The already-large cast of X-Men: First Class grows one mutant stronger with today's report of Edi Gathegi (Twilight, New Moon) joining the party. Prior to Comic-Con 2010, the most recent additions to the First Class roster included Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Kevin Bacon as the film's feature villain.
According to Deadline, Gathegi will play the character of Darwin, a relatively new character to the Marvel Comics universe having only been introduced in 2006 by creators Ed Brubaker (writer) and Pete Woods (artist).
Darwin's power of "reactive evolution" makes him one of the greatest survivalists since his special abilities allow him to literally adapt and evolve to fit any circumstances, and this isn't limited to his physical attributes. His powers, intelligence and knowledge can evolve on the fly as well and there isn't really a known limit to what he is capable of.
While I like Gathegi joining the cast of X-Men: First Class, I dislike the character of Darwin. His powers are too strong and undefined. For the comic readers out there, he's one of the reasons I stopped reading Peter David's X-Factor series. I don't understand the necessity to include such a new character to a prequel movie when there are so many other (and more appropriate) characters that could be included. Not too mention, Gathegi is just over 30 years of age, much older than the primary cast of mutants.
I am however, interested in seeing how they adapt the character for the movies and whether his physical appearance will frequently change, requiring possible prosthetics and make-up changes.
Filming is now set to start at the beginning of September and we still await the announcements for who will play Cyclops and Jean Grey. Gathegi joins a cast which already includes:
- James McAvoy – Professor X
- Michael Fassbender – Magneto
- Kevin Bacon – Undisclosed villain
- Rosamund Pike – Moira MacTaggert
- Alice Eve – Emma Frost
- Nicholas Hoult – Beast
- Caleb Landry Jones – Banshee
- Lucas Till – Havok
- Jennifer Lawrence - Mystique
X-Men: First Class opens June 3, 2011.