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Rumor: Kevin Bacon to play Sebastian Shaw in X-Men First Class?

Ever since it was confirmed that Kevin Bacon will be playing the role of the villain in the upcoming X-Men: First Class, comic fans have been enjoying the speculation on which villain he is actually going to play.  Names like Mister Sinister, Apocalypse, and even Proteus have been brought up and bandied about.  But the only rumor that has actually attached itself to some semblance of possible credibility is that he will play Sebastian Shaw, Black King of The Order of the Phoenix The Hellfire Club.

Sorry, I got into X-Men through Ultimate, and the whole Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix bit was my favorite part.

Forces of Geek reports that

One of our FOG! Agents from across the pond has revealed that Kevin Bacon’s role in the upcoming X-Men: First Class is that of Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club.

The Hellfire Club is a centuries old British gentlemen’s club of sorts, except instead of billiards there was clandestine world domination.  In the official time line, the Club’s meddling caused Jean Grey’s transformation into the Dark Pheonix.  In the Ultimates retelling they are the financial backers of Professor X’s school, ostensibly because they support the mutant agenda, but in reality because they want to keep tabs on Jean until they can perform a ritual to awake the Phoenix in her, assuming that it will, in gratitude, reward them with domination over mankind.

Unfortunately, neither of those characteristics of the Club are likely to be picked up in First Class, since the movie will be contiguous with X-Men: Last Stand, in which the Phoenix Force was not an ancient omnipotent force of cosmic justice, but the suppressed personality of a teenage girl.  But maybe the funding-the-school thing will stay?

It is apparently the duty of anyone describing an obscure comic character, no matter how complex and interesting aside from their powers, to describe their powers, and so:

Sebastian Shaw is a mutant who can absorb kinetic energy and use it to give himself greater “strength, speed, stamina and recuperation capabilities.”  This allows him to turn aside nearly any blow, including blades, bullets, and, notably, optic blasts.

Interestingly enough, Sebastian Shaw is also the name of the guy who played Darth Vader with his mask off in Return of the Jedi.  COINCIDENCE?!

Yes.

(via Bleeding Cool.)

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