Earlier this week, mutant mastermind and X-Men: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer inducted Game Of Thrones veteran Peter ‘Tyrion Lannister’ Dinklage into the cast, saying, “Officially like to welcome #PeterDinklage from #GameOfThrones to #XMEN #DaysofFuturePast Very very excited!”
And he has every right to be, because Peter Dinklage is a terrific actor. However this piece of fantastic news has been offset by the suggestion from hooting fanboys that he’s obviously playing the role of Eugene ‘Puck’ Judd, a member of embarrassingly stereotyped Canadian superteam Alpha Flight, created by otherwise unimpeachable X-Men superstar John Byrne in 1983.
Here are 6 very good reasons why this is the stupidest thing that could possibly happen.
- If on hearing Peter Dinklage has been cast in a movie, you instantly think of the first dwarf in that fictional universe, you should ask yourself some pretty searching questions about your world view. The chances are that Singer enlisted Dinklage because he needed a good actor, not because he needed a dwarf. This whole train of thought is the top of a slippery slope that leads to complaining about Idris Elba playing Heimdall (in Thor) or Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White (in Man Of Steel) purely on basis of their ethnicity.
- All of Alpha Flight, Puck included, are deeply embarrassing and reductive stereotypes that fall short of having a character composed entirely of maple syrup and denim. He’s a dwarf from the land of ice hockey and he’s called Puck, as in ‘hockey puck’. Seriously. If you thought it was a reference to English folklore you’re seriously overestimating superhero comics.
- Puck, in the comics, isn’t actually a mutant – he acquired his powers and reduced height magically. It’s not impossible that this would be retconned to fit into 20th Century Fox’s mutant-centric X-mythos, but what exactly would be the point of that when we have so many other characters to toy with?
- The latest news is that, according to Variety, Dinklage will be playing “a major antagonist.” If Puck, the topsy-turvy tit from Alpha Flight is the big bad I will be very upset. Won’t you be very upset? You should be upset.
- Living, as we are, in space year 2013, it’s not unlikely that Dinklage will be providing the motion capture, or face capture, for a fully CG creation – perhaps we’ll be getting a decent Juggernaut (bitch) or Blob and Dinklage is just the angry/embittered face. Or maybe he’s providing the suitably sardonic Mister Sinister, or suitably superior Apocalypse, or whatever the hell characteristics Shadow King has?
- No, they’re not major players in the Days Of Future Past story arc, but neither is Puck so it’s just as possible/impossible as yesterday’s favourite piece of obvious nonsense. What would Puck actually contribute to Days Of Future Past? Do you hate good films so much that you’d pointlessly wish a character in there that would make us all pine for the days of Angel Salvatore or Darwin? No, they were in X-Men: First Class, but don’t worry if you didn’t notice – nobody did.