The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to steam ahead. After the blockbusting finale to the first three phases in Avengers Endgame, it is time to shake things up. MCU boss Kevin Feige is committed to pushing boundaries and embracing bold choices. It paid off with the unknown Guardians of the Galaxy. But the one thing Marvel fans have wanted longer than anything is a the return home of the X-Men.
The mutants have been trapped in an alternate big screen universe at 20th Century Fox while the main Marvel universe took over cinemas for a decade. Now they are back home and Feige has big plans.
Among them is greater representation for minorities. First up will be the movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
The Eternals will already feature an openly gay hero in Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos but the X-Men broke huge ground in the comics way back when Iceman came out and it looks like that story is now in the process of being brought to life.
The latest talk is that Shia Labeouf is being lined up. So, what’s the beef with Labeouf?
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The actor became a huge star in the Transformers franchise before stepping back from mainstream Hollywood.
He hit headlines appearing on red carpets for the outrageous film Nymphomaniac with a paper bag over his head and has avoided big budget productions for the last decade.
So, he is a bold choice but early reports indicated Marvel was keen to get him into the MCU. Initially he was being pursued to play anti-hero Moon Knight but now Hollywood insiders and actor are reacting to the idea of him as Iceman.
One of the loudest voices is the brother of major MCU star Chris Evans.
Screenwriter and comic writer Joe Glass immediately suggested possible stars who could play Iceman.
He wrote: “No, Marvel, please hire a gay actor. Give Shia someone else, but why cast him as Iceman when Ben Whishaw, Andrew Rannells, Kit Williamson and John Halbach are RIGHT THERE! There, did you’re job for ya. And that’s just a handful.”
Others have suggested out actors like Kyle XY pin-up Matt Dallas and Glee star Jonathan Groff.
Nobody at all has disputed Shia’s acting chops, just the eternal debate on whether minority characters should be played by minority actors.