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Omar Sy Will Play Bishop In 'X-men: Days Of Future Past'

by Tambay A. Obenson
April 25, 2013 11:06 AM
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Well, the video below that director Bryan Singer shared online yesterday tells the tale; now we know with certainty what character Omar Sy is going to play in X-men: Days Of Future Past.

Our guess when it was first announced that he'd joined the cast was that he'd play Bishop, the son of Aborigine mutant refugees, whose powers include energy absorption and redirection, as well as superhuman physical attributes, and the ability to instinctively know his present location.

And, as you can see in the video below, yes, Omar Sy is going to play Bishop, unless another black actor has been cast for the part that we don't know about.

And while I'm pleased to see Monsieur Sy getting work, he's just not the right choice for Bishop. Not at all. 

Far more sensible choices would be actors like Dwayne Johnson, Michael Jai White, Jason Momoa, even Terry Crews. In short, massive dudes who are physically intimidating, and even kind of scary, and have a dominating screen presence, to start. 

It seems like Singer and company just went with who they felt was a *hot* up-and-comer in Sy, who's booked quite a few roles in the short time since he relocated from Paris to LA last year, after signing with a major agency in CAA.

This seems to be a common theme when it comes to casting black actors in some of these bloated studio projects - especially in peripheral/supporting roles. Instead of casting the best person for the job, producers/directors/casting directors suddenly get lazy and select from a short list of "who's hot right now and is available" or "who do we know and recognize and is available." No imagination; no creativity. It's just about filling a slot and moving on to the *more important* (read: white) roles in those movies.

But this is not Omar Sy's problem. He's an actor who wants to work. So if his agents are able to get him a part, especially in a high profile movie like this, he'd be foolish not to take it. 

Still, I'd be surprised if it's a role with any weight, even though the character is an interesting one, with intriguing origins, and capabilities; which I think made it even easier to just throw an actor in the role, without giving it a lot of thought.

Of course, we know that Halle Berry is reprising her role as Storm...

Here's the video Singer shared:

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  • kalish | February 2, 2014 7:48 PMReply

    Listen, I am French, and that guy is a very good actor, very funny and so and so...but he DOESN'T FIT AT ALL. He looks so nice and gentle whereas Bishop is a real brute.

  • kim | July 25, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    Please Mr Bryan Singer shut up ! you article is full of crap.

  • Michael | June 26, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    Dwayne Johnston 100% perfect for the Bishop role.

  • Kevin | May 28, 2013 5:36 PMReply

    I am so in agreement with you. I still am reeling from the news of this announcement. Bishop was my favorite X-Men. Ironically the ONLY living black male mutant in the series right now at that. So to fill a role with a less known or even an actor that can make the role his and become reprised is lost. Look at X-Men First Class. I recently saw Glory Road on TV again and saw Mechad Brooks. I was surprised someone like that with the build and height, an alum from a KNOWN fan base such as True Blood. It's one thing to see an actor display a great performance and then from there base a casting (42). Mechad Brooks, Billy Brown, Chadwick Boseman. Actors that can bring a strong presence to a small role. It's sad this happens too often like you said.

  • sefrea | April 26, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    Tambay sometimes the way u critic is just plain unacceptable. How can you say he doesn't fit the role. this doesn't make sense he even fits the role perfectly looking at the original character and with the right make up he ll do just fine. I wonder why you write so of these things sometimes.

  • Cevine | April 25, 2013 10:33 PMReply

    The flipside to the whole 'they're not casting the correct look' argument is that studios may be giving under-the-radar actors a chance to shine. For whichever reason (mainly, the studio is going the cheap route). If that could indeed be the case: So? I get tired of seeing the same 'ol same. Let these young men and women breathe. There are many exceptions to what I just said (Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone, anyone?), but in this case I say cut the gentleman some slack. It's an X-Men movie, not Othello.

  • Charles Judson | April 25, 2013 10:14 PMReply

    1) Wolverine is supposed to be 5'3" and stocky. Hugh Jackman is 6'2" (Russell Crowe was even approached for the role). Magneto has always been cut like hell and Ian McKellen is by no means Charles Atlas. The casting has never adhered bible and verse to the Marvel Universe.

    2) We don't even know where in the timeline Bishop shows up or what his role in the future or past timeline is. Sy's Bishop could be pre-bulked up.

    3) Wouldn't casting Dewayne Johnson or even Terry Crews based more on their look than what's dramatically right for the role be the lazy choice? Fox's previous casting has been dubious at times. Jessica Alba in FANTASTIC FOUR and in X-MEN ORIGINS are reminders of the studio's "insightful" casting.

    4) At 6'3" Sy could easily pack on another 30 or 40 lbs of muscle. Will Smith did it for ALI, going from 185 to 220.

  • Jug | April 26, 2013 2:50 PM

    And I just thought-Captain America. Yeah, Evans got yoked for that one, so Mackie has said he has to up his game but its not like anyone will go "where are your muscles Falcon?!". But in PAIN & GAIN, Mackie didn't really get into body builder shape. He just had to look like he's been in the gym a bit. Sometimes the suggestion of size is all you need.

  • Jug | April 26, 2013 2:45 PM

    Actually, I don't think Sy is going to bulk up much, if at all. He'll probably put on a little bit of muscle and lean out to look big on camera. He's already tall which makes him "charactery" next to the short people in the film-Jackman aside. Then, if you pay close attention to Bryan Singer's casting from the first X-MEN movies, he goes for more sexy glam over faithful casting. Like you said Charles, 5'3" and stocky (Del Toro) vs 6'2" and thin (Jackman). Look at how LONG Hugh Jackman's legs literally looked in the first X-MEN movie. He wasn't yoked at all until the second and third movies and by WOLVERINE, he was ridiculous. None of the characters in the 20th X-MEN movies, or from the other studios Marvel films, are really faithful to the comics. Only Michael Clarke Duncan fit the "muscle" mold of The Kingpin. Remember how corny the "muscle suit" for Juggernaut looked in X3? Yeah. It's only been in the Marvel Studios pics, specifically THOR, where they said "dude you gotta LOOK the part", not just "fake it". I don't think it was a money thing at all with Sy vs Crews or The Rock. They cast who was HOT and not tied up, dude has the French best Actor Award (I know this because I know many of the folks who auditioned here in LA for Bishop) and HEIGHT was a huge factor. If Bishop becomes a "super cool" character, ripe for a spin-off or something, if you were an exec at 20th-who would you rather American Black Actor or an International Award Winning French Actor who happens to be Black? Very Little of any of this is about the "sanctity" and "integrity" of the source material, it's about the "creativity" of making the kind movie Singer "likes" and what 20th will sell.

  • Mark | April 26, 2013 5:22 AM

    Sure Fox hasn't cast according to the comic book type, but in the case of Magneto, it is a bit unrealistic to have an older actor look like comic book Max. IIRC they were looking at shorter actors but Jackman campaigned for the part and eventually won them over.

    Pre-bulked up? Even the teen Bishop is portrayed as massive.

    I think what people are really upset with is that they wanted a more "leading man" type to play Bishop. That often requires a certain screen presence as much as it does acting ability. Sy, well, looks like a character actor. LOL

    Forty pounds of muscle in a few months? Roids is the only way.

  • Andre | April 25, 2013 9:20 PMReply

    Although I agree somewhat that he might not be the right player to play Bishop, I can't agree that the "Rock" would play it any better. He would certainly fill the seats but definitely not Dwayne Johnson or Michael Jai White, he's good for the character Power Man, not bishop. Terry Crews however might be good but I'm sure they're other actors who don't have a name that could play the role. All in the X-Men movies suck. No matter how the try to do it. Marvel has shown that it's not about quality but about the money so I guess my rant is obsolete...LOL..

    You know Omar Sy might not do a bad job. Won't know until you see it but you'll have to do that. Cause I certainly will not waste any time or effort to do so.

    Notice how I didn't mention Jason Momoa.....

  • Jug | April 25, 2013 7:34 PMReply

    "This seems to be a common theme when it comes to casting black actors in some of these bloated studio projects - especially in peripheral/supporting roles. Instead of casting the best person for the job, producers/directors/casting directors suddenly get lazy and select from a short list of "who's hot right now and is available" or "who do we know and recognize and is available." No imagination; no creativity. It's just about filling a slot and moving on to the *more important* (read: white) roles in those movies."....why I making you a convert? LOL

  • AccidentalVisitor | April 25, 2013 7:15 PMReply

    Terrible casting.

  • Mark | April 25, 2013 5:58 PMReply

    I think the issue is money. Rock, Crews and even White might be too expensive for such an ensemble cast. None of them are particularly fine actors, but it isn't like the majority of the X-Men films have been stocked with thespians. Bishop is probably not going to be as prominent as we might like him to be given the huge cast on hand. Sy is a commodity. I don't know that he's that great an actor. But I don't think that was the primary concern.

  • ALM | April 25, 2013 4:21 PMReply

    I knew that he was Bishop!

  • Geneva Girl | April 25, 2013 2:08 PMReply

    I just don't get the hype behind Omar Sy. I paid good money to see Les Intouchables in the theater and while he played his role well, I just don't get it. He was good, but not great. There are so many other actors who are better. Djimon Hounsou is a way actor better and better looking, but I guess he's getting a bit old, in Hollywood terms.

  • tlewisisdope | April 25, 2013 12:25 PMReply

    I agree with Allissaunder. I think he is a pretty solid choice. I could have seen Jason Momoa in the part as well - the other actors you mentioned less so - but I think he can pull this off.

  • AllissaUnder | April 25, 2013 12:00 PMReply

    I could not disagree with you more Tambay. If physical intimidation due to size is your concern, Omar is over 6'3, gargantuan compared to Hollywood actors. And he can definitely convert his frame physically in time for production, a common practice of most actors. His acting ability is head and shoulders (!) above the the actors you suggested as better candidates. Give me an actor in the role of Bishop who can act the part, not just look the part!

  • Said in Los Angeles | April 25, 2013 10:19 PM

    The Rock? Folks complaining about Zoe playing Nina Simone, Halle playing Storm, and the author suggest Dwayne Johnson for Bishop? I want an actor, not a physique. Some of the names mentioned in the article just don’t have it, and that they have to be big and intimidating sounds a bit stereotypical. Ian McCullen (sp?) is not as intimidating as Magneto as Magneto is in the comic book, but he brings the edge. Besides, Omar won that would be considered the equivalent of Best Actor at the Oscars for a film he did in Europe, so its not like he doesn’t bring the talent...The best actor got the job, no issue there...

  • Vincent | April 25, 2013 12:27 PM

    AMEN! Acting always shines through. And the other actors the writer named are just laughable. Terry Crews... really. And I wouldn't mind not seeing The Rock for the next few years.

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