Benjamin Walker kicked out of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, but may re-register?

X-Men: First Class before, and now 20th Century Fox and Matthew Vaughn are starting to see the problem for themselves. Baz Bamigboye of Brit paper The Daily Mail (who The Playlist inform us is reliable) reports that Benjamin Walker, 28, who was one of the early castings for the X-prequel - last month locked in to play a young Hank McCoy (Beast) - was dropped this week because of his age. Panic is said to have set in around Fox offices when they examined the birth certificates of James McAvoy (31) and Michael Fassbender (33) - who are playing a young Magneto & Charles Xavier respectively, and they got nervous that Walker is simply too old to play one of the X-students. Bamigboye has heard that Fox paid Walker a princely sum to end his commitment to the movie then scrambled yesterday to screen-test three younger actors - not being satisfied at all by the talent, and embarrassingly last night mused over the benefits of going back to Walker and offering him his original deal. Amazing, and only with a Fox/X-Men production would you see this farce. The question now seems to be - will Walker return to the role he was so cruelly ousted? Well, we know he certainly won't be happy by the recent developments, and there's a good chance he may instead decide to follow his Public Theatre musical show "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" to Broadway, taking the money given to him to 'not play a character' and run. Or... maybe knowing Fox are now in a desperate state, he may try and negotiate himself a better deal and essentially be paid twice for the same role. Nice work if you can get it. There's lots of other branches of course connected to this story, one of those being the fate of Alice Eve, the 27 year old beauty who began talks on Monday to play Emma Frost. Surely, if Walker is too old at 28 - so to she will be at 27. The casting of the X-saga is certainly getting problematic, and Fox are suffering from the quick turn-a-round they brought upon themselves. The film was originally greenlit last month, and will shoot in August for a release next June, a crazy and unprecedented scheduling for a major comic book blockbuster, especially one as complex as the X-Men franchise. Although they nabbed Fassbender from Sony (which was a huge plus for them), they lost Andrew Garfield this week to Sony, who swung to the Spider-Man role yesterday, meaning they will need to think again over Angel (but at 27 was he too old anyway?). I would also be re-miss to report the breaking news from Comic Book Movie (the original source on the Walker casting) who have heard from their sources that Multiple Man is a 'definite student' in Prof. X's team and three young actors are being looked at for the part. Avengers News actually goes one further and says former Abercromie and Fitch fashion model, and brief 90210 actor Kevin Pennington (23) has been offered the role outright, and they expect him to sign on the dotted line. He was briefly portrayed by Eric Dane in X-Men 3: The Last Stand, as a defectant to Magneto's Brotherhood, so although you probably don't remember it - here's hoping they keep continuity and don't make him a villain by this film's end, as we know that is to come. Here's the state of play right now with the X-cast; The only two confirmed castings now are; James McAvoy (31) as Prof. X - - Michael Fassbender (33) as Magento We believe Rosamund Pike (31) has been offered the role of Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Prof X's assistant. Then the X-students.... Aaron Johnson (only 20 last month) is almost certainly on board to play Cyclops, especially now that he lost the Spider-Man role. He is the perfect age for what they are after here. Benjamin Walker (28) was cast as Beast, but we now hear he may have been dropped for being too old. Alice Eve (27) was in talks to play Emma Frost on Monday, but surely there must be some doubt over her casting if Walker was too old? Caleb Landry Jones (21), Latino Review believe has has been offered the role of Banshee. Kevin Pennington (23), Avengers News believe has been offered the role of Multiple Man. Actors still needed for Angel, Jean Grey and presumably Storm. Then the villains; Amber Heard (24) is heavily linked with playing Mystique, a character we know will be the in the film as Fox have auditioned several actresses' for it. Jack Huston (27) (we believe, but not confirmed) has been offered the role of Mastermind. Eddie Redmayne (28) (we believe, but not confirmed) has been offered the role of Toad. Production will begin next month on X-Men: First Class, a 'George Lucas' style prequel to Xavier and Magneto's relationship. Matt Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Stardust) directs, based on a pitch by Bryan Singer (X-Men 1, 2), that was turned into a script by Jamie Moss (Street Kings), that was written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass). The movie will be in theatres June 3rd, 2011.

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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.