Fox’s X-Men series has cast its first character, Superherohype reports. Blair Redford, known for his roles in Switched at Birth and The Day the Earth Stood Still, is pegged to play the role of Sam, a leader of a covert, renegade organization which protects mutants. The character will be of Native American descent.
This is both big news for viewers who continue to chomp at the bit for comic book programs and the first real intrigue for the heretofore unnamed X-Men pilot. It puts a face on the series while also reaffirming commonly held theories about the pilot. The X-Men are traditionally young people forced into violent situations merely for being who they are, and Redford’s youthful appearance combined with the show’s continuously fleshed out premise gives fans the security of understanding the show’s basic concept.
While more casual viewers might chalk the casting up as a simple announcement, it’s proving to be a bit of a puzzle for fans. Notable Sams who have played a role in X-Men comics include Cannonball (Samuel Guthrie), a mutant who can create thermodynamic energy as a means to propel himself forward with breakneck force, and the lesser known Squid-Boy (Samuel Paré) who had a remarkably short run in the books. Adding the dimension of being Native American to the character might throw some fans for a loop, but no comic adaptation is set in stone. The most recent example of disregarding a character’s race comes from Fox and Marvel’s newest Fantastic Four project which cast star Michael B. Jordan, a black man, in the role of Johnny Storm. Though the film did not perform well, Jordan’s acting cemented the fact that race shouldn’t play a role in a character’s casting.
Aside from Redford’s casting, not much else has been revealed about the series. Bryan Singer, who directed four of the films in the series, is still set to direct the pilot episode. Additionally, Marvel Television will be playing a role in the production process, something that longtime fans have continued to advocate for. Though Fox did a highly praiseworthy job with Singer’s films, the success of Marvel’s big screen and television projects is something that has been well documented.
Still, mysteries abound. The X-Men have had many incarnations, universes, and offshoots throughout its near 50 year run. Redford’s role as the so far mysterious Sam is merely the tip of the iceberg, and the show’s premise points to any number of possibilities. Whether fans will be witnessing favorites such as Gambit, Storm, and Wolverine on their screens has yet to be seen, but the teams at Fox and Marvel are doing their best to keep speculation and secrecy at an unprecedented high.
Stay tuned with mxdwn for further news on Fox’s upcoming X-Men pilot including further casting and key characters.