It looks like Professor X is taking over a job originally set for Magneto. Variety reports that James McAvoy is in early discussions to join Danny Boyle’s Trance in a role for which Michael Fassbender was previously in talks. The film is a remake of Joe Ahearne’s 2003 TV movie of the same name and centers on an art heist gone wrong. The mastermind of the heist suffers a blow to the head during the operation, and subsequently suffers from amnesia. When his team questions the validity of his claims, and given that he’s the only one who knows where the painting is hidden, a female hypnotist is hired to get into his brain.
Boyle plans to start production in September, and after filming wraps he will immediately move on to directing the opening ceremony for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics. After the Olympics conclude in August, he’ll return to Trance to begin post-production, with a March 2013 release date being eyed. So all-in-all, Boyle has a very busy year coming up. While Fassbender’s a fantastic actor and it would’ve been nice to see him team up with Boyle, McAvoy is no slouch himself, so the casting change doesn’t seem too drastic.
[Update: Variety has updated their story to say that the role McAvoy is taking on is NOT the role that Fassbender had been in talks for. So he’s not taking over Fassbender’s role, but Fassbender is still out of the project]