A few hours ago we reported that Jason Flemying, the British actor who's worked with director Matthew Vaughn on all of his films to date, has joined the cast of X-Men: First Class as the teleporting mutant and father of fan-favorite Nightcrawler, Azazel. Now we have more casting news with Rose Byrne reportedly in talks with Fox to play Moira MacTaggert.
Previously, Rosamund Pike was said to have been looked at to play MacTaggert after initially rumored to play Emma Frost. For those unfamiliar with the character, Moira MacTaggert is not a mutant, but a scientist and leader in the field of genetic mutation.
Of Scottish descent, Moira was also the love interest of Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) before he formed the X-Men. She plays a critical role in helping Xavier build the X-Men, having partnered with Professor X to start his school for gifted mutants and help in constructing Cerebro. She also helped Charles with teaching Jean Grey to control her abilities.
The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive that Byrne could soon be joining the growing list of characters in X-Men: First Class. The question remains is whether Moira will have an overpowered mutant son named Proteus as she does in the X-Men comics. In main Marvel universe, Proteus is fathered by politician Joseph MacTaggert but if that's a plotline to be included in the movie, the film could follow the Ultimate Marvel universe where Xavier is the father. Either way, we can safely say that their relationship will be a key part of Xavier's past with Magneto that will be explored.
Rose Byrne hails from Australia and currently stars in the FX series Damages. You may also recognize Byrne for her major film roles in Troy, Marie Antoinette, Sunshine, 28 Weeks Later, Knowing and most recently, Get Him to the Greek.
Should the deal be finalized, Byrne will join the talented cast of X-Men: First Class thus far:
- James McAvoy – Professor X
- Michael Fassbender – Magneto
- Kevin Bacon – Undisclosed villain
- Alice Eve – Emma Frost
- Nicholas Hoult – Beast
- Caleb Landry Jones – Banshee
- Lucas Till – Havok
- Jennifer Lawrence - Mystique
- Edi Gathegi - Darwin
- Jason Flemyng - Azazel
Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer's X-Men: First Class begins shooting in less than three weeks for a June 3, 2011 release.