Marvel Should Revive The Perfect Cancelled X-Men Casting For The MCU’s Mutant Reboot

Professor X in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Mister Sinister in Marvel Comics

Marvel Studios has the perfect opportunity to revive an inspired casting choice for one powerful X-Men villain that never came to fruition in Fox’s superhero franchise. Between 2000’s X-Men and 2020’s The New Mutants, heroes in Fox’s X-Men franchise took on a wide variety of formidable foes, including Magneto, Apocalypse, Sebastian Shaw, and William Stryker. However, one villain that was teased relentlessly for several years never got the chance to make his live-action debut, but the upcoming X-Men reboot in the MCU can rectify this major missed opportunity.

20th Century Fox had plans to include the iconic Marvel villain Mister Sinister dating as far back as 2011’s X-Men: First Class. Screenwriter Zack Stentz revealed to Fanboy Podcast in 2019 that Sinister was the original villain of First Class, but he was eventually replaced by Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw. Sinister and Essex Corp were later teased in X-Men: Apocalypse, Logan, Deadpool 2, and The New Mutants, but the ageless villain never appeared in live-action. One actor was even in the running to play Mister Sinister, and he could still bring the supervillain into the MCU.

There were scenes and pages from that original Magneto script that were folded into the finished production. The opening in Auschwitz – and then with Sebastian Shaw – [was] right out of that original script, except that it was originally Mister Sinister, which is why Sebastian Shaw actually has powers more like Mister Sinister’s than his own.

Jon Hamm Almost Played Mr Sinister In Fox’s Universe

Jon Hamm smiling at the camera

Speculation suggested that Mister Sinister could have debuted at the end of 2020’s The New Mutants, the final movie in Fox’s X-Men franchise, released after Disney’s acquisition of the studio was finalized in 2019. This never occurred, but in a March 2022 interview with Yahoo! EntertainmentMad Men star Jon Hamm commented on reports that he would have portrayed the Victorian-era geneticist obsessed with mutants and their abilities. Despite confirming being in conversation, however, Hamm revealed that he “never shot anything.”

I never shot anything. I remember having a conversation with people: I’m a huge comic book fan, especially of the X-Men and The New Mutants , so I was excited to be considered. But these conversations happen and then life intervenes.

Jon Hamm’s debut as Mister Sinister in The New Mutants would have provided the perfect pay-off after years of Fox teasing the villain. Apocalypse ended with the Essex Corp acquiring Wolverine’s blood, and this organization, named after Nathaniel Essex, Sinister’s human identity, reappeared in subsequent movies leading up to The New MutantsJon Hamm would have been perfect in this role, which made it even more of a shame that he never got to showcase his talents as the memorable X-Men villain, but Marvel Studios could revive his chances as Mister Sinister in the MCU.

Jon Hamm Wants To Join The MCU & Mr Sinister Would Still Be Perfect

Mister Sinister with outstretched arms in Marvel Comics

In a recent cover story on Jon Hamm, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the actor is still interested in taking on a superpowered role in the MCU. Hamm noted that he has “pitched [himself] for a couple parts of the Marvel Universe,” continuing a sentiment from a 2023 interview with Screen Rant which saw him claim his interest in taking part in the MCU’s upcoming X-Men or The Fantastic Four projects. Given the actor’s previous connection to Mister Sinister, Marvel Studios has the perfect chance to resurrect this brilliant casting choice in the MCU proper.

There were a lot of conversations, and I’m still in those. I talk to the guys that run Marvel and DC. And I’m a comic book nerd. So, we’ll see. Even that part of the industry is changing… I’ve pitched myself for a couple parts of the Marvel Universe, I don’t want to say what exactly, but it was a part of a comic book that I really liked. I was like, “Are you going to do this story?” And they were like, “Yeah, we’re actually thinking of that.” I go, “Good. I should be the guy.” So maybe it’ll work out.

Nathaniel Essex, a.k.a. Mister Sinister, is often depicted as a tall, dark, and handsome villain, and a truly terrifying one at that. Sinister is an incredibly charismatic character that Jon Hamm could play in the MCU, perhaps taking inspiration from his more morally-gray, villainous, and superpowered roles, including Don Draper in Mad Men, Gabriel in Good Omens, and Paul Marks in The Morning ShowHamm’s experience in drama, comedy, and even science fiction make him uniquely qualified for the role of Mister Sinister in the MCU’s X-Men movie, so hopefully this brilliant casting choice can be revived.

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