Michael Fassbender

Earlier this month, it was also reported that Matthew Vaughn wanted Michael Fassbender of Inglourious Basterds and Hunger for the role of Magneto in X-Men: First Class. At the time it was sais that the actor was also being pursued to play the bad guy in Sony’s Spider-Man reboot, but the actor can only do one or the other. We now have an answer – Fassbender has signed on to play Erik Lensherr, who later becomes Magneto.

I’ve also been told that casting director Mindy Marin is no longer on the project, and that she has been replaced by Joseph Middleton (New Moon, Old School, Go, Donnie Darko).

Previously:

Earlier this week it was rumored that Amber Heard (The Informers, Zombieland) is in talks to play a young Mystique, and Pride & Prejudice/Surrogates star Rosamund Pike is in talks to play Moira McTaggert. Mystique was played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in the original Bryan Singer films while McTaggert was played by Olivia Williams in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Benjamin Walker (star of the Public Theater’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” has been cast as Dr. Henry Philip “Hank” McCoy (aka Beast). Spider-Man shortlist actor Frank Dillane may also be up for a role.

A couple weeks ago, Aaron Johnson was spotted “taking a meeting” with Vaughn and newly announced First Class star James McAvoy, who has signed on to play young Charles Xavier (aka Professor X). The photo shows director Matthew Vaughn having a meeting with James McAvoy and Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson last week in London England. We know that a week later McAvoy joined the cast of Vaughn’s X-Men prequel… but what about Johnston? It is completely possible that he was just meeting up with Vaughn, as the two became friendly over the course of making Kick-Ass. But why would he be present during Vaughn’s meeting with McAvoy?

THR’s HeatVision has reported that producer Bryan Singer (who was originally supossed to direct First Class but was unable to due to his Jack the Giant Killer commitments) was using Giant Killer‘s casting process :as an opportunity to look for potential X-Men, vetting actors who may be qualified to play a young Cyclops or young Jean Grey.” And previously it was reported that Singer had met with Johnson and Andrew Garfield about the possible leading role in Giant Killer.Is it possible that Singer met with Johnston and sent in a recommendation for the actor to play young Cyclops? Again, just wild speculation at this point.

Matthew Vaughn beat out eight directors to take the helm. Bryan Singer was originally attached to return to the X-Men franchise to helm this new film, but his commitment to Jack The Giant Killer at Warner Bros will prevent him from directing. Singer’s treatment was a Str Trek-style reboot/prequel, which will focus on “the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where there [sic] relationship took a wrong turn.” Singer has previously admitted that First Class would “probably utilize some of the [planned/announced X-Men Origins:] Magneto story because it deals with a young Magneto,” and that “it might supersede” that plan because this new movie would explore “that relationship between a young energetic professor and a disenfranchised victim of the Holocaust.”

“It’s basically about the formation of the X-Men. How they began and the relationship between a young Xavier and a young Magneto.”

Here is the official plot synopsis:

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga.  Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.

The day after Jamie Moss handed in his first draft, Fox head Tom Rothman fast-tracked the project.  It was at this moment that Warner Bros informed Singer that they would not delay the production of Jack and the Giant Killer. Singer will still produce the project. I’ve heard the script is solid, and everyone who has read it is excited to make it.


Fox is scouting locations in West Michigan.  The film is set to go into production this Summer, and the studio has set a June 3rd 2011 release date.

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