Yet another British actor in Jason Flemyng, seen earlier this year in Clash of the Titans and in Matthew Vaughn's latest movie Kick-Ass has joined the cast of X-Men: First Class as another mutant character. Flemyng will play Azazel, a demonic mutant who happens to be the father of Nightcrawler - the blue teleporting mutant who played a key role in X-Men 2.
In the books, Azazel impregnates Mystique (played by Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men: First Class) and she gives birth to Nightcrawler, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of story arc involving their relationship in First Class. Azazel is very similar to Nightcrawler in that he can teleport as well but in the X-Men comics, he also possesses other powers such as the ability to shapeshift and fire bolts of energy. I would expect he'll be de-powered quite a bit for the sake of the movie and be restricted to teleportation like his son.
Coming Soon was present at Movie-Con where Fleyming revealed his involvement and details about his character during the presentation for Ironclad. He explains that he'll be in heavy make-up as he was for Clash of the Titans and like Alan Cumming was when he played Nightcrawler in X2. He also says that his character will have a tail, again like Nightcrawler, and that it'll be added in post-production.
Created by writer Chuck Austen and artist Sean Phillips, Azazel has an otherworldly history, which may or may not be a bit extreme for the X-Men prequel movie. In the comics, Azazel explains that back in biblical times the Neyaphem, demonic mutants such as he, fought with the Cheyarafim, angelic mutants who were far too zealous for their own good (think Angel but with an attitude). Azazel went around impregnating lots of women and eventually taking control of his children (including our very own Nightcrawler) and using them to open a portal to his dimension to release his demonic mutant brethren. His goal was to have them help wipeout the Cheyarafim and let his people live freely in the world as we know it in the standard X-Men comic universe. As always, the X-Men came to the rescue, following Nightcrawler, and prevented him from succeeding.
Azazel is a cool character to explore in an X-Men film but I'm curious as to how much of a role he and his backstory will play, especially if they will not be using the characters of Angel and Nightcrawler in the movie. If he's just thrown in there for the sake of it, it'd be a bit of an unnecessary waste but at least they can tie it into Nightcrawler's history. That or his history will be vastly different from that of the books.
Is it just me or does this cast seem to be jumping all over the place? X-Men: First Class begins filming in less than three weeks and we still don't know who will be playing Cyclops and Jean Grey...
Either way, it makes me very interested in finding out what the story will be about and what villain Kevin Bacon will be playing. This news, like the recent news of Kick-Ass composer Henry Jackman signing on to score First Class, is yet another example of director Matthew Vaughn sticking with people he knows and British talent. Flemyng, having played a small part in Kick-Ass earlier this year, also played roles in Stardust and Layer Cake for Vaughn previously.
X-Men: First Class stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Alice Eve, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till and Jennifer Lawrence. It’s currently still set to hit theaters June 3, 2011.
Source: Coming Soon