X-Men Star Slams Treatment Of Their Character

One of the stars of the X-Men franchise isn't happy with how his character was treated.

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

x-men first class

The 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class succeeded in breathing new life into Fox’s franchise, but not everyone was happy with how the film turned out. In particular, a lot of fans were upset with the death of the mutant Darwin, played by Edi Gathegi. Now it turns out the fans weren’t alone. Gathegi himself recently revealed he thought the filmmakers made the wrong choice.

Speaking to ComicBook.com while promoting the new Netflix western The Harder They Fall, Gathegi said that while he was already an X-Men fan before he was cast in First Class, playing Darwin quickly made him the actor’s favorite of the mutant heroes. Like a lot of fans, Gathegi said Wolverine had been his favorite, but researching Darwin made him reconsider. “He adapts to survive,” Gathegi said. “He cannot die. He’s fought the Hulk and transported to space because he was dying. And he’s died and regenerated. Oh my God, there’s so many possibilities.” Gathegi added that the character offered so many possibilities to a filmmaker and that he thought, “that was a huge miss, killing Darwin, and I think Darwin does deserve redemption.”

For those who haven’t seen X-Men: First Class, Gathegi’s character Darwin enjoys the interesting ability of adapt to whatever situation he’s in. If he sticks his head underwater, he grows gills to breathe. If he were to fall from a cliff, he might grow wings or his body might become as light as a feather so he could float safely to the ground. As Gathegi pointed out, the comic book version of Darwin is part of a massive team of X-Men who takes on the Hulk in 2007’s World War Hulk: X-Men #3. Determining the only sure way to survive the Hulk is not to be anywhere near him, Darwin’s powers teleport him safely away from the fight.

But for whatever reason, Darwin’s powers meet their match in First Class and the unkillable mutant is killed. He’s taken out by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), whose powers manifest much differently in the comics. The confrontation happens two-thirds of the way through the film, when Shaw attempts to recruit the inaugural X-Men team into his ranks.

x-men first class darwin

Gathegi says that he hopes now that the X-Men are under the umbrella of Marvel Studios, Darwin might get a better showing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s certainly possible. A Marvel Studios X-Men movies is inevitable, though it’s anyone’s guess when it will happen. Not to mention there are so many characters under the X-Men banner, and Darwin isn’t exactly an A-lister.

Considering his comic book origins, it’s fitting Darwin’s live-action premiere was in a prequel like X-Men: First Class, even if his death made it a lot less fitting. Darwin’s first comic book appearance is in the 2005 miniseries X-Men: Deadly Genesis, which rewrote a pivotal chapter of the team’s history. While the X-Men comics debuted in 1963, many of the most popular X-Men — e.g. Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler — don’t join the team until 1975’s Giant Size X-Men #1 when they’re recruited to save the original team from the sentient island of Krakoa. In Deadly Genesis, however, we learn there was another team before the GSXM line-up who were believed to have died trying to save the originals. It’s eventually revealed two members of that team survived, and one of them is Darwin.

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