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Fox pursues Amber Heard, Rosamund Pike for “X-Men: First Class”

Since news on X-Men: First Class has been scarce as of late, it’s about time that something about the film was made known. Well, that time has certainly paid off: we have three casting updates thanks to Production Weekly.

First, Michael Fassbender, contrary to the rumors, isn’t interested in taking on the role of young Erik Lensherr aka Magneto. Second, Fox has shown a “strong interest” in two actresses for roles in the film: Amber Heard and Rosamund Pike

Heard is being looked at for the role of young Mystique, the appearance-shifting character originated by Rebecca Romijn in the X-Men trilogy. Heard is certainly attractive enough to fill those shoes, but she is also a gifted actress, delivering great performances in otherwise critically reviled films Remember the Daze and The Stepfather. She will star alongside Johnny Depp and Giovanni Ribisi in this year’s upcoming film The Rum Diary. Her acting chops could be of great benefit if there is more to the character of Mystique in “First Class,” which there likely is. After all, this is an origin story.

Pike has been the focus of a lot of rumors this past week, having supposedly been spotted with a copy of X-Men Origins: Emma Frost in hand. However, PW says she’s being sought after to play Scottish mutant expert and scientist Moira MacTaggert, played briefly by Olivia Williams in the original films. Incidentally, the character is also one of Charles Xavier’s love interests somewhere on down the line. It’s an important part to fill, and Pike certainly can hold her own in a film. She was a riotous scene-stealer in Lone Scherfig’s An Education, which received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for its cast’s performance. Pike has also received acclaimed on her own, winning a British Independent Film Award and picking up two London Critics Circle Film Award nominations.

Even though the news of Fassbender not wanting to be involved is a bit discouraging, Heard and Pike are two lovely and talented actresses who should be able to take on roles with ease. Heard has been on the verge of a breakthrough for quite some time, and Pike is likely to gain more exposure in the States.

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