Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Zoe Kravitz And January Jones Join X-Men: First Class; Is Kravitz Secretly Playing Storm?

Zoe Kravitz And January Jones Join X-Men: First Class; Is Kravitz Secretly Playing Storm?

Given the limitless roster of mutants in the X-Men universe I wouldn't be surprised if the casting process for X-Men: First Class really did go on until the end of time. As production gets ready to start at the end of the month we're getting a new announcement seemingly every hour, and now here are two big ones-- Deadline reports that January Jones will play Emma Frost and Zoe Kravitz will play Angel.

This news is confusing in many different ways, so let me start from the beginning-- we've been presuming for months now that Alice Eve had the role, to the point that she was included in nearly every casting roundup, but apparently she never made a deal and was handily replaced by Jones instead. Kravitz is far trickier-- not only is the character of Angel male and played by Ben Foster in X3, but the character was introduced as having had no contact with the other mutants in the past, and as we know this is a prequel. It's possible Kravitz won't be playing Angel at all, and instead this is another one of those casting misdirects we warned you about in July. Feel free to speculate all you like about who Kravitz might really be playing, but I'll wager something substantial she's stepping in for Halle Berry and playing Storm.

Two more names figure into the piece, one of which, Morgan Lily, we told you about earlier. The other is Bill Milner, a 15-year-old who will play a younger version of Magneto. No, I have no idea how a teenage Magneto is going to fit into this story, nor why we don't have casting for an equivalent teenage Professor Xavier. For all I know Milner is playing Cyclops and this is a total misdirect.

X-Men First Class’ The White Queen is Not Out of January Jones’ League |

X-Men First Class’ The White Queen is Not Out of January Jones’ League |

Despite reports that Alice Eve (“She’s Out of My League”) had all but been cast as Emma Frost aka The White Queen in Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming “X-Men: First Class”, that turned out to not be the case after all. Premature casting, perhaps.

In any case, Deadline reports that “Mad Men’s” January Jones (left) has snagged the role from Eve. Emma Frost (below, in all her minimal clothing glory) is a potentially pivotal role in the film, if rumors prove true and Kevin Bacon, long announced as the film’s main villain, turns out to be a member of the Hellfire Club, of which Frost is a main member.

Also added to the cast: Zoe Kravitz as Angel, Bill Milner as Magneto Jr., and Morgan Lily as young Raven.

Two notables here: casting Kravitz as “Angel” is interesting, because the only Angel I know from X-Men lore is the male, winged flying one. So does this mean they’ve switched up Angel’s gender? (Zoe Kravitz is the daughter of Lenny Kravitz FYI.) Also, “Young Raven” could be a younger version of Mystique, whose real name is Raven Darkhölme.

The new faces join James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Lucas Till as Havoc, and Edi Gathegi as Darwin.

Earlier this week, other castmembers were announced, including Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, and Oliver Platt as an unidentified Man in Black.

Shooting on “First Class” begins next week in London.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kevin Bacon's 'X-Men: First Class' Role 'Will Surprise You,' Says Matthew Vaughn

Kevin Bacon's 'X-Men: First Class' Role 'Will Surprise You,' Says Matthew Vaughn

Last month, it came as a bit of a surprise when it was reported that Kevin Bacon was in talks to play the "X-Men: First Class" villain. Which villain would he play? Would it be a known or unknown character?

These were the questions I posed to "X-Men: First Class" director Matthew Vaughn when I spoke to him earlier this month about the DVD release of "Kick-Ass," and while the filmmaker was careful not to reveal too much about Bacon's role, he did say that the actor being cast in the film wasn't the only surprise coming out of his involvement.

"I don't think it would be right to give that away, but he's really going for it," said Vaughn when asked about Bacon's character in the film. "He's really up for it, and he's going for it. I'm just thrilled that we could get him."

Vaughn heaped praise on the "Footloose" actor, and confessed to being a fan of Bacon's work "for as long as I can remember. Calling Bacon "a proper legendary actor," the director hinted that revealing anything more about the film's villain would spoil some big moments in the story — namely, his character's entrance.

"He will surprise you," said Vaughn. "I'll put it that way: He will surprise you with the kind of things he will do in this movie. He's not going to be what you expect at all when you first meet him in the film, you will be surprised that it's him."

Not too long after Bacon was confirmed for the film, we offered up our own suggestions regarding the role he should play. With even more "X-Men: First Class" casting news hitting the wire today, are we any closer to knowing which character Bacon will play?

Jason Flemyng and Rose Byrne Join X-Men: The First Class

Jason Flemyng and Rose Byrne Join X-Men: The First Class

Jason Flemyng has officially signed on for Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming superhero film X-Men: First Class, according to Empire. The British actor will portray Azazel, the father of Nightcrawler, in the X-Men universe. Here’s an excerpt from the site’s article.

“Matthew showed me my costume just the other day. Now I swore I’d never be in heavy make-up again, but this role is going to involve it. But at least they said, “Don’t worry, we’ll add the tail in post”. I am Azazel, and I can teleport by waving my arms [gestures like a cross between a flamenco dancer and a Bollywood star].”

The site was also able to confirm that Flemyng’s Azazel will be red, as opposed to Nightcrawler’s blue-skinned character. It wasn’t clear at this time how big Flemyng’s role in the film will be. In other news, apparently Rose Byrne will be playing the role of Moira MacTaggert, a scientist and an authority on genetic mutation. She’ll be the love interest of James McAvoy, who plays mutant telepath Charles Xavier. We thought this role had already been cast with Rosamund Pike set to play this character, but apparently that was premature. Thanks Production Weekly, for being wrong. Byrne is known for her role in the hit FX show Damages, but recently was seen as Jackie Q in Get Him to the Greek.

We are not clear on how big these roles will actually be in the film, but it seems as if Vaughn’s film will be very mutant-heavy with all the various castings happening. Presumably we will see Mystique being played by Jennifer Lawrence giving birth to her son, eventually dubbed as Nightcrawler.

Here is the current cast as we know it so far:

- James McAvoy — Professor Charles Xavier

- Michael Fassbender — Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto

- Alice Eve – Emma Frost

- Nicholas Hoult — Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast

- Caleb Landry Jones — Sean Cassidy/Banshee

- Kevin Bacon — Mr. Sinister (rumored role)

- Edi Gathegi — Darwin

- Jennifer Lawrence — Mystique

- Rose Byrne – Moira McTaggert

- Jason Flemyng — Azazel

We are still waiting on casting confirmations on mutants like Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey as part of the First Class, but also what other big ones will show up based on the origin set-up by the previous Wolverine film, such as Sabretooth and Gambit.

Jane Goldsman has penned the script, along with Ash Miller & Zack Stentz, based on the idea by Bryan Singer. 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. Regarding the film’s story, Vaughn said, “The story that Bryan Singer came up with is very, very smart … It’s very clever when you see how he has integrated the characters into the time period where the film is set. I’ll put it that way. I just don’t want to give it away. … It’s a very clever way of getting these characters involved in recent history, in recent world events.” It has also been confirmed that it is a prequel to the first three movies.

Rose Byrne will be Prof. Xavier's love interest in 'X-Men: First Class'

Rose Byrne will be Prof. Xavier's love interest in 'X-Men: First Class'

Mutant scientific expert Moria MacTaggert makes it to the big screen.

Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class" is only a few weeks away from shooting, but there are a number of key roles that still need to be cast. So far, the prequel has recruited an impressive list of actors including James McAvoy (Charles Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Kevin Bacon (possibly Mister Sinister), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicolas Hoult (Hank "Beast" McCoy) and Alice Eve (Emma Frost, aka The White Queen). Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Rose Byrne is in negotiations to join the group as mutant scientist Moria MacTaggert, a longtime character from the "X-Men" comic book series.

First appearing in Uncanny X-Men #96 way back in 1975, MacTaggert is a former flame of Xavier's who lead a Mutant Research Center on the fictional Muir Island off the coast of Scotland. A supporter of mutant rights, she has a long history with many of the "X-Men" characters including Jean Grey, Magneto and Banshee. How she will fit into the cinematic "X-Men: FIrst Class" remains to be seen.

Byrne is best known for her Emmy and Golden Globe nominated role in the series "Damages" (she recently received her second Emmy nod for the series), but has also appeared alongside Russell Brand in "Get Him to the Greek," "28 Days Later" and "Troy." She's currently shooting the comedy "Bridesmaids" for Universal.

Oliver Platt Joins 'X-Men: First Class'

Oliver Platt Joins 'X-Men: First Class'

EXCLUSIVE: Add Oliver Platt to the cast of X-Men: First Class, the Matthew Vaughn-directed spinoff that 20th Century Fox puts into production next month in London. I'm told that Platt will play a role called The Man in Black, who is not a mutant. The film stars James McAvoy as Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, Lucas Till as Havoc, and Edi Gathegi as Darwin. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain and Rose Byrne will play McAvoy's love interest Moira MacTaggert.

Platt stars with Laura Linney in the new Showtime series The Big C, and next stars opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in the Ed Zwick-directed Love and Other Drugs. WME made his deal.