The Neglected Nemeses: Black Tom Cassidy
Tom has associated himself with the likes of Juggernaut, Eric the Red and Arcade, as well as spending time in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Outside of the X-Men, he has taken on the likes of Spider Woman, Spider-Man, Excalibur and Deadpool.
Initially, Tom’s powers consisted of him being able to generate concussive blasts of force or heat by using wood as the source or focus of his power, generally a wooden shillelagh. From Marvel:
Following genetic engineering, Cassidy could channel the energy he generated directly through the parts of his body that were grafted to a wood-like substance. Since his transformation into a plant-like being, Cassidy can grow to immense size, thus gaining superhuman strength, and can regenerate damaged or destroyed body parts with great speed. He can also mentally control all plant life within his vicinity, and can distribute his consciousness amongst plants he controls. Cassidy can drain the life force of organic beings.
With so many other X-villains to choose from, why Black Tom? As silly as it sounds, he is one of a few villains that could add a real world touch to the films. I know that sounds weird when talking about a world of mutants and super powers, but you have to keep in mind that things still have to remain believable and grounded, at least in the current film universe. Cassidy could fall into place quite easily, without having to add in too much additional information.
Not to mention, now that we have Banshee in the mix (I know, he shouldn’t have been involved in First Class, but work with me here), it would be a great addition to the story. Add in the fact that we have already seen Syrin involved and it actually makes sense with her being involved in the first X-Men films, it would be easy to tie everything together. We know the general direction of the First Class sequel now and this it will utilize the Days of Future Past story, as well as the rumored Age of Apocolypse story, so it is unlikely that we will see Tom this go round, but I’m sure that we will have future X-Men films, so there is still room to bring Cassidy in to the mix.
Now, there have been many suggestions and ideas as to who should play this role, anyone from Josh Brolin to Sam Rockwell to Timothy Dalton, all of which are great choices. I had a hard time choosing an actor, but it came down to the fact that this actor has been a favorite of mine for years. He has played roles in variety of films including Clue, Congo and The Shadow. Tim Curry has proven time and again that he is a capable and fantastic actor and I would love to see him in a villainous role like this. Having said that…Tim is a tad old for the role now days, which is too bad.
So, I jumped ship on that idea and land on the boat of Joseph Fiennes. Anyone who argues that Fiennes is not a capable and amazing actor, needs to be tarred and feathered. Often over-shadowed by his brother Ralph, Joseph has had some great roles in a variety of films including Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth and one of my all time favorites Enemy at the Gates. He’s a bit more eclectic than his brother but just as good and just as entertaining to watch.