UPDATED: Hoult’s a Beast for ‘X-Men: First Class,’ but will Kick-Ass Play Cyclops?


UPDATE: Caleb Landry Jones has been confirmed as Banshee by Variety. Jones will also have a role in David Fincher’s The Social Network and The Last Exorcism, but you’re likely to remember him best as the kid that gave Javier Bardem the shirt off his back in No Country for Old Men.

A pair of casting notes related to Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming X-Men: First Class hit the web today as AICN kicked things off with a rumor saying Vaughn has found his young Cyclops in his Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson. You may remember Cyclops as the character played by James Marsden in the first three X-Men films. AICN’s seemingly legitimate source says this casting is “one hundred percent locked,” but I’ll be waiting for an official announcement before adding him to the cast list.

Moving on, Benjamin Walker was originally supposed to play Beast (the role played by Kelsey Grammar in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand) in the film but decided to reprise his role as Andrew Jackson in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” when the show moves to Broadway instead. That report came from Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 and his tendency to exaggerate leads me to believe he’s treading too far into the gossip pool when he says Fox is looking to make First Class with what he calls “X boys” with allusions to Taylor Lautner. Does he mean boys are going to see Twilight because of Lautner or that Fox hopes to get girls into see First Class with Lautner-esque young men? His logic, if there is any, is not exactly sound.

However, the Beast role has now been filled. Mike Fleming at Deadline reports Nicholas Hoult has been added to the cast as the big blue mutant. Many of you may remember him as the young boy opposite Hugh Grant in About a Boy, the young man Colin Firth flirts with in A Single Man or perhaps the young warrior Eusebios in Clash of the Titans. No matter how you remember him you will soon know him as Beast.

Hoult is also set to have a role in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which has had its own set of stories as of late including news it will be shot in 3D and news it may not be just one film but two as Fury Road may be followed up by Mad Max: Furiosa. That story, however, is for another time.

Back on the First Class front, Hoult (and perhaps Johnson) will join James McAvoy as Professor Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and Alice Eve as Emma Frost. Other rumors surrounding the film include the possibility Amber Heard may play Mystique (the role made famous by Rebecca Romijn) and Rosamund Pike may play Moira MacTaggert. These two reports, however, are nothing but rumor.

I’m sure we’ll here more very soon as production is expected to begin soon in London for a June 3, 2011 release.