Inglourious Basterds’ Lt. Archie Hicox is Magneto in X-Men: First Class

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X-Men: First Class has reeled in someone exceptional: Showbiz 411 reports that Michael Fassbender, perhaps better known as the German-speaking British Lieutenant Archie Hicox from Inglourious Basterds and Spartan warrior Stēlios (You remember: “Then we will fight in the shade.”) from 300, has officially signed on to play Erik Lensherr a.k.a. the mutant supervillain Magneto in Matthew Vaughn‘s upcoming origin film story.

Fassbender’s presence was already a welcome sight in those two films, but if you’ve seen his performance in the 2008 Irish film Hunger, in which he plays IRA hunger strike leader Bobby Sands, you’ll know just how good he is, and what exciting news this is for the X-Men film.

The cast now features Fassbender, James McAvoy as Charles Xavier a.k.a. Professor X, and Broadway actor Benjamin Walker as Dr. Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast. It’s an impressive trio to have on board, considering the movie’s dubious concept of depicting the X-Men as young’uns. Hopefully, this testifies to a good script, penned by Thor writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. According to The Film Stage, the synopsis is as follows:

“Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.”

Magneto, with his embittered history as a Holocaust survivor, occupies an ambiguous moral position as a defender of mutants he believes could potentially suffer the same genocidal persecution Jews did during the Second World War. This could make for a rich story, and Vaughn is known not to shy away from brutal narrative, but then again, Kick-Ass is a self-parody and can afford to be dark to points of comic excess. Fox, don’t screw us over on this one!

The whispers now say that hottie Amber Heard is being pursued for the role of chamelon Mystique, and ex-Bond girl Rosamund Pike may play supergenius Moira MacTaggert.

The movie is based on the original 2006-2007 eight-issue limited series penned by Jeff Parker and penciled by Roger Cruz, which then spun off into other titles and one-shots. Production will begin September 2010 in London.

(h/t Showbiz 411)

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