Fox’s X-Men: First Class has found its Beast and Banshee in Nicholas Hoult and Caleb Landry Jones, Deadline and Variety report. They join James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Alice Eve in the Matthew Vaughn-directed reboot of the X-Men movie franchise.
Hoult, the 20-year-old star of Skins and A Single Man, replaces Ben Walker, who reportedly walked away from the Beast role after Fox executives became nervous either about his age or his box-office appeal.
Jones, also 20, has had roles in No Country for Old Men and in Friday Night Lights. He stars in David Fincher’s upcoming The Social Network. Rumors began circulating late last month that he’d play a young Banshee, the Irish mutant with a sonic scream.
Although the Beast previously appeared in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, where he was portrayed by Kelsey Grammer, this is Banshee’s first time on the big screen.
First Class returns to the beginning of Marvel’s X-Men saga, to a time when Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr/Magneto (Fassbender) were close friends, discovering their powers and working together to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. The film, which begins production next month in London, opens on June 3, 2011.
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