Benjamin Walker Off of X-Men: First Class and Headed for Broadway?
Posted 07.03.10 by BrentJS
It appeared as if director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men prequel movie, X-Men: First Class, was finally making some headway when it was reported a few weeks back that Benjamin Walker was added to the growing cast as Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy, aka The Beast, one of the founding members of the X-Men. Walker received great reviews as the lead in the off-Broadway musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and, as a fellow Julliard graduate, seemed the perfect choice to play the younger version of the character played by Kelsey Grammer in X-Men: The Last Stand. However, two different news sites have recently reported that Walker is off of the cast list for First Class and that he may be headed to Broadway instead.
According to DailyMail, Walker was dropped by Fox over concerns that he is too old to star opposite the only two actors officially cast in the movie—James McAvoy, who has been cast as Professor Charles Xavier, the patriarch and founder of the X-Men, and Michael Fassbender, who will play Magneto, the X-Men's nemesis. In the Marvel Comics on which the movie is based, Hank McCoy was a high school student when Prof. Xavier discovered him and invited him to join his "School for Gifted Youngsters," which is actually the training ground for the X-Men. Acording to DailyMail's unnamed source, "Fox absolutely loved him, booked him and the next minute they're saying they don't want him."
The same day, Showbiz411, the site that originally broke the Walker-as-Beast news, also reported that Walker's age is the primary reason why Fox waffled on casting him as The Beast. However, the site is claiming that Walker himself chose to drop out as The Beast because of Fox's "uncertainty" about his casting and that he is now "negotiating a deal" to reprise his starring role in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" when the musical makes the leap to Broadway this fall.
Of course, only the parties involved really know what is going on behind the scenes and they're not talking, so there's no telling what the real truth is behind Walker's departure, if he was ever even signed to the role in the first place. Not even DailyMail appears to believe its own story, adding at the end of the article that "Fox might end up re-offering Walker his Beast role," after all. As much as we would love to see you as The Beast, Mr. Walker, we think you should avoid the controversy and go 'wow' them on Broadway.
Next Showing: X-Men: First Class
opens June 3, 2011