In previous X-Men movies, the character of Cyclops hasn’t been done justice. James Marsden played him as the fuddy-duddy straight man to Wolverine’s quips, while Tye Sheridan played him as a mopey teenager. In the comics, Cyclops was conceived as a moralistic, all-American hero to contrast with Wolverine’s gruff cynicism at a time of national uproar during the Vietnam War.
He hasn’t always been the most popular member of the X-Men, but there are a lot of interesting avenues to explore with this character, and it’ll all start with the perfect casting choice. So, here are 10 actors who could play the MCU’s Cyclops.
10 John Krasinski
John Krasinski has been tipped to play Reed Richards by many Fantastic Four fans, but perhaps he’d be better-suited to another Marvel role: Cyclops. Scott Summers is the uptight hero who rolls his eyes at Wolverine’s bitterness and his other teammates’ showboating.
He doesn’t tie the whole team together, but he is integral and he’s arguably the coolest member of the team – except, of course, Wolverine, but he’s more of a lone (pardon the pun) wolf. In certain ways, he could be seen as the Jim Halpert of the X-Men. If Krasinski doesn’t want an integral role like Richards, Cyclops would be an alternative choice.
9 Henry Golding
Scott Summers needs to be likable, especially to make audiences more interested in the character, since the Marvel fan base is mostly indifferent towards him. Henry Golding is one of the hottest and most popular young stars in Hollywood right now, bringing his charisma to romantic comedies like Crazy Rich Asians and a darker mysteriousness to thrillers like A Simple Favor.
He’ll next be seen in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming crime caper The Gentlemen, and in the holiday-themed romcom Last Christmas opposite Emilia Clarke. Golding has the easy amiability, infectious smile, hotshot attitude, and good looks to play a great Cyclops.
8 Scoot McNairy
If the MCU’s take on Cyclops wants to focus less on the effortless heroism and classic good looks, and focus more on his insecurities and self-doubting, then Scoot McNairy might be a strong choice. He can hold his own in auteur-helmed dramas like Argo, Gone Girl, 12 Years a Slave, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and also in big-budget blockbusters like Non-Stop and Batman v Superman.
His role in Gareth Edwards’ feature debut Monsters, McNairy proved he could play an action-oriented leading role without getting hung up on being an unrealistically skilled fighter and instead depicting a real guy facing dangerous situations.
7 Taron Egerton
Many fan castings have tipped Taron Egerton to play Wolverine in the MCU, but Marvel will likely need an actor who is older, gruffer, bulkier, and hairier than Egerton to play that role. He’d probably make a great Wolverine if Marvel wants to go younger, but if they don’t, he might still have a place in the MCU’s X-Men reboot if he’s given the role of Cyclops.
The Kingsman movies have proved that Egerton can play a straightforward hero with an undertone of edge, while the second one showed that he has on-screen chemistry with the probable choice for Gambit, Channing Tatum.
6 Alden Ehrenreich
The version of Han Solo that we got in Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t really feel like Han Solo at all, especially the Han from before the events of A New Hope. Alden Ehrenreich had all the charm required for the role, but his incarnation was too good-hearted, heroic, and strong-willed to be a pre-original trilogy Han.
Those characteristics could, however, be applied to a screen version of Scott Summers. Ehrenreich was deprived of a starring role in a franchise by Solo: A Star Wars Story’s failure, so perhaps his best bet now is to take a role in the MCU.
5 Scott Eastwood
A number of fans have suggested Scott Eastwood for Wolverine, but he’s not grizzled enough to play Wolverine (but his dad would’ve made a good Wolvie back in the day). Perhaps a better choice for the junior Eastwood in the MCU’s X-Men franchise would be Cyclops.
He has the all-American look, the rugged good looks, and the leading-man charisma to play Scott Summers as the leader of the new big-screen incarnation of Charles Xavier’s team of mutants. Eastwood has been in a lot of blockbusters so far, including the Fast & Furious franchise, but none of his roles have really grabbed moviegoers’ attention – Cyclops could change that.
4 Liam Hemsworth
The role of Scott Summers requires an actor who is handsome and likable, but also one with the talent to convey Scott’s doubts about himself and insecurities about his mutant abilities. This combination would make Liam Hemsworth an ideal choice for the character.
Now, most fans’ first response will be that there’s already a Hemsworth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but would it be so crazy to cast a second Hemsworth brother in the MCU? Chris and Liam Hemsworth don’t look similar enough that it would be jarring, and Thor and Cyclops wouldn’t spend enough time together for it to become distracting.
3 Miles Teller
While Miles Teller’s take on Mr. Fantastic in the dreadful Fantastic Four reboot with the equally dreadful title Fant4stic was completely wrong for that character, it might be right for Cyclops. Teller works better as a supporting lead than a full-on lead, because his cocky performance style becomes a little tiresome in a starring role, which would make Cyclops the right level of exposure for him.
He could combine the straight-man musings of James Marsden’s Cyclops and the teen angst of Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops with his own blend of comic arrogance to give us a definitive take on the character.
2 Leonardo DiCaprio
This one might seem like a left-field pick, but it could work. Leonardo DiCaprio is probably above superhero blockbusters now that he’s an Oscar winner who is considered by many critics to be the finest actor working today, but Marvel has cast just as many actors whose careers were going fine (Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch etc.) as actors who needed a boost.
DiCaprio is a little older than the traditional depiction of Cyclops, but this would help to differentiate the MCU’s version from James Marsden’s version from the Fox franchise. Plus, despite the age difference, DiCaprio has all the charm, good looks, and passion of Scott Summers.
1 Chris Pine
It’s about time Hollywood’s fourth major Chris joined his fellow Chrises in the MCU. The way that Chris Pine plays James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ rebooted Star Trek franchise is proof that he could play a fantastic Cyclops. Pine’s Kirk is arrogant and sometimes lets his fiery passion for doing the right thing cloud his judgment, and when all is said and done, he’s a hero who will do anything to protect the people that he cares about.
Apart from swapping the crew of the Enterprise for the rest of the X-Men, that characterization is perfect for Scott Summers.