January Jones, of “Mad Men” Emmy-nominated fame, is the latest name to join Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class,” Access Hollywood has confirmed.
January will be playing the role of Emma Frost (aka: The White Queen), a role previously reported that was to have been played by actress Alice Eve. Deadline, TheWrap and Variety all first posted the January news on Tuesday night.
ComicBookMovie.com, which has been accurate about several scoops of late, reported that Alice Eve asked to be released from her contract recently, due to unhappiness with recent script changes. The website went on to point out that this is the second Marvel role the actress is not doing, to which she had previously been associated – Alice had also been linked to a role in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The site also claimed that 20th Century Fox is still interested in Alice for their upcoming “Fantastic Four Reborn.”
UPDATED: On Thursday, a source clarified the following for Access: that early reports speculated Alice Eve, amongst other actresses, was only approached to play the role.
The January Jones casting news comes on the heels of Monday’s respective reports in Deadline that Oliver Platt had joined the cast as The Man in Black, and in The Hollywood Reporter that Aussie actress Rose Byrne was in negotiations to play Moira MacTaggert. MacTaggert is a scientist who has particular knowledge of “genetic mutation,” according to the trade mag, and who was a central love interest for Charles Xavier throughout the original X-Men comic books. On Wednesday, Variety reported that Byrne and Platt were done deals.
The film, a prequel to the “X-Men” series, examines the origin story between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (played by Michael Fassbender), two young men discovering their powers and exploring their friendship, before they became Professor X and Magneto (played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan in the franchise’s first three films) — mortal enemies.
Deadline, TheWrap and Variety also both reported on Tuesday night that Zoe Kravitz had been added to the cast to play Angel (traditionally a male role in the comics); Jason Flemyng would play Azazel, the father of fan-favorite Nightcrawler; Bill Milner would play the young version of Magneto, and Morgan Lily would play the Young Raven.
The previously-reported cast also includes Kevin Bacon as a still-unnamed villain, “About A Boy’s” Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, “Hannah Montana: The Movie’s” Lucas Till as Havok, and “The Twilight Saga’s” Edi Gathegi as Darwin.
20th Century Fox, the studio behind the film, had no comment on the casting rumors when contacted by Access Hollywood. 20th Century Fox has yet to confirm any of these recent castings to any outlet. The Matthew Vaughn directed film reportedly begins shooting in London at the end of this month.
“X-Men: First Class” is set to hit theaters on June 3, 2011.