The fate of Darwin in X-Men: First Class has never really sat well with Marvel fans. The character — created just a few years before First Class debuted — was given the power of rapid evolution. Darwin could change his body to adapt to any situation, making him virtually indestructible. He could grow gills, protect himself from fire, you name it. First Class established Darwin as a relentlessly powerful and endlessly cool mutant, only to kill him off before the third act of the movie. Fans didn't love the decision to ax Darwin, and neither did the man who played him.
Edi Gathegi got the chance to portray Darwin for two-thirds of X-Men: First Class, but his mutant didn't get to go any farther in the X-Men franchise, despite there being several more movies. Deaths in superhero movies happen, it's just harder to swallow when the character is billed as one who virtually can't die. ComicBook.com recently sat down with Gathegi about his new film The Harder They Fall, and we spent a little time on the subject of Darwin and the X-Men.
For Gathegi, the decision to kill off Darwin so early was a missed opportunity on the part of the creative team, but he still has hope that the character will get a shot at redemption in the next iteration of the X-Men.
"I loved Darwin. He became my favorite. It was always about Wolverine for me, and then when I learned about Darwin, I said, 'Wait a minute. This dude is a G. He adapts to survive. He cannot die. He's fought the Hulk and transported to space because he was dying. And he's died and regenerated. Oh my God, there's so many possibilities,'" Gathegi said. "And visually, as a filmmaker, you can put him in all sorts of situations and just watch him adapt. And that's really fun because a film is a visual medium. So yeah, I thought that was a huge miss, killing Darwin, and I think Darwin does deserve redemption."
The mutant characters of the X-Men are now under the control of Marvel Studios, and a reboot of the team within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is inevitable. Both Gathegi and the X-Men faithful are hoping to see Darwin get another chance on the big screen, one where he's alive for more than an hour.
X-Men: First Class will be available to stream on Disney+ beginning November 5th. You can catch Edi Gathegi in The Harder They Fall, an original Netflix film arriving November 3rd.