James McAvoy Is The New Professor X!

We’re comic book movie fiends here at FlickSided. When the news dropped today that one of the best young actors in the game, James McAvoy, is the new Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, we about sharted ourselves. The always reliable THR’s Heat Vision had the scoop about Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. McAvoy is best known for his work in Atonement and Wanted.

Apparently, McAvoy’s Xavier will truly be a pre-Professor X character when First Class kicks off. Eric Lensherr, who later becomes the purple-clad badass Magneto, will also appear in the film. The superhero flick will focus on the bond Lensherr and Xavier share before their friendship, of course, takes a dark turn. When they first meet they are two young mutants just discovering their superhuman abilities. Not too far down the road, they encounter a threat they and their mutant allies must stop. According to everything we can find on the prequel, that is when the Lensherr-Xavier alliance unravels.

No news yet on who will play Lensher, or if McAvoy will go Mr. Clean for the role. My guess is McAvoy will. Even though he’s only 31, he’s gotta go at least partially bald for us to accept the character, right? Especially after Patrick Stewart’s brilliant turn. By the way, my suggestion for Magneto? Alexander Skarsgård. Yes, Eric of True Blood. How badass would he be in that role? That’s its own post, but we’ll get to that later. Matthew Goode from The Lookout and Watchmen was another ringer suggestion from our staff.

One really interesting sidenote here is that this all but eliminates McAvoy from the Bilbo Baggins sweepstakes, so you can pretty much forget about seeing your favorite Scot (sorry, Gerard Butler) in The Hobbit. While that’s sad news, it’s great to see First Class shaping up this way.

Losing Bryan Singer was Fox’s first mistake in the X-Men series. Losing Vaughn the first time around was its second mistake. Now they are both back, and Fox’s next big move was bringing in a serious actor to spearhead this bad boy. McAvoy killed it in The Last King of Scotland and has the chops to pull off young Xavier. First Class is looking like a class act so far. I’m glad it’s only a year away.