X-Men: First Class: Casting Call, Plus 'Gambit' and Aaron Johnson Rumors
06.07.10 by BJSprecher
X-Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn's prequel to the X-Men, is expected to go into production this summer. So far only James McAvoy has been added to the cast as Professor Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, the role famously portrayed by Patrick Stewart in all four X-Men movies. However, pre-production on the movie is in full swing, with 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios posting an open casting call while several behind-the-scenes job slots have recently been filled up. And, among other rumors, there is the tantalizing prospect that the star of Vaughn's most recent superhero movie, Kick-Ass, is in talks to star as one of the young mutants.
The open call announcement that was posted on FeatureFilmCasting stated that casting will take place in Los Angeles and London, where the movie will be filmed. While it did not specify which roles are being cast, a recent CoventryTelegraph blog claimed that casting agents "have called for actors who can pull off a Cajun accent," which would seem to indicate that Gambit, the New Orleans-based mutant played by Taylor Kitsch in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, will appear in the movie. The addition of Gambit to First Class would be unusual from a comic book purist perspective because Gambit first joined the X-Men as an adult.
The CoventryTelegraph blog also indicated that several alums of Vaughn's Kick-Ass had joined the production, including Russell De Rozario as production designer, John King as supervising art director, Ben Davis as cinematographer and Sammy Sheldon as costume designer. An earlier CoventryTelegraph blog also indicated that Kick-Ass composer Ilan Eshkeri has been hired to score First Class.
Finally, from the rumor mill, after ContactMusic nabbed a photo of Vaughn with McAvoy and Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson, rumors began surfacing that Johnson was being courted to star in First Class as Cyclops, the role played by James Marsden in the X-Men trilogy. Now, The Playlist has reported that "U.K. sources" have confirmed that "not only is Johnson in the mix, he's pretty much locked into the movie," though not necessarily as Cyclops. The Playlist blog also claimed that young actor Frank Dillane, most recently linked to the Spider-Man reboot, is in talks for a role in First Class, as well.