Forge. I don’t know why we still haven’t seen Forge in a movie. He’s one of my favorite X-Men, and he’s convenient to have around as well - his mutant power is that he can invent and build any machine. Also, he’s got a mechanical arm and leg, and that’s cool!
Forge is cool for the movies for a bunch of reasons. First off, he’s kind of handsome and suave, which is always good news for casting directors. But more than that, he’s got an intriguing background because he’s a Native American who was being groomed for medicine man status but who decided to follow technology instead.
But wait, there’s more! As X-Men: First Class takes place in the turbulent 1960s, Forge’s American Indian background could make for some interesting stuff. The 60s, before AIM, the American Indian Movement, fully coalesced, were bad times on reservations. Forge would have seen extreme poverty and racism; might he be tempted to join Magneto’s side? Hell, he’s sort of redundant on the X-Men, what with First Class establishing that The Beast can build anything anytime, so maybe he should be a member of the Brotherhood from the start…
Sunfire. One of the best things about X-Men: First Class is the feeling of globetrotting adventure. Keep that up in the sequel by bringing in Sunfire, a Japanese mutant. Yeah, his costume is pretty silly, but his powers are pretty great - he can fly and he can blast fiery plasma beams. He’s also immune to radiation.
Like Forge, Sunfire has a backstory that would work well in the 60s. His mother was at Hiroshima, and died of radiation poisoning. Her child was born a mutant - and a hater of America. Hell, if you want to parallel the opening of X-Men: First Class, start the sequel with Sunfire’s pregnant mom about to pop just as the bomb hits Hiroshima. The baby is born in the fallout.
His angry attitude would be great as well. Once again, here’s a character who would be in danger of joining Magneto. Having Professor X try to soothe Sunfire’s (well-founded) bigotry would be a great subplot.
Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Here’s where we get interesting. Pietro and Wanda Maximoff are also known as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver has super speed, while Scarlet Witch has a really weird power in which she can affect probablity - it doesn’t really make sense but seems to be some kind of quantum control wherein she changes the probability field around things or people, thus making extremely unlikely events, like spontaneous combustion, become 100% likely.
But what’s great about these two is that they’re brother and sister… and the children of Magneto. Now, the First Class timeline has Magneto at just about 30 in the first film, so I would argue that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch couldn’t be much older than 12 by the second film, which might irritate some viewers. But for me it makes their eventual defection from their father more difficult and dramatic. Hell, maybe they could be the first recruits in The New Mutants. That would send the continuity-minded into a frenzy.
Northstar. It’s possible I’m wasting a valuable space on this character, as I’m not entirely certain that Northstar, once a member of Alpha Flight, the Canadian team of superheroes (seriously) is part of Fox’s X-Men package. But let’s assume he is for a moment, because he’d be a great addition to the new movie team.
Northstar’s powers aren’t that amazing - speed and flight and durability - but it’s his character that makes him a good choice for a First Class sequel. Northstar is one of the few openly gay characters in superherodom. The original X-Men films used mutants as metaphors for homosexuals, so now maybe it’s time to remove the metaphor.
Again, it’s important to use the time period for a purpose. Just as Forge can represent racial issues and Sunfire can be a product of the atomic age, Northstar could represent the earliest days of the gay rights movement. Being gay in the 60s wasn’t easy, and I imagine it wouldn’t be any easier with a group of mutants. What if Northstar came to Professor X hoping to be psychically changed, but eventually learned to embrace who he is? His gayness would be just as much something he was born with as his mutant abilities - a part of his unique identity.
Corsair and Lilandra. Stick with me here. Imagine that the second X-Men: First Class movie ends with the threat being vanquished and the X-Men returning home to Westchester. Then, as they celebrate a world again saved, a huge spaceship descends from the sky. Onboard is an alien queen and… Havok’s dad.
For those not familiar with the comics, Havok’s (and Cyclops’) dad is a member of the Starjammers, a group of space privateers. No, he’s not an alien, he just ended up in space. It’s comic books, man. Anyway, the Starjammers ended up saving Lilandra, the queen of the alien Shi’ar, when her sister, Deathbird staged a coup. This sort of space opera has long been a part of the X-Men’s comic book adventures, but nobody has been brave enough to bring it to the screen.
It would make a ballsy third film, though. The X-Men take to space to free the Shi’ar Imperium, and maybe even battle The Brood, a race of aliens that essentially rip off the Xenomorph from Alien. In the comics Lilandra and Professor X got together, and he even became her official consort. Romance, reunited family, big space adventure… this movie would have it all! It would be a really risky direction to take the series, but fuck it, it could be a blast. And since it’s the 60s, do a completely pop version of space - make it like Barbarella!