James McAvoy Will Star As Charles Xavier In <i>X-Men: First Class</i>

Wanted star James McAvoy has been cast as Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class, the reboot of Fox's lucrative mutant franchise, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake), First Class returns to the beginning of the X-Men saga, to the time when Xavier and Erik Lensherr were close friends, discovering their powers and working together to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known.

Jane Goldman, Vaughn's collaborator on Kick-Ass and Stardust, reportedly penning a new script for First Class. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who worked on Marvel’s Thor, previously rewrote the screenplay by Jamie Moss (Street Kings).

Bryan Singer conceived the story and will produce the film along with Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg. Singer initially was set to direct, but Fox’s eagerness to push the film into production led to a scheduling conflict with his Jack the Giant Killer.

X-Men: First Class is set to open on June 3, 2011.

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