James McAvoy Is Professor X

If you spot James McAvoy in the aisles of a local Boots pondering hair-removal creams, don’t get worried that he’s trying a radical new look for fun: he’s just been cast to play Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class.

Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is making the movie, which he’s currently re-writing with regular collaborator Jane Goldman. It’ll chart the early days of Xavier and best pal Erik Lensherr (the future Magneto), who discovered their powers and worked with a number of other mutants (including younger versions of some of the most famous X-Men characters) to stave off a devastating threat.

But their partnership didn’t hold, and over the time, the pair come to be the sometime arch-enemies that we know and love from the comics and first three X-Movies.

The Heat Vision Blog’s report claims that Fox has not yet revealed if the younger Prof will sport the iconic shiny noggin, but given that Patrick Stewart established a younger Xavier in X-Men: The Last Stand as a baldie, we see a possible trip to the barber or the make-up trailer in McAvoy’s future.

As an actor, he's a great choice for the role – with the acting chops to live up to Stewart’s performance, and experience on big effects films. Not to mention the fact that he's a huge geek. Plus after Layer Cake, Stardust and particularly Kick-Ass, we have faith in Vaughn’s eye for casting.

Fox wants this one up and running shortly, with a summer production planned and a June 2011 release date already written in marker pen on the X-Men Babies calendar in producer Lauren Shuler Donner's office.

Peter Oberth
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