Bryan Singer Wanted Taylor Lautner for X-Men: First Class

Between casting rumors for The Avengers and X-Men: First Class, these last few weeks have been a pretty consistent trickling stream of names being dropped as potential new recruits for the Merry Marvel Marching Society.

Nestled in the news earlier this month regarding the casting of Hank “Beast” McCoy in X-Men: First Class were rumors that Twilight star Taylor Lautner was courted for a role in the upcoming X-Men prequel. While no specificity was given regarding what role he had been sought for, it was generally assumed that his name was brought up as a choice to play the blue-furred mutant previously brought to the big screen by Kelsey Grammer.

Now, in an interview with Blastr, producer Bryan Singer has confirmed that Lautner was somebody he wanted in the film.

“I wanted Taylor [Lautner] to do it, I really did,” Singer said. “He’s doing a movie in Pittsburgh called Abduction, and then he’s got the next Twilight movie. We talked about it a lot — he is a friend — and I really wanted to make it work. It just doesn’t look like it’s possible to do it.”

While a deal has not been firmly inked yet for Kevin Bacon as the film’s villain, Singer did confirm that he believes it is going to happen. He also confirmed James McAvoy, Mike Fassbender and Nick Hoult are in the movie for sure. Everybody else, it seems, is still up in the air.

In the interview, Singer also denies rumors that he will direct the sequel to last summer’s Wolverine solo film. Instead, he will be going to London next year to shoot his next project, Jack the Giant Killer.

The Pulse: At the risk of loosing my Man Card, I’ve got to say — I wouldn’t have minded Lautner in the new X-Men movie.

I’ve yet to watch any of the Twilight films but I do consider myself a slight fan of Taylor Lautner — based solely on his appearance on Saturday Night Live last season. Lautner has a real charisma to him — something his caveman-looking vampire buddy Robert Patterson seems to be lacking. And, if his stunt work in his SNL opening monologue wasn’t some elaborate camera trick or special effect, it seems he’s pretty athletic too.

The biggest reason why I wish Singer was able to cast Lautner in First Class, though, has to do with the box office draw he would bring to the series. As a life-long X-Men fan, I want to see new X-Men movies for as long as possible. I’d even take new Brett Ratner X-Men movies over none at all. Lautner, with his screaming throng of fans, would have brought some attention and box office revenue to a series that is in real danger of sputtering out.

That said, I’m pretty happy with the cast Singer and director Matthew Vaughn have been assembling for First Class. While they may not be bringing in actors with any real box office draw, they are filling their cast with fine thespians who can elevate potentially ridiculous material — something that is essential for superhero films at this point in the genre’s lifespan.

What concerns me more than the actors being chosen, though, is the characters that are being filled — or not filled. We have yet to hear any names confirmed for roles such as Cyclops, Jean Grey or Storm — characters one would assume would be members of the  the X-Men movie universe’s first class.

I see First Class as a potential soft reboot. If the film is successful, the studio can proceed to make a series of new movies with these new actors — essentially ignoring the original trilogy. While hard-core continuity fans might freak at the idea, this would at least give us the chance to see characters like Iceman or Angel reappear. What say you, faithful readers? Any characters you hope make the final cut in the First Class?

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