Things appear to be progressing nicely as casting continues to take shape for director Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. On Friday (6/25) Heat Vision report Michael Fassbender had officially signed on to play young Magneto and today Deadline’s Mike Fleming has the news that Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) is being courted to play the role of the telepathic Emma Frost, a character who (geek alert!) IGN named “Hottest Comic Book Babe” of 2005.
Set for a June 3, 2011 release, First Class will trace the rivalry between Magneto and Professor X (played by the previously announced James McAvoy) from their early friendship through the dissolution that made them the bitter enemies we have become more familiar with through Fox’s previous X-Men franchise that started with Bryan Singer’s X-Men in 2000.
Fassbender had been jostling between two Marvel franchises in recent weeks, as he was said to be deciding between the Magneto role and playing an unspecified villain in the Untitled Spider-Man Reboot. I, for one, believe he’s made a smart choice as First Class seems to be the more intriguing of the two. I haven’t yet seen the poorly attended and critically flamed Jonah Hex, but that appears to be nothing more than a minor skid mark on Fassbender’s road to being a bona fide leading man. He impressed me not only in his brief but brilliant performance in Inglourious Basterds as well as with his gut-wrenching turn in Steve McQueen’s beautiful 2008 film, Hunger.
As for Eve, you might remember she was one of the names on the short list, but eventually lost out to Hayley Atwell for the female lead in The First Avenger: Captain America, another Marvel comic adaptation. Eve, however, is more prominently known for her work on BBC’s “The Rotters’ Club,” “Poirot” and “Hawking” and for quite simply being a stunning young woman.
Suffice to say, I’m excited to see how Fassbender compares to the Magneto Ian McKellen left us with, but even more importantly, how he’ll make the character his own. I’m also excited to see what Vaughn can do in a more conventional superhero setting, without the foul-mouthed antics of Hit-Girl and company.