If you’re looking forward to X-Men: First Class, the origin story of the modern-day Xavier, Magneto, et al, then you’ll be pleased to know that public appearances by the cast have started in earnest in London.
As you’re probably infinitely more used to the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen combo in the trilogy which was released the best part of a decade ago (really? I feel old!), then it’ll be worth pointing out to you who’s who in this outing of the Marvel mutant dream-team.
From left to right, then:
Jane Goldman is first up – she’s written the film adaptations of Kick Ass and Stardust, and now she’s one of the writers on this particular comic-book blockbuster.
Kevin Bacon, star of Wild Things and Diner is next, and stars as Sebastian Shaw in First Class, a rather uncouth villain who heads a secret society looking to rule the world. His power comes in the form of the absorption of kinetic energy, and his ability to transform it into brute strength.
Michael Fassbender is next, a man who began his career in Holby City, but who’s obviously gone downhill since then, starring in films such as Inglorious Basterds and 300. Of course, he’s Magneto, the metal-manipulating super-mutant – Xavier’s best friend, and eventually his worst enemy. Should be interesting to see if he matches up to the chronologically-later version of the character as portrayed by the legendary Sir Ian McKellen.
Picking up the most important role of all is the talented James McAvoy, of The Last King of Scotland and Atonement fame, not to mention Shameless. He’ll be playing Xavier himself, and I couldn’t be happier with this choice. He’ll do Stewart’s older rendition proud, I reckon.
On his immediate right is Zoë Kravitz, daughter of Lenny Kravitz and star of It’s a Funny Story and Twelve. She plays Angel Salvadore, a mutant rejected by her father and made homeless, she soon emerged from a cocoon with insect-like wings. She’s an actress that’ll be new to most audiences, and myself.
Jason Flemyng – yes, that one from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch – plays Azazel, the mutant who looks rather like a certain red devil. He’s been around, rather coincidentally, since Biblical times, he’s stuck in an alternate dimension most of the time, only leaving to cause havoc and father children, like Nightcrawler, who appeared in the last X-Men saga.
Alex Gonzales is the last of the London bunch, but by no means the least. Playing Riptide, he’s something of an anonymous newbie in Hollywood, but he’s got a considerable backlog of work in foreign films, and roles in US indie hits Milk and The Good Boy. Able to grow his bones through his skin into spikes, and even fire them through steel, Riptide can also spin his body at a crazy-fast rate. A rather passive mutant, then.
There’s also a bucketload of other mutants in there, too, though they’re not in the photograph. Jennifer Lawrence plays Mystique, Emma Frost is portrayed by January Jones, Lucas Till is Havok, Nicholas Hoult plays Beast (little confused as to why this fellow’s absent from a London appearance, especially given his major role in the film), and the list just keeps going, so check it out at IMDB.
This looks like it could be one of the biggest films this year, and given the attention it’s getting from the press, I think that prediction may just be proven right.