Casting Call: ‘X-Factor Investigations’
Fox has revealed they have plans for a live-actionX-Men tv series, something to help them compete with Marvel’s ever expanding shared universe. There is a rumor that it might be based on Peter David’s detective agency version of X-Factor. It starred Jamie Madrox aka Mutliple Man, a fairly obscure X-character reimagined as a film-noir obsessed jack of all trades, who opened up shop in Mutanttown, like Chinatown but full of mutants. It is one of my favorite Marvel books EVER (that and it’s lead in miniseries Madrox), so I definitely have some thoughts on who should star.
Jamie Madrox – Jason Dohring
Madrox is known as the Multiple Man, capable of creating clones (he calls “dupes”) that he can also re-absorb. After re-absorbing them he also gets all their knowledge, so he sent a bunch out to learn different things. One went to law school and passed the bar.One joined SHIELD, another Hydra (which doesn’t matter for Fox) and another joined the priesthood. As a film-noir obsessed private detective, Madrox used plenty of deadpan humor, slyly interjecting. Veronica Mars‘ Dohring had a comment for everything back on that show. I haven’t really seen him do much else. He has a likable screen presence but was unfortuntely saddled with a not-always likable character on Veronica Mars. I feel like he could get far with the Madrox character and his fake apathy.
Strong Guy – Domenick Lombardozzi
Strong Guy is a New Yorker mutant with an impossible hulking figure. He was able to change kinetic energy (essentially any incoming blunt force on his body) into strength. When it comes to Strong Guy, you are going to have to sacrifice size to find a good actor. Not many people exist at that size. The Avengers have to use computers to make the Hulk. He is also dim-witted but charismatically so, a gentle giant of sorts. I always used to read the books in the voice of Patrick from Spongebob. You might recognize Lombardozzi from The Wire. He is a naturally big dude with a great sense of humor, ping ponging between imposing and bar buddy.
Siryn – Ruth Bradley
Siryn is the daughter of Irish X-Man, Banshee. She inherited his sonic scream, plus a hypnotic hum unique to her. She often felt like the put-upon den mother of the group despite having quite a full closet of skeletons she was dealing with. I was really impressed with Irish actress Ruth Bradley in the underrated horror-comedy Grabbers. She started out as a stick in the mud kind of character that got used to going with the flow as the movie kept going. A very likable presence.
M – Sarah Shahi
Monet St. Croix, known usually by just her first intial, M, was originally part of the Massachusetts Xavier academy. She is one of the few from that school that hasn’t been forgotten . She has superhuman strength and can fly. She also brags about psychic abilities, but I feel like she doesn’t use them a lot. She brags a lot though. She tends to think she’s better and often proves her badassdom. Sarah Shahi gleefully jumps into similar characters, women of action, although usually with much less ego.
Wolfsbane – Rose Leslie
Wolfsbane is a Scottish mutant with a werewolf like mutation. She is very religious and incredibly passionate and stubborn. I recall her arguing and yelling a lot in the beginning of this version of X-Factor. As for Rose Leslie, I feel like it is probably kind of biased since she is Scottish and from the geek-friendliest show on television, but on Game of Thrones, she showed off in spades that she could be plenty stubborn and argumentative as she told Jon Snow that he knew nothing.
Rictor – Santiago Cabrera
Rictor is a Mexican mutant with the ability to emit seismic waves. Or at least, he used to before M-Day took away his powers. He contemplated suicide only to be saved by the members of X-Factor Investigation and become a hesitant member of the team. He was maybe even more put-upon than Siryn. X-Factor started right around the same time as the tv series, Heroes. The similiarities between Rictor and Santiago Cabrera’s artist character were clear. Both were depressed and frustrated, just for different reasons, and tended to emote silently among the remaining talkative cast members.
Layla Miller – Kiernan Shipka
Layla Miller was a young girl, former mutant until M-Day, who “knows stuff.” What and how she knows is kind of spoilery, but she was an important part of fixing the House of M reality. She was basically a little wise-cracking dues ex machina. The problem with fan-casting Layla (and other young characters like her) is that by the time the character would show up, the actor has already matured past the right age. At 15, Kiernan Shipka is already dangerously close, but she has impressed on AMC’s Mad Men. The teenage growing pains that have left her on-and-off selfish and apathetic on Mad Men is definitely the kind of energy needed for Layla with just a little more sarcasm.