Benjamin Walker to Play "The Beast" in X-Men: First Class?
Posted 06.18.10 by BrentJS
Director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men prequel movie X-Men: First Class, is expected to shortly go into production, though he has yet to assemble the actors portraying the fledgling team of mutants. There have been numerous rumors about who is in contention for various roles, but so far only James McAvoy has been cast as the X-Men's founder and mentor, Prof. Charles Xavier. While the previous casting rumors have been reported as just that, rumors, the latest news is more a done deal. According to Showbiz411, Benjamin Walker (The War Boys) has signed on to play Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy, aka The Beast, one of the founding members of the X-Men.
Despite being one of the first five original X-Men in the Marvel comic books on which Fox's movie franchise is based, the character of The Beast did not appear in the first two X-Men movies directed by Bryan Singer, instead making his first appearance in Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand. In what seemed like a strange casting choice at the time, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer was cast in the role of The Beast in Last Stand, which ended up being a brilliant move. In the comic books, The Beast, despite his blue-furred and fanged appearance, is one of the most intelligent, eloquent members of the team, which Grammer was able to perfectly portray even through the extensive make-up and prosthetics.
Grammer's Beast was the the feral, "secondary mutation" version of The Beast depicted in the comic books of the '80s and '90s; however, the original character was a rather normal looking teenager, with just slightly oversized hands and feet and a proclivity for swinging around like a monkey. It's unclear how the character will be portrayed in First Class, though it's likely the blue-furred version will be used since it is more visually striking (and will sell more toys).
It should be noted that Showbiz411 did not list a source for its information about Walker being cast in the role. Showbiz411 is also the site that recently announced that Michael Fassbender was in talks to play a villain, possibly Magneto, in First Class and that Fassbender was also in talks to play a villain in a Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot, neither of which have been confirmed at this time.
Like Grammer, Walker is a Julliard graduate, so he seems like a good choice for the role. The only hitch is that Walker is currently starring in the not-for-profit “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" musical, which may be heading to Broadway in the fall, when First Class should already be in production. If you're unfamiliar with Walker, here's a featurette of him at his "Bloody Bloody" best as Andrew Jackson.
Next Showing: X-Men: First Class
opens June 3, 2011