Marvel, this is your chance! With the recent merger between 20th Century Fox and Disney, the 'X-Men' franchise could relaunch with new faces and correct Fox's history of whitewashing this dark-skinned African character. Fans of the 'X-Men' heroine Storm could finally see an on-screen version of her that matches the deep-brown badass we grew up with from the comic books. Don't mess this up, Marvel!
Here are 12 actresses who would slay the game as Storm in a new 'X-Men' franchise:
1) Kiki Layne
Photo: Ryan James Caruthers
Kiki Layne has to be the first choice on this list since she's actively gunning for the role after all. Layne's most prominent part yet, in If Beale Street Could Talk, has put her on the fast-track toward superstardom. After her performance in the Sundance-premiering film Native Son with Ashton Sanders, her star is only rising. With such huge tailwinds behind her, Marvel needs to snatch her up for the role of the African weather goddess.
2) Aja Naomi King
Aja Naomi King is best known for her role on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder, but she's due a more significant film career. She endeavored to broaden her filmography with Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation. But with the revelations of Parker's alleged sexual assaulting past and problematic elements of the film, Parker crashed and burned on the publicity tour, robbing King of her due shine. Her next film is A Girl from Mogadishu, playing the film version of real-life Somali refugee-turned-social activist Ifrah Ahmed. The film has the potential to be huge, and it would be awesome if King could keep her movie career shining with a role as Storm.
3) Anna Diop
Anna Diop is currently delving into another superhero franchise--DC's Titans. She's also got some mysterious role in Jordan Peele's Us, which has yet to be revealed. With this much genre experience, she's clearly got the chops to take on Storm for Marvel.
4) Yetide Badaki
Photo: Erin Simkin
Yetide Badaki is already a goddess in Starz's American Gods, so it's only right that Marvel reaches out to her to take on another goddess role. With as much power as she commands on the screen, she would be absolutely magnetic as Storm.
5) Yaya DaCosta
Photo: Suzanne Tenner/Focus Features
Yaya DaCosta started out as a contestant on America's Next Top Model, but she has quickly established herself as a bonafide actress, starring in Lee Daniels' The Butler, Chicago Med, The Kids Are All Right and more. She's an actress who is waiting on the biggest break of her career, and Storm would certainly give that to her.
6) Dominique Jackson
Photo: Getty Images
Dominique Jackson has charisma to spare, making her perfect for Storm. If you've seen FX's Pose, you already know how commanding she is as Elektra Abundance. How amazing would it be to have Jackson deliver the same type of reads with the added power of lightning and thunder? It would be epic.
7) DeWanda Wise
Photo: Rowan Daly
DeWanda Wise is currently starring on Netflix's She's Gotta Have It as Nola Darling, a complicated character which demands a nuanced actress. That skill would come in handy when diving into what makes Storm tick since there's much more to her than the ability to make it rain. As we have learned from Black Panther, Marvel can make comic book characters as three-dimensional as any character from a dramatic film. Let's hope Marvel gives Storm that same treatment.
8) Teyonah Parris
Photo: Anthony Mongiello
Teyonah Parris was the scene-stealer in Barry Jenkins latest masterpiece If Beale Street Could Talk and has starred on Starz's Survivor's Remorse, AMC's Mad Men, Spike Lee's Chi-Raq and Netflix's Dear White People. Even though she's proven herself, she has yet to have that big, defining role. Storm could be the role that makes Parris an even bigger household name.
9) Ashley Blaine Featherson
Ashley Blaine Featherson currently stars on the Netflix version of Dear White People as Joelle Brooks, a proud Black activist. Her character's activist roots could be a great foundation for Featherson to draw on if she were asked to play Storm. Seeing how proud Storm is to be an African goddess, it only makes sense for Featherson to get a call from Disney.
10) Deborah Ayorinde
Photo: Dwayne Boyd / IMDB
Deborah Ayorinde is already on Marvel's radar; she portrayed ill-fated Harlem's Paradise waitress Candace Parker, who ran afoul of Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard) in Marvel's Luke Cage. She's also been in Girls Trip and is starring in the Cynthia Erivo-led Harriet. With her star on the rise, it would be a great move by Marvel to enlist her as Storm, only propelling Ayorinde to even greater heights.
11) Tika Sumpter
Tika Sumpter is an actress who has definitely put in her dues and deserves to be a bigger star. She's been in films such as Whitney Houston's final film, Sparkle, and Southside with You, in which she portrayed none other than Michelle Obama. She's currently putting in time on OWN's The Haves and the Have Nots in the anti-heroine role of Candace Young. But if you've portrayed Michelle, the only way to go is up, and the role of Storm has to be on that upward trajectory.
12) Ryan Destiny
Ryan Destiny is singing and acting up a storm on Fox's Star. But this kind of talent shouldn't just stay on the small screen. She should be able to spread her wings on the big screen, too, and Storm would be an excellent first role for Destiny to sink her teeth into to do that.
Who would you want as Storm?
Cover photo credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for The Art Of Elysium, Theo Wargo/Getty Images, Chance Yeh/Getty Images, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO