X-Men: First Class Casts Beast, Adds Side of Bacon

Back on Independence Day we reported that Benjamin Walker was rumored to be no longer attached to Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, where he was to have played Hank McCoy (better known as Beast). The studio had fired him only to rehire him later. The weird part is that Walker tested highly, and Fox executives thought he was best for the role. Walker, not happy with the wishy-washy treatment, has left the project and Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, A Single Man) will play Beast instead.

Frankly I think Hoult is a solid choice to play Beast. And paired alongside James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Vaughn, who has a knack for casting his films (see Stardust and more recently Kick-Ass), it would seem is making all the right moves to make sure that X-Men: First Class will be a fresh take on the origins of Marvel’s esteemed mutant superhero team.

In addition to Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones (NBC’s Friday Night Lights), who was rumored to play the part, has now been officially cast as the Irish sonic-screaming mutant Banshee according to Variety.

And the last bit of X-Men: First Class casting news is that Kevin Bacon is in talks to play the villain. Like I said, Vaughn knows how to cast his movies. Bacon, who won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for Taking Chances, hasn’t been involved in a major summer tentpole release since 2001’s Hollow Man. Allowing his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, to bask in the limelight with the hit TNT series The Closer, Bacon appeared in films like The Woodsman, Where the Truth Liesand most recently My One and Only – none of which opened on more than 256 screens.

While the character he’ll play in First Class is not known at this point, if negotiations are met he’ll only add to Vaughn’s esteemed cast. Then you’ll have James McAvoy (Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Alice Eve (Emma Frost), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee), and Lucas Till (Havoc).

If anyone nixed the idea of this project, Matthew Vaughn’s involvement has turned it into something that could have potential come June 3, 2011. What do you guys think?

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