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'Bloody Bloody' Benjamin Walker to Star in 'X-Men: First Class'

Benjamin walker Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson star Benjamin Walker is moving from the Off-Broadway stage of the Public Theater to the big screen. According to Playbill.com, Walker has been cast as Henry "Hank" McCoy in the upcoming X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the X-Men movie franchise.

McCoy is a mutant scientist who eventually transforms into the superhero "Beast." (In the last installment of the X-Men movie trilogy, this role was played by Kelsey Grammer.) Walker will co-star in First Class with James McAvoy (Atonement) as young Professor Charles Xavier. Negotiations are also reportedly in progress with Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds) to co-star as the young Erik "Magneto" Lansherr.

According to MTV.com, First Class is scheduled to start filming in the next few months. But while Walker plans to move to the big screen, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson may be moving to Broadway. When Walker's casting in First Class was only a rumor last week, Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater, told the New York Times, "We are still actively pursuing all possibilities for the future of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and are very optimistic things will work out. We can't confirm anything about Ben's plans but we're certainly sure he's a star and it would be nothing but to the credit of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson if the rest of the world caught on."

As a graduate of the Juilliard School, with some prior film and stage experience, I see no reason to doubt Eustis' faith in Walker. My only hope is that the prequel is not just a desperate attempt to milk the X-Men trilogy for all it's worth.

X-Men: First Class has a scheduled release date for June 3, 2011. For tickets or more info about Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, visit the Public Theater's website.

-- Alison Mierzejewski

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