Stephen Lang Expresses Interest in Playing X-Men’s Cable

Published 4 years ago by , Updated July 14th, 2011 at 2:12 pm,

stephen lang cable xmen Stephen Lang Expresses Interest in Playing X Mens Cable

While roaming the halls of the New York Comic-Con I was given the opportunity to speak with Stephen Lang, the actor best known for playing Col. Miles Quaritch in James Cameron’s Avatar.

Lang and I discussed many things – his role in the Conan reboot, Quaritch’s possible return in Avatar prequels/sequels – but knowing how our Screen Rant audience rolls I also made sure to slip in a question about Lang possibly bringing the character of Cable to life in a future X-Men franchise installment.

For those who don’t know, Cable is a popular mutant freedom fighter/soldier in the X-Men universe. He started as a gun for hire in the late ’80s New Mutants comic book and went on to become the leader of Rob Liefeld’s X-Force in the 90s before his mythology was expanded. Cable was revealed to be the time-traveling son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (a Jean Grey clone), who was infected with a techno virus by the mutant despot Apocalypse, the same villain Cable is at war with in his future reality. There is no telling whether a big screen version of Cable would encompass all the time travel mania or simply be a gun for hire again, but rest assured, fans want to see the character onscreen.

I was trying to stir the pot more than anything else – after all, Lang certainly has the look and temperament for Cable, and after Avatar and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming time travel TV show Terra Nova, Lang’s relationship with Fox (which owns the X-Men franchise) looks to be pretty strong. Who better to play Cable, then?

To my surprise, Lang not only knew who Cable was – he’s already formed opinion about playing him. Comic book fans hold on to your hats:

“One of boys mentioned to me – he says, ‘Hey pops, they’re talking about you for Cable,’ and I said ‘Who would that be?’ and so he Googled him for me and I saw him and I thought ‘Oh wow, he’s cool.’

When asked directly if he’d be interested in the role:

“Yes, I’m there. [Laughter] Sure, why not. I’d be happy to. You read it all, everything that comes across. And if it makes sense, if it’s a cool character, if it’s a theme you want to explore…sure.”

Now this is in no way to be taken as any kind of sign or confirmation. Lang has not been approached to play Cable, nor are there any confirmed plans to have the mutant mercenary grace the screen at this point. Still, it’s nice to know that the man fans are nominating is at least interested in the character, no?

Check back later for more on our talk with Stephen Lang. Until then, talk freely about the prospects of Lang playing Cable.

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TAGS: new york comic con, x-men


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  1. Holy Crap!! I said he would be a good Cable in a couple of X-Men posts a few months ago! That is weird.

    I think he’s got the age and look down and somewhat the acting chops. Just pair him up with Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and we have a movie. :)

    • he’s been around a LONG time too Merc, most people just know him from Avatar though

      • Anthony the sad thing is no only has he been around for a long time he’s in alot of stuff that everyone has seen, but sadly he will only be remember for Avatar a very sub par movie.

    • he also in my opinion would have made a great Nick Fury

      • He would’ve. Better than Hasslehoff I can say that much. But SLJ is a good Fury too.

        • hahaha The HOFF! i remember that TV movie lol.

          • I don’t think anybody can forget it. And not in the good way either.

            • nope, which is why it never was reran on TV least i dont think it was.

              • Speaking of which, they did the same thing with that crappier Justice League show pilot. It had Guy Gardener, Flash, Atom, Fire, Ice, and the Martian. Which kinda says that if Marvel fails in somethin, then DC fails even harder. Marvel had Elecktra and DC had Catwoman, Marvel had Howard the Duck and DC had Steel, and MArvel had Ghost Rider and DC Jonah Hex.


  2. This would be so bad ass!!!!

  3. Good news definitely!!

  4. WOW what a fit!

  5. Cast hima as Cable. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool,Chloe Grace Moretz as Hope Summers, Michael Jai White as Bishop…. I can keep goin and goin

  6. nah this would be pretty badass if arvel had the xmen rights cause they would folow his back story. but fox will just screw it up i mean look at what they did to the juggernaught professor x and cyclops for christ sakes they have butchered the xmen completeley i have no faith in fox whatsoever in xmen firstclass i hope it fails miserably i mean mathew vaughn is awsome and i hope its good but i doubt fox will let him do it justice and i alwaays the paul bettany would make an awsome cable but stephen lang would be awsome for an older incarnation but only if done with justice

    • Bettany is a good action star but I cannot picture him pushing around Ryan Reynolds. Plus he’s a bit on the short side and I don’t think he has enough bulk to be Cable.

      • just because fox butchered x-men 3 does not mean they can`t make a good x-men movie again.they did a good job on the first 2.

        • @ flashback

          I agree with ya.

        • @flashback Dont forget that Fox did a horrible job with XO-Wolverine,Daredevil,Elektra,Fantastic Four 1,Fantastic Four 2,X-Men 1 was “ok” not great and it only had a good “opening scene” THAT’S IT.

          • My bad X-Men 2 only had a good opening scene,the rest of the movie was “meh”.

      • yea thinking about it i can see what you mean. but with the way things are going i cant see renolds doing the right thing and doing deadpool. but i was thinking since they killed off xavier in the xmen films i think cable would be a sutable solution to either leading the xmen or coming back and helping them i would like to see wolverines reaction to somone coming in and stepping up to him thats more or just as badass as he is. but cable could be a game changer for making future xmen films waay more badass. an epic storyline would be cable coming to the past to prevent apocolypse from rising to power just like in the comic books

        • and i dont know why the movie studios are so scared of intergrating the major villains into theyre films i know it may be because they want to be cheap asses but if hellboy can do it so can they i mean why cant they do darksied or doomsday or apocolypse in a film i mean with the prostectics and cgi they have nowadays is perfect for these films do be done with justice. and thats what the fans want to see thats why the marvel studios films are so awsome theyre not afraid to give the fan boys what they want instead of just making a film with xmen characters rather than making an xmen film. xmen needs to be accurate and completely out there

  7. haha and sorry foir my spelling im in a hurry

  8. he is cable

  9. I think he’d be perfect to play Cable aswell, after seeing him in Avatar. Anthony beat me to it, but i also thought he’d be perfect as Nick Fury without a doubt.

  10. professor x didn’t die in x-men 3 watch the post credit scene

    • I didnt believe that when I first heard about that but then I watched the post credits and I nearly shat myself…

  11. I’m not real familiar with Cable,but he does have the look to play him.

    • Google him…

      He is from the future, well… he was born nowadays but Mr. Sinister (I think) infected him with the TO virus that made his arm look like metal because he was destined to kill apocalypes… he has telepathic and telekinesis, his telekinesis lets him dismantle and rebuild just about anything, houses, explosives, etc…

      his telepathy is on par with the pheniox, although not as good, but very good.

      his telepathy is the only thing that is preventing the TO virus from killing him…

      he possesses superhuman physical endurance and mental endurance. He is capable of going all out (fighting, sprinting, etc.) for several hours, before fatigue kicks in…

      his nervious system is entirely altered down to the sub atomic level giving him super reflex’s… not as fast as daredevil or spiderman though…

      his telepathy lets him heal super fast as well…

      he is on par with Mr. Fantastic when it comes to intellect, and has a vast knowledge of weapons from 20th centery to the 40th and is able to control the most state of the art computer with ease… he is also a great hand to hand fighter and battle strategist…

      his left eye lets him see (literly) psyhic powers… how and why? it the future and they are alot more advanced then us… obviously.

      yes, I know… I am a NERD… and I am proud of it…

  12. the only probelm with him being cable is fox already killed his father and mother off in x-men 3 so he could not possibly be born. his father is cyclops,a nd his mother is jean grey so fox has to do a x-men 4 and 5 back to back and bring in cyclops again, pro-x,mnagneto,apocalypse,sinister,mystique,quicksilver,colossus,nightcrawler, angel/archangel,gambit,wolverine,rogue,storm,kitty,banshee,moria mactaggert,the real blob,the real juggernaught,beast,emma frost,beak, angel salvador,husk,glob herman, chamber, anole,mammomax,basilisk,rockslide,and quille and make two really big films . then they could have cable be born or created threw the blood of cyclops made by sinister. and cable,bishop, and deadpool could team -up useing cable and bishop from the future to recruit deadpool.

    • i guess cyclops was killed off but we never saw that. so that could be easily taken care of and his mother is a clone of jean not jean herself. and yea i remmber the scene i forgot about that. but it would still be badass to see him in a film with his techno organic arm and yellow glowing eye and eveerything mabe he can com back to help the xmen with xavier or train him for apocolypse like in the ulimate storyline. but in that one cable is wolverine from the future that lost his healing factor do to apocolypse taking it away. but mabe they could could combine the two

      • Wait a minute guys… Cable comes from an ALTERNATE FUTURE… So maybe in that future cyclops lives, if he died at all… same with bishop, another time traveler from another alternate future…

  13. Wow, that is spot on casting if you ask me. Hopefully the execs at Fox have noticed this. It’s like he was born to play him… Dead-on…

  14. Xavier might have survived in Xmen3 but he was placed in a new body, so would the new body shave his head and sit in a wheel chair too? personally i lost all faith when fox said cyclops and jean wouldnt be in 1st class. As a die hard Marvel comics fan and Cyclops being one of my favorite charecters i dont understand why they would kill him off and then when they have the oppurtunity to at least cast a younger version they decide to make First Class about Xavier and Magneto’s relationship? i mean i’m all for prequels or reboots but when theirs so many cool charecters and storylines to explore why stick with what we’ve all seen, Xavier vs Magneto. If the source material, comics, are continuing to expand and grow u’d think the film makers would wanna keep up. And yes! when can we see Apocolypse!?

  15. I thought the beast, Marvel Girl and cyclops would be the first x-men in reboot? You’re right, they killed off Scott and Jean in the 3rd movie. How they gonna do a sequel with Cable?

  16. They can do it, like i said, ALTERNATE FUTURE guys… Another universe perhaps? marvel is using the ultimate version for all their movies, maybe its another universe? i dont know?…

    And another thing too… And before i finish this, let me first say, i think this guy is a great actor and he definitly looks the part…

    however, isnt he a bit old? when i see cable i think of a mid 30′s guy… not saying that he is, just saying that in the comics he looks pretty young… I guess they could be using CGI, but wheres the fun in that?

    and that is if cable is gonna be in any future marvel movies… (crossing my fingers)

    • Eye of the beholder I guess but I always thought Cable was late 40s early 50s. Of course he’s lead a very hard life so maybe younger.

      • I thought that he had grey hair because of the stuff he saw in the future, and the stress of being the one that is said to kill apocolypse… that would be stressful…

        But I guess that he could be 40′s, but I always saw him as a much young(er)guy… 30′s i thought…

        It says on marvel wiki that his hair used to be brown, but doesnt mention his age, thats a shame… Ild perfer a 30-some guy… and although this guy looks the part, i think age is a factor… besides, cable is 6’8″ and weighs 350lbs… so that and age, in my mind, cancels this guy out…

        But if it still means anything, this guy would be awesome as cable(if only he was younger…).

    • They don’t need an alternate universe; just have Bishop come back in time to prevent that trainwreck of X-Men 3 and prevent Jean from becoming Phoenix.

  17. I’m down if it is Cable and Deadpool or the Apocalypse series. It would be cool to see him and Bishop.

  18. Ok Fox is already on a very steep slippery slope with The X-Men franchise. You guys got amnesia already about what they did to Deadpool?! Ya’l want them to mess Cable up too!? Turn him into some Emo/Punk old man and combine him with the powers of other characters?! Fox just keeps making up their own stuff and it’ll get worse because they don’t KNOW this stuff, they don’t write the comics which has a rich history. Fox can’t even follow their own continuity and yal want them to have some guy from the future who is also from a possible alternate future who is the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey but not the real Jean Grey but a clone,etc,etc, Yal think that Fox aint gonna dump all over this complex character?! Oh please! They had a chance to do a total reboot with X-Men First Class and look at how that mess is turning out. Why did LORD OF THE RINGS & HARRY POTTER do so well and are so well respected? Because the directors,writers,and producers respected the SOURCE MATERIAL & READERS!!! Of course they took a few liberties to leave out or “slightly” change a few things for the films,they had to in some cases to make it work. BUT THE READERS/FANS, the people who made the books so popular in the first place enjoyed the books so much that they told other people and word got around and the books became famous because of the READERS’/FAN’S “SUPPORT” or patronage.FOX doesn’t care about the fans or legacy of Marvel the characters or stories, Fox is trying to create their OWN legacy with trying re-do,re-create, or re-arrange something that THEY THEMSELVES DIDN’T CREATE. I won’t support their ill fated attempts at Marvel characters at all,X-Men,FF,Daredevil,& Elektra belong at HOME with Marvel Studios. That goes for “Sony’s” Spider-Man & Ghostrider too!

    • ulik,

      Substituting letters in profanity still counts as profanity here. Are you not able to express yourself using proper language?

      I cleaned up your comment since you put so much work into it and you’re a regular here, otherwise I would have deleted it.


      • Sorry about that Vic! It won’t happen again. My bad.

    • @ ulik

      I agree with you whole heartedly. :-) But please don’t get yourself kicked off because of bad language.

      I don’t think much of Fox Abattoirs and Phony Sony’s handling of MARVEL characters either.

      I enjoy your rants and raves and I love the fact that Vic keeps the site as family friendly as possible.

      • Oh, don’t worry, ulik is fine. I just figure he felt quite strongly about what he was saying. :)


      • Thanks, I’d forget the fact that Fox and Sony have a strong hold on characters if they’d just let Marvel do the movies while Fox just distributes them or even allow cameos. But no..

  19. he is cable

  20. Lang is a terrific character actor & has been for decades. For me, he’ll always be Ike Clanton from Tombstone.

    • Ditto, except for me he’ll always be known as the “Party Crasher” in “The Hard Way”… Just love that movie.

      • I added that to my Netflix que recently. It’s worth revisiting.

        • Jason, he was barely recognizable as Ike, when i saw it in the theater, literally had to do a double-take lol.

  21. I think he would be perfect for the role, but he would be best to play an older Cable then Cable in his prime.

  22. No brainer. Thumbs up.

  23. If actors of his chops & calibre are interested in these characters, then there might be some life left
    in this lil’ X Men franchise.

    As things are, I am not too hopeful for X Men First Class, without some elder statesman actor to lift up
    the calibre of all those fresh faced youth.

    While I respect James Mcavoy & Michael Fassbender, I hardly think that Kevin Bacon rounds fulfills the role an Ian McKellan or a Patrick Stewart achieve, in bringing up the calibre of an entire cast, purely by virtue of their own performance.

    I’d love to be proven wrong, of course. But I’ll put it this way: Stephen Lang toughed it out in Stage Theatre for far longer than Kevin Bacon ever could’ve hoped to, and the result is that he stole every scene in Unforgiven and Avatar, without turning it into HIS movie.

  24. I’m aboard. Been saying this since Avatar came out last Christmas :)

  25. I knew that I knew him from somewhere, instantly went to IMDB after seeing AVATAR. I have to admit, I was a huge fan of “Band of the Hand” and recognized him as the “tough love” giving character of Joe. The B rated movie gripped me as a kid. Outstanding actor! His buff physique, hair and combat acting skills make him perfect for Cable. I loved watching the x men in the early to mid 90′s when they came out with the cartoon on Saturday mornings. And this man embodies the spirit of Cable. So, if we have Cable…would it be necessary to have Bishop for a story…and if so, then who?

  26. We know there are many x-men characters we want to see on screen. There is no doubt Lang would be a great choice for Cable, but with FOX handling the production I fear it will be another waste of time on really excellent souce material. If FOX can get their collective heads out of their butts and write scripts that appeal to fans then we may have more good movies from the x-men universe. Take a hint FOX, the source material will appeal to fans and non fans alike. The stories are THAT good. Wow, what a concept.

  27. See I told you,like I said on all those other web sights mentioning Cable
    “Stephen Lang is Cable in the flesh”. Now lets wait to see if my prediction comes true. Lang seems to have a contract with Fox studios and if they know that they can make money off this so bankable actor, they’ll take hold of that carrott for all it’s worth.

  28. he’s too old. thats why the first x-men sucked. because magneto and jean grays characters were too old for the part.

    think about it . if they were to make an x-men 4 (please don’t) are seriously thinking magneto should be played by the same actor. magneto was fit and strong. yes he had gray hair but that was the only thing old about him.

    and famke jansen looks 50 now. you cant have her play jean again.


    Prof X, Cyclops, Jean, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Gambit and Beast and maybe Ice Man. thats it.

    the next one can have Jubilee and Colosus the one after that can bring maybe the X-Factor as competition.

    seriously get your acts together.

  29. I think dolph lundgren would be a great pic for the cable character. His role in the expendables was good and if he gets a cable role, it would be perfection.