As we get down to the wire for its August production start, we’re seeing the roster of characters for X-Men: First Class finally coming together. A partial mystery and topic of speculation has revolved around what characters Bryan Singer, Matthew Vaughn and Fox would include in the X-Men prequel – mainly due to significant continuity differences between the film franchise and the X-Men comics.
X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the main X-Men trilogy, is set to take the audience back to the origins of Professor X, his first school of mutants and his friend-turned-enemy, Magneto. Professor X will be played by James McAvoy and Magneto will be portrayed by Michael Fassbender – now it’s time to fill out the rest of the cast as we learn what other characters may make it onto the X-Men roster.
Prior to the rumor mill spouting out names of actors and their respective characters from the X-books, the only three characters we were sure of being a part of First Class were Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beast, with the fourth likely being Emma Frost (due to her appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Bryan Singer’s interest in the character). As fans of the comics know, Marvel continuity places Iceman and Angel as part of the original team but that can’t happen since this is not a franchise reboot, but a prequel (they’re introduced later in the series and Iceman is too young for the prequel).
So, what other characters (good or bad) are a part of X-Men: First Class so far?
- Mystique (Amber Heard)
- Moira MacTaggert (Rosamund Pike)
- Beast (Ben Walker)
- Emma Frost (Alice Eve)
- Banshee (Caleb Landry)
Assuming Banshee and Frost are members of the X-Men roster in First Class, we’ve got our five characters. However, early reports about the project, back before Bryan Singer and his writer took over, had them including more characters, even creating a few not from the X-Men comics. One additional character, a fan favorite for comic readers, could be Multiple Man if the latest rumors hold any truth.
Multiple Actors approached for Multiple Man
Comic Book Movie is reporting from a Marvel Studios source that Multiple Man, a mutant who can create duplicates of himself, is a “definite” part of Charles Xavier’s First Class. The report continues to detail that three actors have been approached about the role and if you remember, the character had a small part, played by Eric Dane in the terribly disappointing X-Men 3.
In the books, Multiple Man (real name: Jamie Madrox) is currently the leader of X-Factor, a mutant detective agency. The X-Factor series has undergone several relaunches and it originally began as the team containing the original five X-Men, back when they went international with the main team (bringing in Storm, Banshee, Wolverine, etc.).
I was a big supporter of Peter David’s relaunch of X-Factor, which saw Madrox become a star character for Marvel Comics. Although it’s since gone downhill as a series for me, Madrox is a great character who (if done right) would make for an excellent on-screen presence in a feature film.
We just talked about a character yet to be cast – now let’s change gears and talk about a potential mess surrounding a character who’s already been cast.
The well-spoken and intelligent Beast was the first character locked down for the roster of X-Men: First Class with Ben Walker (28) signing on for the role. However, Fox is at it again and the actor has reportedly been dropped. Why? Fox exec Tom Rothman was “adamant” that the character be recast, likely due to the age of Walker.
All news regarding casting, director’s choice, etc. thus far have been positive… up until now. With this report from Daily Mail, Fox has begun interfering with the creative and casting process. With Fox’s track record in treating the franchise the way it has, and its severe drop in quality partially attributed to that, it’s not comforting to see them going against the casting decisions of the actual filmmakers. I actually dug the choice of Walker and he’d easily be able to pull off the look of the character.
What will really make you shake your head is that after they dropped him, they tested a few other actors and now apparently want to re-offer him the part…
For me, Beast can be an older character since he’s shown that way in X-Men 3 anyway. While Cyclops and Jean are meant to be in their late teens (likely played by actors in their early twenties), Beast and Emma Frost work as slightly more mature characters.
We’ll let you know more on both Beast and Madrox as we hear it.
How do you feel about Multiple Man playing a part in X-Men: First Class and Fox’s choice to drop Ben Walker?
X-Men: First Class opens June 3, 2011.