Rumors are swirling around who will appear as which mutants in Matthew Vaughn'sX-Men: First Class, but today we finally have an official confirmation of a new castmember. According to Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411, Benjamin Walker has joined the First Class cast as Dr. Hank McCoy, better known as the blue, furry Beast.

Walker's involvement has been whispered for a few days, first cropping up by way of The New York Times. If you follow theater at all, you've probably heard of Walker's performance in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and the production's plans to move to Broadway. But that may now be delayed thanks to Walker's evolution into a First Class mutant.

Walker has been kicking around movies for quite a while -- you might remember him in Flags of Our FathersandKinsey -- and is a promising young actor who just hasn't made it big yet. He's earned rave reviews as the titular Jackson in his flashy stage performance. I have no doubt he'll make a good McCoy, especially since he won't be burdened with the garish make-up Kelsey Grammer wore in X-Men: The Last Stand. As X-Men geeks know, McCoy started off relatively normal looking, but evolved into the furry fellow he is today. He's continued to evolve into a creature that looks more like a cat than a man. McCoy is a quietly tragic character, as he lives in fear that he will lose the ability to think or practice science once burdened with animal senses and paws. I'm still not thrilled with First Class, but the idea of seeing that story -- even in a truncated form -- is an appealing one. McCoy is a gentle and humorous character, and he's never gotten any time to shine in the movies.
categories Movies, Cinematical