We have two pieces of X-Men: First Class casting news to report tonight. First up, Jason Flemyng told a crowd at BFI’s Movie-Con III [via ComingSoon] that he would be playing the minor role of Azazel. In the comics, Azazel is the father of the popular mutant Nightcrawler (played in X2 by Alan Cumming) and like his son, also has the ability to teleport. Of course, this new piece of casting leads to speculation that a young Nightcrawler might be in the movie.
Flemyng has appeared in all of Vaughn’s films, most recently as the unfortunate doorman in Kick-Ass. Hit the jump for casting news regarding Rose Byrne (FX’s Damages) playing the love-interest of Charles Xavier (played by James McAvoy). X-Men: First Class is currently slated to open on June 3, 2011.
THR reports that Byrne is in negotiations to play Moira MacTaggert in the film. In the comics, MacTaggert is a brilliant scientist and authority on mutant genetics. She has been the colleague, confidante, and even the fiancée of Charles Xavier. THR adds that MacTaggert would be Xavier’s love-interest in the movie. In the comics, MacTaggert eventually ended up with Sean Cassidy aka Banshee. Banshee is in First Class, but he’s being played by 20-year-old Caleb Landry Jones, so I don’t foresee a love-triangle developing there. MacTaggert appeared briefly in X-Men: The Last Stand and was played by Olivia Williams.
It was previously reported that 20th Century Fox was interested in having Rosamund Pike (An Education) play MacTaggert. However, in that same story it was reported that Fox was interested in having Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) play Mystique, a role that eventually went to Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone). Here’s how the casting currently stacks up:
- James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier
- Michael Fassbender as Magneto
- Nicholas Hoult as Beast
- Alice Eve as Emma Frost
- Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee
- Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique
- Kevin Bacon as the villain (rumored to be Sebastian Shaw)
- Edi Gathegi as Darwin
- Jason Flemyng as Azazel
- Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
And as for rumored casting:
The characters “Multiple Man” and “Willow” are also rumored to be in the film. If there are misdirects among the roles, I would believe these would fall into that category. It’s either that or (hopefully) they’re background characters like Kitty Pride/Shadowcat in the first two X-Men movies.