Bryan Cranston’s Marvel Dream Role Is The Perfect Villain For The MCU’s X-Men Movie

Bryan Cranston as Walter White with the Marvel logo

For several years, Bryan Cranston has been vocal about his desire to bring an iconic Marvel Comics villain into the MCU, and this could finally happen with production underway on Marvel Studios’ X-Men reboot. Star of stage and screen Bryan Cranston first rose to prominence in the 1990s with a number of small roles in film and TV, including Dr. Tim Whatley in Seinfeld, before landing the leading role of Hal in Malcolm in the Middle in 2000. Cranston is perhaps best known for portraying Walter White in Breaking Bad between 2008 and 2013, which saw him attain international acclaim.

Bryan Cranston’s huge success and esteem means he must be on Marvel Studios’ radar for a role in the MCU. Cranston has shown his affinity for science fiction and superhero projects, starring in the likes of John Carter, Total Recall, Godzilla, and Power Rangers, so it may be a natural next step for the acclaimed actor to join a superhero franchise. With Marvel Studios expected to soon introduce many new characters, including the MCU’s official X-Men team, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for Bryan Cranston to join the MCU, and he has already revealed who he wants to play.

Bryan Cranston’s Marvel Dream Role Is X-Men Villain Mister Sinister

Bryan Cranston looking sad in Godzilla

Back in October 2015, Bryan Cranston revealed that his dream MCU role would be the iconic X-Men villain Mister Sinister. He first mentioned to Metro that he’d want to play “some big superhero villain in some Marvel classic,” and clarified at 2015’s SuperMansion NYCC panel, specifically name-dropping Mister Sinister as the villain he wants to bring to life. At the time, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise was still going strong, and had included several teases towards the introduction of Mister Sinister, but this unfortunately never came to fruition, but Marvel Studios has been rumored to have plans for the villain.

A year later, Bryan Cranston spoke with Greg Grunberg during AMC video series Geeking Out and doubled-down on his wish to portray Mister Sinister in live-action. After being asked what his dream villain role would be, Cranston noted that he’s interested in doing something nobody’s done before, and “Mister Sinister has always been someone… that would be cool.” Cranston reiterated this in 2018 while speaking to ScreenGeek, noting that Mister Sinister’s advanced intellect draws him to the villain, as well as the fact that nobody has previously portrayed Mister Sinister in live-action, which would allow Cranston to be completely original.

I want to play an antagonist a fraction smarter than the protagonist, never dumbed down to give the hero an easy win. That’s frustrating and boring to watch. Actually, that was the character, I’ll admit. Mister Sinister was the character I was thinking about.​​​​​​​ I guess it’s a selfish standpoint. I don’t want to do a character that has been done several times before. I don’t want to be compared like “well, his Commissioner Gordon was yada yada yada” . I don’t want to do that. I want to take something that hasn’t been done.

Who Is Mister Sinister? Marvel Villain Explained

Mister Sinister with outstretched arms in Marvel Comics

Mister Sinister started his Marvel Comics career as a silhouette in 1987’s The Uncanny X-Men #213 before making his first full appearance in The Uncanny X-Men #221. Originally the human Nathaniel Essex, born in Victorian London, Sinister, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, had a wild interest in evolution, and was one of the first to learn of mutations occurring in humanity’s genes. After the death of his four-year-old son, Nathaniel Essex became obsessed with improving the human genome, and began experiments on humans and mutants alike, even going so far as to wake En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. the villain Apocalypse.

Although he tried to rededicate himself to his family after meeting the future heroes Cyclops and Jean Grey, the death of Nathaniel Essex’s wife and second child forced him to realign himself with Apocalypse. Apocalypse used Celestial technology to enhance Essex, painfully transforming his genes to change him into an ageless, pale-skinned, and superpowered being, renaming himself Mister Sinister based off his wife’s last words: “To me, you are utterly, and contemptibly sinister.” Sinister soon moves to America and restarts his experiments on human beings born with the mutant ‘X-Gene’, and even uses these experiments to enhance himself even further.

Over the next century, Mister Sinister crossed paths with many iconic members of the X-Men, including Gambit and Courier, Sabretooth and Wolverine, and the parents of the likes of Cyclops, Professor X, and Colossus. Sinister clones Jean Grey and replaces her, hoping to use her clone and Scott Summers’ child as a weapon against Apocalypse. This leads to iconic events, including Mutant Massacre, Inferno, and Age of Apocalypse, some of which were recently adapted for Marvel Animation’s X-Men ’97. More recently, Mister Sinister learned how to clone himself, continuing to pose a huge threat to mutants and the X-Men team.

Why Bryan Cranston’s Mister Sinister Is The Perfect X-Men Movie Villain

Bryan Cranston as Mister Sinister in MCU fan art

Mister Sinister would be an inspired casting choice for Bryan Cranston, especially because of the actor’s huge range of work, comprising film, TV, and theater. Mister Sinister is an incredibly charismatic and theatrical villain, so it would be great to see Cranston bring this iconic antagonist into live-action for the first time ever. With Marvel Studios currently developing the MCU’s official X-Men reboot, with Michael Lesslie recently having been hired as the writer (via Deadline), it may not be too long before casting announcements are revealed, and Bryan Cranston’s Mister Sinister would make an excellent addition to the highly-anticipated cast.

Not much is yet known about Marvel Studios’ upcoming X-Men reboot, other than that the entire cast is expected to be recast following Fox’s two-decade-long X-Men franchise. Since Fox teased but never introduced Mister Sinister, Marvel Studios featuring the villain in the MCU’s X-Men would be a fantastic way to differentiate the reboot from the previous Fox films, and would create a strong debut for the titular team, and a powerful live-action debut for Mister Sinister himself. After X-Men ’97 did such a good job at delivering the iconic villain, his potential inclusion in Marvel Studios’ X-Men is very exciting.

Who Else Bryan Cranston Could Play In The MCU

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad

While Bryan Cranston has repeatedly voiced his desire to play Mister Sinister in live-action, and this casting choice could be perfect for the charismatic and haunting character, there are several other Marvel characters that Cranston would be great at bringing into live-action. Based on Cranston’s bald appearance in Breaking Bad, many have fan-cast the acclaimed actor as Charles Xavier’s Professor X, which would also see him debut in the MCU’s X-Men movie, but wouldn’t fit his criteria of playing a role nobody has previously. If Cranston wants to play a villain, there are many inspired options for the MCU’s future.

Marvel Studios’ The Fantastic Four is expected to debut Doctor Doom, and since a casting choice hasn’t been confirmed, Bryan Cranston could be brilliant in the powerful role. With Avengers: Secret Wars on the horizon, it’s also possible Cranston could bring Marvel Comics’ Beyonder to life in the MCU. Among Marvel Studios’ upcoming X-Men stories, Cranston could portray the likes of Sebastian Shaw, Reverend Stryker, or perhaps Henry Gyrich or Graydon Creed of the Friends of Humanity, a group expected to have a huge role in the MCU’s X-Men narrative.

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