By Maxi Kim | October 7, 2017
The debut of The Gifted, Fox’s new television series based on Marvel’s X-Men properties, got us thinking about comic books that could potentially be adapted into the next great binge watch series or live-action franchise.
On top of our list is John Byrne’s Next Men. Written and drawn by the artist who put his stamp on Marvel’s X-Men and Fantastic Four, Next Men is notable for being one of a number of Byrne’s creator-owned titles in the early 90s. Though superficially similar to the X-Men, Next Men distinguished itself by being a pulpier, more mature series than the standard superhero team fare.
Below are our picks for which actors we’d like to see tackle three of the most iconic Next Men roles.
1. Channing Tatum as Jack
Who else could conceivably play the hulking brute of the Next Men who can hardly control his super strength and barely contain his rage? If you saw director Binnett Miller’s 2014 film Foxcatcher, you know why we chose Channing Tatum. Having embodied both the physical stature and psychological vulnerability of the American wrestler Mark Schultz, Tatum would be perfect for the role of Next Men’s Jack.
2. Charlize Theron as Bethany
From her role as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road to her portrayal of CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld in Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron has proven herself to be the ultimate cinematic badass. It’s difficult to think of anyone else who could pull off both the physical presence and interior strength of the invincible Bethany who is quite literally invulnerable to harm to the point of having indestructible hair.
Theron’s traumatic past with an abusive alcoholic father who was killed by her mother and her childhood physical ailment with jaundice would additionally add a layer of emotional depth to the trauma that Bethany herself has experienced by the scientists and government men who purport to be acting in her best interest.
3. Andrew Garfield as Danny
Though not remotely the physical height or age of Next Man’s Danny, Andrew Garfield would bring an earnestness and naivete that’d be necessary for anyone attempting to play the speedy teenager who wants nothing more than to understand his past and truly be part of a superhero family. His interpretation of Marc Webb’s Peter Parker and the conscientious objector Doss in the 2016 war drama Hacksaw Ridge are further confirmations in our minds that he’d be the ideal actor to embody both the optimism and innocence of Next Man’s Danny.