The objective with X-Men: Days of Future Past appears to have been two-fold. The film – which marked Bryan Singer’s return to the director’s chair after he leaving the franchise since X2: X-Men United – aimed to continue the development of the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively. However, it also served to reset the series going forward, effectively eradicating the events of disappointing X-films like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Now that the board is clear, so to speak, Singer has been setting up X-Men: Apocalypse to present younger versions of many characters he previously introduced in the original trilogy – including, Xavier students Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm as well as Nightcrawler (whom Alan Cumming played in Singer’s X2). We’re now hearing this new film will be revisiting yet another mutant – albeit one who Singer hasn’t previously brought to life onscreen.

Jeff Sneider of The Wrap turned to his Twitter account recently to report that Ben Hardy will be playing the role of Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse, despite having previously indicated that the actor would be playing a different “key role” in the next X-Men cinematic installment.

Here’s the latest word from Sneider, on the subject:

Ben Hardy X Men: Apocalypse: Ben Hardy to Play Angel

Ben Hardy

Hardy, best known for his role on the British soap opera EastEnders, joined the film in an undisclosed role just a few weeks ago – and while some speculated that he could be playing Angel, this was purely speculation at the time. However, Singer has since released production art that confirmed the winged mutant would appear in the film, adding fuel to the rumor that Hardy would assume that part.

At this point, it’s still unclear how this new version of the character will fit in with the new timeline. After all, X-Men: Apocalypse is set in the 1980s, and a modern-day Angel was previously played by Ben Foster in director Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand. It’s quite possible that this will be explained away by a throwaway line, as it’s far from the only continuity problem in these films anyway. In any case, perhaps Singer will be using the Archangel version of the character.

What do you think of Hardy as Angel? How should Singer distinguish his take on the character from Ratner’s? Sound off in the comments below.

Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12th, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27th, 2016, Gambit on October 7th, 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3rd, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on June 9th, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13th, 2018.

Source: Jeff Sneider

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