Rumors are flying everywhere when it comes to casting for Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. According to everyone, Benjamin Walker was considered a lock as the Beast just a couple of weeks back. Last week Walker left the project, presumably due to the studio’s concern regarding his age compared to James McAvoy (Professor X) and Michael Fassbender (Magneto). Now comes word that Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Clash of the Titans) might play the role. Also, there is word that Lucas Till (The Spy Next Door) is in talks to play Havok, Cyclops younger brother and Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy/Banshee. Now let me stress this… all three of these are still just rumors.
According to a source at Entertainment Weekly, Fox is in the midst of a “misdirection campaign” to keep X-Men fans surprised with casting news. Rumors have been flying around that Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) was “100% locked” to play Cyclops in the film, as well as reports that Taylor Lautner was jointing the cast in an unnamed role. EW has confirmed that both rumors are false. There are also rumblings that Amber Heard will play a young Mystique and Rosamund Pike is in line to play Moira MacTaggert, but they are just rumors at this point and nothing more.
What does all this mean for the film itself? Not much… but as of now, the only people signed on to the film are James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Alice Eve as Emma Frost. One stumbling block MIGHT be the fact that if they don’t get started on this film soon, Fassbender might be out too, since he has been confirmed for the big screen adaptation of Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy. According to Variety, that film is has a start date of October 10th. As great as it would be for Fassbender to be a part of the X-Men franchise, the truly stellar cast for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes and Colin Firth) could just woo him from the world of superheroes and villains if this film doesn’t go before cameras soon.
X-Men: First Class is scheduled for release on June 3 2011. With the San Diego Comic Con being only two weeks away, it might be the reason for Fox’s “misdirection campaign”, so it’s just an educated guess that there will be massive fanfare regarding cast announcements at the show.