Our friends over at Latino Review have dropped the exclusive rumor that young actor Caleb Landry Jones is up for the part of Banshee in Fox's X-Men: First Class.
Don't recognize the name? Well Jones was one of the kids on the bikes who shook down Anton Chigurh at the end of No Country For Old Men - he also had a guess spot on Friday Night Lights and has upcoming appearances in The Last Exorcism and The Social Network. Ok, so I'll admit, none of that is really any help...
Well, whether you're familiar with him or not, Jones is reportedly up for the part of Sean Cassidy, the X-Man known as Banshee. The character's power is a sonic scream that can scramble foes' brains, shatter objects and even propel Cassidy through the air. In the comics, Banshee was part of the "all-new international X-Men" team that Marvel rolled out in the '70s - a roster that included Storm (Africa), Nightcrawler (Germany), Colossus (Russia) and fan-favorite, Wolverine (Canada). Obviously First Class will be taking a different approach.
This casting rumor will likely further confuse fans about just what approach First Class is taking to the X-Men origin. So far, the casting news about the film has included actors mostly in their (later) 20s, but First Class is allegedly supposed to feature X-Men who are in their teenage years. Check out the casting list so far:
- James McAvoy (31) as "Young" Professor Xavier
- Michael Fassbender (33) as "Young" Magneto
- Rosamund Pike (31) as Moira McTaggert
- Benjamin Walker (28) as Hank "Beast" McCoy
- Alice Eve (28) as Emma Frost
Even the actors rumored to be attached to First Class are of questionable age: Jones is 21, Amber Heard (24) is rumored for Mystique, and Aaron Johnson (20) is rumored for Cyclops. Personally, I believe Heard would be better for Jean Grey than Mystique, and it would certainly make more sense, storywise. But I digress...
As you can see from the cast listing, the story of X-Men: First Class is very much in question. From what I can tell, McAvoy, Fassbender and Pike might play up their ages, while Heard, Johnson and Jones would downplay their ages in order to create the proper age rift between characters. Another possibility is that the Xavier/Magneto part of the story featuring McAvoy, Fassbender and Pike would be treated as a flashback, while the actual X-Men portion of the story would be set years later.
The casting of Walker and Eve are X factors that I can't quite put my finger on yet (are they going to be older peers of Xavier and Magneto, or young members of the first class?).
All in all, at this point I'm confused. Of course, there is an official synopsis to (sort of) help guide us:
Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-MEN
One thing to note: in the comics Banshee was always a grown man when he joined the X-Men and he and Moira McTaggert went on to have serious romance. Somehow I don't think Pike and Jones will be carrying on that same romance in the movie (unless Fox has a thing for Cougar love ;-) ).
Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) is helming First Class, which is definitely a good sign - that is if Fox doesn't meddle with him too much. Be sure to stay tuned as more of these casting bits are sure to be coming at us hard and fast.
X-Men: First Class is set to start shooting this August, and will be in theaters on June 3, 2011.
Source: Latino Review
Banshee Art by Tom Fleming