It seems that Hollywood star Antonio Banderas will soon be joining the X-Men movies universe, but who could the actor be playing?
The rumor comes from a report about the reshoots taking place on 20th Century Fox's New Mutants movie. There are a number of major edits being made to the film, resulting in its release date being pushed back into August 2019.
One of those major changes is the addition of Warlock into the film. Warlock is an alien character whose unique appearance and shapeshifting abilities mean that he'll likely be completely computer generated in the film. Fox reportedly deemed the character too expensive at first but is now adding him to the film in reshoots.
The other major change involves the X-Men villain Mr. Sinister. Jon Hamm was reportedly cast to play the X-Men villain in the post-credits scene of The New Mutants. However, Fox has apparently decided against that and must now reshoot certain scenes from New Mutants that hint at Sinister's appearance.
The report states that Hamm will be replaced by Antonio Banderas. However, Banderas will not be playing Mr. Sinister. Instead, he will be playing a different X-Men villain, one that has not been revealed as of yet.
Banderas is an actor capable of playing a range of roles, which means there are plenty of possibilities for his X-Men villain character. ComicBook.com has taken a look at X-Men history to consider who that character might be, keeping in mind that this is a post-credits scene and so is likely more about setting up a New Mutants sequel or future X-Men movie than it is about The New Mutants itself.
Here are some of the X-Men villains we think Banderas could be playing in The New Mutants. Let us know what you think of our picks and share some theories of your own in the comments.
According to reports, Banderas' character is meant to replace Mr. Sinister in the post-credits scene.
John Sublime offers possibly the easiest substitution for Sinister. Both characters are interested in genetics and could use a corporation as a front operation.
Sublime is actually a sentient bacterium who resents the prosperity of mutantkind. He infects human hosts and tried to cause a war between humans and mutants be created a cult-like group of surgically-enhanced humans called U-Men.
Banderas seems like he would be well-suited for Sublime, who presents himself in human form as a charismatic demagogue peddling a transcendental self-help philosophy while secretly plotting the fall of civilization.
Where John Sublime seems like an easy go-to if Fox is looking to use a similar character who isn't actually Mr. Sinister, the sorcerer Belasco offers an entirely different direction for the franchise.
Belasco is the demonic lord of Limbo, a realm that exists outside of normal space and time. When Magik uses her mutant powers to open portals, those portal use Limbo as a shortcut to get her and her allies wherever they need to be.
When Magik first manifested her power she became trapped in Limbo. Belasco took Magik on as an apprentice in the dark arts in order to better shape her soul into a Bloodstone, a powerful arcane relic. Magik eventually rebelled against Belasco and became ruler of Limbo herself. She reemerged in her home dimension mere moments after disappearing but had aged years due to Limbo's unique flow of time.
If The New Mutants movies are interested in exploring arcane horror next, introducing Belasco and diving into Magik's origin would be a great way to do that.
I addition to replacing Mr. Sinsister as the post-credits villain, The New Mutants reshoots are also said to be adding the shapeshifting techno-organic alien Warlock into the movie.
Warlock has a particularly tragic history with the villain Cameron Hodge. Hodge is a former college roommate of the X-Man Angel who grew to resent Angel and all of mutantkind. He formed a hate group called The Right and launched a war against mutants, first secretly and then overtly.
Hodge was later believed killed by Archangel, but he lived and his severed head was placed on a large, spider-like robot body. Hodge tried to forcibly steal Warlock's shapeshifting abilities, and the attempt killed Warlock, which could be a moment The New Mutants movie is setting up.
In the Marvel Comics Universe, the New Mutants have a rival class from Emma Frost's Massachusetts Academy. The class is referred to as the Hellions.
The moral alignment of the Hellions varies from member to member, but Empath is generally considered to be the worst of the group.
Empath's powers allow him to manipulate the emotions of other people around him. He can subtly nudge people, or control an entire group. He can turn emotions up or shut them off entirely to leave someone in a zombie-like state. Empath has little to no sense of restraint in using these abilities.
Empath, like the other Hellions, is the same age as the New Mutants in the comics, but its possible the movie could age the character up. Banderas' charisma lends itself well to this kind of character. Also, with the White Queen already having appeared in X-Men: First Class, an aged up Empath might be well-suited as a cinematic replacement leader for the Hellions should the films decide to introduce the group.
X-Men: Days of Future Past already made use of the Sentinels as villains, but having Antonio Banderas play the villain Bastion could offer a way to reintroduce the mutant hunters with a fresh face.
Bastion is a villain created after Master Mold, the robotic Sentinel factory, and Nimrod, an advanced Sentinel from the future, merged together. Bastion had a human appearance, which allowed him to infiltrate society in a way that his clearly robotic predecessors could not.
Doing so helped Bastion to create Operation Zero Tolerance, a global task force determined to incarcerate or eliminate all mutants. He did this by creating an army of Prime Sentinels, which were humans transformed into sentinels rather than robots built from the ground up.
The use of Prime Sentinels would allow the film to reintroduce the Sentinels and likely reduce the cost of effects since human actors could be used most of the time.
This may be a bit of wishful thinking on our part, but what if 20th Century Fox is laying the groundwork for some kind of X-Men movies crossover? Possibly something like "Inferno"?
"Inferno" was an early X-Men comics crossover that saw every X-Men team having to deal with a demonic takeover of New York City. Mr. Sinister was involved in this ordeal because of his connection to Jean Grey, Madelyne Pryor, and Cyclops.
N'astirh is a demon who corrupts Pryor and enters an alliance of sorts to invade New York City. N'astirh is a monstrous demon, but it's possible Banderas could be used as the demon's human form.
Mojo is simply a villain we've been wanting to see on film or television for a long time.
Mojo hails from a bizarre dimension called Mojoworld. The entire universe of Mojoworld is built on the fundamentals of television. Everything is about increasing ratings, and the entertainment usually comes in the form of bloodsport.
Mojo is a zany, unpredictable character, which may be a little out of Banderas' normal range. He's also literally spineless, and so he rides around on mechanical spider legs. Like with N'astirh, this is a situation where we expect Banderas' would be playing a more human facade for the villain, one who could perhaps pass as a typical television executive.