The Marvel Cinematic Universe is steadily expanding throughout the overarching Multiverse Saga, introducing hosts of new characters to the big-screen adaptation of the superhero universe. Some of the most highly anticipated additions are the mutant members of The X-Men. But while there have been no formal casting announcements regarding that branch of the universe, a handful of performers would make clear choices in particular roles, including one internet famous DC Extended Universe veteran being ideally suited to play Nightcrawler.
In the original comics, Nightcrawler was quickly established as one of The X-Men’s most likable recruits. Despite terrifying many with his appearance, Kurt Wagner proved to be a charming and sweet-natured man, with a deep well of compassion and faith beneath his nominally demonic visage. Nightcrawler is, in many ways, the best example of an X-Man — an immigrant to the United States who embraces his new home while never forgetting his Germanic roots. Nightcrawler, when done right, isn’t just the beating heart of the franchise and a metaphor for the entire concept, but he’s also one of its most entertaining and charming members.
The MCU’s Nightcrawler Deserves a Charismatic Actor
The MCU will inevitably introduce The X-Men and has set the stage by formally confirming characters like Namor, Sabra and Ms. Marvel as mutants. In previous live-action appearances, Nightcrawler was portrayed as a more somber character, with much of the focus paid to his appearance and faith than his personality. A new take on the character should highlight the charming elements that quickly made him a favorite in the comics. There’s even a German performer who might have the perfect combination of comic timing and quiet confidence to bring Kurt to the big screen.
Flula Borg made a name for himself as a dancer and online personality on YouTube before transitioning to film and television in movies like Pitch Perfect 2. He’s steadily appeared in more and more productions, ranging from vocal performances in shows like Archer, Tangled: The Series spirit Teen Titans Go! (where he plays the Doom Patrol’s Robotman) to a brief but memorable appearance as Javelin in The Suicide Squad. The DCEU film highlights his willingness to play a joke character with a certain amount of pathos. Borg also has the physique to appear in the superhero genre and possesses a natural charm that got highlighted during his brief scenes with Harley. But more than anything, Borg is a performerwhich would lend itself well to the character.
Borg’s dance experience could lend itself well to Nightcrawler’s fluid sense of motion, and his natural showmanship could translate easily to Nightcrawler’s history as a circus performer. As a German actor playing an overtly German character, Borg also brings a global edge to the character and could bring some unique authenticity to his performance. Borg’s age could even play into his take on the character — who could be recast not as a student at the Xavier Institute but as a teacher and active member of The X-Men. And instead of focusing on a younger Nightcrawler who wrestles with his status as a mutant, an initially older Nightcrawler could be more in line with the helpful, confident and charming hero that recently took center-stage alongside Captain America in Marvel’s Judgment Day crossover.