Bishop. The Aboriginal X-Man and His Suitors

Grammy Award-Winning Rapper Method Man, of the Wu-Tang Clan, has let his desire to play the X-Man ‘Lucas Bishop’ known. Posting a picture of himself as the character, who was played by Omar Sy in X-Men: Days of Futures Past, on his Instagram account in July, with the following comment:

“@BossLogic thanx for the look now if we can get @marvel and @marvelstudios on board.. er’body tag.”

The post has over 33,000 likes, with plenty of commenters tagging Marvel, Marvel Studios and/or Kevin Fiege. While I have nothing against Method Man, and he certainly looks the part, given Bishops background, I cant help but think that there are more suitable actors out there that should be given a shot at the role.

So, who is Bishop, and why am I writing about him?

Lucas Bishop is an X-Man who is the son of Aboriginal mutant refugees from Australia, making him an Australian First Nations mutant. He was raised in America in a mutant concentration camp and has an M brand over his right eye, used to identify mutants.

Given that Bishop is an Australian First Nations man, I have decided to look at five First Nation actors from Australia that could fit the bill.

Baykali Ganambarr

Before his breakout role as Billy in Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, Baykali was a dancer, but after winning the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent at the Venice Film Festival, his acting career could be anything. Ganambarr can clearly act and with a bit of time at the gym, would look great in the role.

Tysan Towney

Tysan Towney, of Cleverman, the Romper Stomper tv adaption and an episode of The Leftovers has more than enough experience to keep up with the big-name actors of the X-Men series. To go with that acting experience, Towney has the stamina and physicality to perform such an enduring action role. Towney has trained in competitive athletics, martial arts and boxing and accomplished a spot in the pre-Olympics training program – ‘Jumpstart to London’. Tysan has more than enough on-screen presence to mix it up with the likes of Fassbender and McEvoy.

Mark Coles Smith

Smith is one of the more experienced of these actors, with 33 credits to his name on IMDB. Smith appeared one of my favourite aussie shows, The Gods of Wheat Street, popular Micheal Caton film Last Cab to Darwin and the remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock. But the role that gives him my vote is that of Pauly in 2015s Pawno. Smith is great in the role and has already acted with the likes of Caton, Christina Ricci and was on an episode of Modern Family back in 2014. His presence as Bishop would only improve any X-Men film.

Rob Collins

Rob Collins, in my opinion, is one of Australia’s fastest and best growing stars. The Torres Strait Islander actor has been in Top End Wedding, Ceverman and Angel of Mine, where he shared screen time with international star Noomi Rapace. Collins is a fantastic actor, having just been cast in channel 7 drama RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) which will be filmed in Broken Hill. Collins would be great as Bishop.

Aaron Fa’aoso

When it comes to size, ex Australian Rugby League player Aaron Fa’aoso has no equal in this race. While the previous actors mentioned would need to bulk up for the Bishop role, Aaron Fa’aoso is fine as is. The Black Comedy and The Straits actor easily has the size and presence to take the role on and make it his own.

All of the above actors have the right to stake their claim on the role if they want it, and it’s about time that we see some of the talented Indigenous actors that Australia has to offer in Hollywood. Top End Wedding director Wayne Blair has already been over there, albeit, behind the camera, directing Academy Award Winner Adrian Brody and Academy Award Nominee Salma Hayek in 2015’s Septembers of Shiraz.

Interestingly, Lucas Bishop also has a sister, known as Shard. If Shard was to appear in a film, there are plenty of Actresses out there that could play her. Natasha Wanganeen (Rabbit Proof Fence, Cargo), Rarriwuy Hick (Cleverman, Redfern Now) or even Shantae Barnes-Cowan (Total Control) would all fit the bill. One actress in particular, whose already experienced Hollywood is Madelaine Madden. She recently starred in Dora and the Lost City of Gold and would be an ideal candidate.

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