Although the illustration by Ashley Guillory, who produced the storyboard animatic revealed in November, falls short of casting confirmation, it certainly indicates the filmmakers imagine Williams in the role of Rahne Sinclar, a young Scottish mutant who can shape-shift into a wolf.
That’s no surprise, given that the 19-year-old actress has been rumored to play Wolfsbane since at least March. Although an early report of her casting was swiftly denied by Fox, Williams made it clear she was open to the role.
“I can’t say much about it at all, but I would absolutely love to be a part of it, [and] to be a part of the Marvel family,” Williams said in April. “‘New Mutants’ looks absolutely incredible and I’ve always loved the idea of spin-offs and [director] Joshua Boone is incredibly talented. So, yeah, sign me up.”
Boone (“The Fault of Our Stars”) has indicated the film is inspired by the classic “New Mutants” storyline “The Demon Bear Saga,” by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, in which Professor Xavier’s young students must band together to save their teammate Dani Moonstar (Mirage), and themselves, from the enormous demonic bear that had killed her parents and stalked her.
“It was really dark, interesting,” Boone recalled of the original story, “and different from the typical X-Men stories that we had read.”
The film is expected to feature Mirage, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Cannonball, Magik and Warlock, and is rumored to feature an appearance by James McAvoy as Charles Xavier.
Introduced with the rest of the original New Mutants in 1982, Rahne Sinclair is an orphan raised by an abusive minister (who turned out to be her biological father), before being rescued and adopted by Moira MacTaggert. While a student at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Rahne eventually learned to overcome the emotional baggage from her repressive upbringing, and forged friendships — and even a romantic relationship — with her equally unusual classmates. Over the years, she’s become a fixture of Marvel’s mutant universe, serving as a member of X-Force, X-Factor Investigations and Excalibur, and was even an instructor at Xavier’s Academy.
Williams made her acting debut in 2011 as Arya Stark on HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones,” but has since since gone on to appear on “Doctor Who” and “Cyberbully” and in the new film “iBoy.”
“X-Men: The New Mutants” is aiming to begin production in late April in Montreal, the site of principal photography for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”