Benjamin Walker, who had previously been tapped to play the Beast in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming X-Men: First Class, is apparently no longer attached to the project, reports Showbiz411.
In a weird and wild turn of events, Walker was allegedly removed from the project by Fox executives nervous that their upcoming prequel to the X-Men franchise did not have enough pretty boys. Former Fox employee Roger Friedman reports that the studio is nervous and in desperate need of a hit after the less then stunning box office performance of Knight and Day, The A-Team and Marmaduke.
Walker, who rose to fame in the off-Broadway play Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, was deemed too old for the role — an interesting theory considering the character was played by the 55-year-old Kelsey Grammer in X-Men: The Last Stand. Clearly, Hank “The Beast” McCoy is supposed to be one of the senior students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Regardless, Friedman reports that Walker was removed from the project and a casting call went out for Taylor Lautner-esque up-and-coming actors. In fact, inquires into Lautner’s availably were even made.
Where the story gets stranger, though, is that The FilmStage reports that, after an extensive search, Fox Executives decided that Walker was indeed the best choice for the role. Trouble is, Walker no longer wants to do it. An effort is being made to bring Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson to Broadway and Walker, it seems, would rather take his chances on winning a Tony than to put up with anymore of Fox’s shenanigans. And who can blame him?
Where this story goes from here is anybody’s guess. As of now, the only confirmed actors for X-Men: First Class remain James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the film’s two leads: Professor X and Magneto. With casting rumors continuing to circulate, though, expect some big announcements come Comic-Con.
If the deal for Walker can’t come though, who would you like to see take on the role of Beast in X-Men: First Class? What about Dan Fogler? He hasn’t been up to much lately, has he? Christian McKay (Me and Orson Welles) would also be an inspired choice.
Tags: Benjamin Walker, James McAvoy, Knight And Day, Marmaduke, Michael Fassbender, Taylor Lautner, The A-Team, X-Men First Class