The Villain: The red-hot favourite. A gifted geneticist, Sinister was himself genetically altered by the ancient mutant Apocalypse (more on him later), granting him not only the usual superpowers of strength, telepathy and flight, but also the ability to “turn off” a mutant’s powers. Pretty nifty, that last one. Throw in the fact that he’s been secretly messing with Cyclops (who has a big role in the film) since the X-man was a baby, and he looks the obvious choice as First Class ’s main event.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Creepy bloke? A danger to kids? Been there, done that in The Woodsman .
The Villain: If it’s not going to be Sinister, the smart money is on debonair gent Sebastian Shaw, president of the notorious Hellfire Club, a wealthy organisation with designs on world domination. We know Emma Frost, a key player in the club, is set to feature, and we can’t help thinking that the Dark Phoenix storyline (in which the club is instrumental) that Brett Ratner fumbled so badly still has some mileage left in it.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Kev’s more average Joe than upper-class gent, but we still reckon he’d cut a dash in a velvet smoking jacket.
Black Tom Cassidy
The Villain: A less obvious choice than Shaw or Sinister, but no bad thing perhaps, given that the film looks like an attempt to move away from the big-names of the original films. Plus, we know that Banshee is going to appear, and Black Tom is his black-sheep of a cousin. That said, most of his storylines revolve around the Juggernaut, and if Vinnie Jones is anywhere near this film, we’re going to break down and cry.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Black Tom is a charming, rebellious bad-boy. Think Bacon in Footloose , only with less dancing. Much less dancing.
The Villain: An entity created in a clash between Xavier and Magneto, Onslaught was the product of the combined consciousness of both men. Initially identifying with Magneto’s pro-mutant agenda, Onslaught concludes that neither species is worthy of the earth and sets about attempting to destroy both of them. If that ain’t enough to set up an X-Men/Brotherhood team-up, we don’t know what its!
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: The problem with this is that Onslaught looks a bit like something the Power Rangers might come up against. Too hammy, even for Bacon? Sorry…
The Villain: He’s certainly got the narrative arc to carry-off the role of chief villain, although we’d probably stop short of the cyborg/floating-head angle from the later comics. We can see a plot in which PR-man Hodge launches a campaign to promote the X-Men, knowing full well the anti-mutant hysteria it will provoke. He turns out to be staunchly anti-mutant you see. The sneaky so-and-so.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: An apparent ally who turns villain? Kev can do duplicitous in his sleep…
The Villain: All the PR bumf has been about how First Class will be an origin story for Charles Xavier. Well if that’s the case, then presumably we ought to see how the Prof ended up in that wheelchair? And unless Matthew Vaughn wants to incur the wrath of an army of X-fans, that would have to involve Lucifer. An advance agent for the alien race known as the Arcane, Lucifer’s planned invasion of Earth was foiled by a young Xavier. And Lucifer wasn’t pleased about that at all, smashing his legs with a big rock. Ouch!
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: He may be alien, but Lucifer takes human form, so Kev won’t have to dust off his Hollow Man routine…
The Villain: He wouldn’t really fit in with the chronology, but we’re hoping Vaughn is thinking outside the box on this one, because we really want to see the Sentinels! A pro-human activist and scientist, Trask is the creator of the aforementioned giant, mutant-bashing robots, who soon turn out to have rather grander aspirations than security work…
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Kev can do more than cackling hysterics, and we’d like to see him as a more low-key, human threat.
The Villain: This would be ambitious, given that Sublime is a sentient bacterium, but his human form as “John Sublime” could work, particularly as his plan to exterminate all mutants would be a big enough threat to unite Magneto and Xavier, a la Stryker in X2 . The comics also included a strand suggesting Sublime’s influence was the root cause for humankind’s fear and hatred of mutants…reckon you can condense that into 100 minutes Mr. Vaughn?
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: A bacteria, with a mind of its own, that hates mutants? Hey, it’s still more credible than Wild Things !
The Shadow King
The Villain: Ignoring some of his more preposterous plots (a team-up with the Nazis to replace the King of England with a fascist, for one) the comics presented the malignant energy force known as the Shadow King as the driving force behind Xavier’s creation of the X-Men. As one of the Prof’s earliest foes, he fits into the origin story nicely, and is powerful enough a foe to precipitate some form of alliance between Xavier and Magneto. It works, dammit!
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: His most famous human form is an Egyptian crime lord, so lets hope Kev’s got a generic “foreign” accent up his sleeve.
The Villain: Again, Graydon is one who would require a bit of timeline tinkering, being that he is the son Sabretooth and Mystique. But if that could be tidied up, his role as head of the Friends of Humanity, a group opposing Mutant civil rights, would lend itself nicely to a story where human prejudice is the real villain, and would provide a neat focal point with which to divide Xavier and Magneto’s respective philosophies.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: An anti-mutant campaigner, born to mutant parents? Plenty of conflict for Kev to get his teeth into there.
The Villain: Granted, having Bacon play a human/tyrannadon mash-up would be bold in the extreme, but it’s not beyond the realms. Initially a benign colleague of Xavier, Dr. Karl Lykos only takes on his creature-feature appearance after helping to treat Cyclops’ brother Havok, who we know will feature. After accidentally absorbing Havok’s energy, Lykos transforms into a hideous energy vampire and…okay, we can hear this sounding a bit daft now.
Six degrees of Kevin Bacon: We like the idea, but can’t see Bacon signing on to play something that looks like a reject from Carnosaur .
The Villain: Ah, Apocalypse. Probably the villain we’d most like to see on the big-screen, and probably the hardest one to pull off. A centuries-old mutant, strengthened by mysterious alien technology, you’d have a hell of a lot of exposition to plough through to even explain who, and what, he is. But if Mr. Sinister is going to be involved, then he has to figure at some point. And if he isn’t the villain here, then First Class can go some way towards setting him up for X-Men 4 …
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: We don’t care who does the voice, if Apocalypse is on screen, we’re happy!