The pupils for Matthew Vaughn’s mutant reboot/prequel/reimagining are starting to take their seats, and it’s an interesting collection of talent that is coming together for Marvel’s new take on Xavier and company. The first name that presents itself is the casting of Scottish actor James McAvoy. I really couldn’t see the connection between X-leader Charles Xavier and McAvoy. But the more I think about him in the role, the more I am interested in seeing what he can do with the character. Because, personally, before McAvoy signed on the line, interest was the last thing that jumped to mind when I thought of this film.
Another great casting choice that, at the time of going to press, was still in the “final negotiations” phase was that of “Inglorious Basterds” actor Michael Fassbender for the role of Erik Lensherr, otherwise known as Magneto. Again, this film will probably set McAvoy’s Xavier and Lensherr as friends holding onto a very fragile friendship. However, it is reported that Fassbender is also up for the role of the, as yet, unknown bad guy in Marc Webb’s 3D “Spider-Man” reboot. Scheduling conflicts mean he can’t do both franchises, so he’s going to have to choose. Which potential franchise would you pick? With Magneto in “X-Men: First Class,” he has the possibility of a multi-picture deal, where as with Spider-Man, his character is likely to meet his demise sometime before the end credits roll.
A rumour that, I feel, should be taken with a pinch of salt is that of former Bond girl/villain Rosamund Pike in talks to appear as Moira MacTaggart. The British actress (and long time fan-favourite for the role of Emma Frost), who recently appeared in “An Education,” was reportedly seen in director Matthew Vaughn’s UK offices and also spotted carrying “X-Men” comic books. Homework material, perhaps?
The latest name to be thrown into the mix is Benjamin Walker. A relative unknown on the big screen, with smaller roles in “Flags Of Our Fathers” and “Kinsey,” he has spent most of his career “treading the boards” in productions such as the critically acclaimed “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” in the title role and portrayed Bertram Cates in “Inherit The Wind” alongside Christopher Plummer. Walker is reportedly down as playing Henry Philip “Hank” McCoy, who fans will know becomes the big blue furry genius “Beast.” Kelsey Grammer last played Beast in 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” and was arguably one of the few good things in that film. We’ll have to see whether Walker can channel some of that incarnation into his version.
But what about the rest of the cast? Who would you cast as Storm? Cyclops? Colossus? Who would you want to see make an appearance? The Sentinels? Juggernaut? Gambit? As usual, IJMers, hit the Comments Box and let us know…
“X-Men: First Class” is due for release June 3, 2011.
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