seeks him out.

Again, this is a fan created list.  To my knowledge (and to my bank account's perpetual sadness) I am not affiliated with 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Disney, or any other party involved in these decisions and actions.  All I have ever asked for was a chance to be heard and have my decisions weighed as any other person with vision for a film might and appropriately compensated for such consultation if used.

Does that mean I would want to direct?  No.  I do not have the skills for such a feat, nor have I had the chance to apprentice with someone to show me or teach me said skills.  My vision flows more along the lines of a Producer, but sadly one with no bank roll to support it.  I would still cherish the chance to discuss these options and more in full with those that could be involved and make this come to life, though I also understand that many talents may also prevail in bringing this to the screen in an appropriate manner as well.  Most of the changes I would make are mildly minor, but would hopefully contribute to a larger vision with these tiny steps.

Still left on this subject?  A few minor changes that need to be discussed or more accurately, that need to be debated.  Besides that, only the music and the Director really.  Even the music angle is debatable as many decisions would be dependent upon the director himself or herself and what changes were decided to be made from the original source material with where or what added.

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