3 Actors Rumored For Professor X in the MCU

When the X-Men finally join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, casting some of the most iconic players will be no easy feat. While Fox was responsible for a few narrative blunders when the studio held the rights to mutantkind, their casting for Professor X was flawless. Patrick Stewart embodied the wise and steadfast leader. James McAvoy joined later to play the younger iteration, and he also rose to the occasion. Thus, the MCU has some mighty big shoes to fill. 

James McAvoy as Professor X in X-Men
Actor James McAvoy as Charles Xavier in ‘X-Men: First Class’, 2011 | Murray Close/Getty Images

Ever since the Fox/Disney merger, theories surrounding the X-Men’s entrance into the MCU landscape have surfaced in all corners of the internet. Yet, as soon as the “how” begins to cement, so will the “who.” And, according to recent insider reports, it looks like three actors may be slated to portray Professor X in the MCU. 

1. Giancarlo Esposito 

Giancarlo Esposito recently portrayed Gus Fring in the hit show Breaking Bad. Yet, before starring alongside Bryan Cranston’s high school chemistry teacher who turns his RV into a meth lab on wheels, he appeared in a handful of well-known productions. 

You may also recognize Esposito from Do the Right Thing, The Usual Suspects, School Daze, Trading Places, and more. Following the premiere of Breaking Bad, he went on to appear in The Maze Runner franchise, Revolution, Better Call Saul, and more. He often takes on pivotal supporting characters, yet boasts the skill set necessary to carry Professor X. He’s mastered that needed academic and omniscient air. 

According to We Got This Covered (WGTC), the MCU may be looking to cast a person of color as Professor X, and Giancarlo Esposito is at the top of the list! However, if the studio decides to go in another direction, the Breaking Bad lead may snag the role. 

2. Bryan Cranston 

WGTC goes on to note that, though a person of color will likely portray Professor X, the studio has not solidified on this decision. And, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is also on the list for Professor X.

He’s the right age. He’s already been bald for TV, and he fits the mental image fans have grown to possess for Professor X (especially following the Fox installments). Yet, could this be too close for comfort? Should Marvel Studios go in a different direction to avoid comparisons to Patrick Stewart? It may be wise to avoid recreating the same exact character depiction, with the same look, as such could feel mimetic. Yet, all remains to be seen. 

3. Denzel Washington 

Reports suggest that Denzel Washington could take on Professor X when the X-Men finally join the MCU. The franchise has never struggled to land A-listers, yet would Washington desire the contractual commitment?


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Aside from The Equalizer, he isn’t exactly the franchise actor, and he has largely stepped away from cinematic turns, opting instead for the stage, over the last several years. Denzel Washington has the commanding presence needed for Professor X. So, here’s to hoping, if Marvel Studios ask him to play the part, he will sign the dotted line.