A Beast Back to Broadway: Benjamin Walker Out of X-men: First Class?

Benjamin Walker in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

It seems re-casting has already hot X-men: First Class.  Although Benjamin Walker was signed on for the project it seems that he will singing his way to broadway instead.  Walker will return to his former role of Andrew Jackson in ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’ when is hits broadway.  The young actor has been debating his decision but once Fox okayed his part, we assumed the choice was final.  So what caused Walker to depart the latest X-film?  Many sites are reporting that it was his age.  That’s right, age.  Fox has decided Walker is too old for the part of Hank McCoy, the oldest of the original x-men (Xavier excluded), and previously played by Kelsey Grammar.  Compared to McAvoy (Xavier) and Fassbender (Magneto), Fox believes the ‘first class’ mutants need to skew younger.  This is a scary thought.

In the comics, the original x-men were teens, ‘gifted youngsters’ if you will. It worked, well sort of.  Th fist run of X-men ended in 1970, due to lack of sales.  It wasn’t until 1975, with Giant-Size X-men #1, that the x-men found popularity.  Giant-size gave us fan favourites like Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Storm, all of whom were adults with adult problems.  Young adults, yes, but still adults. 

How young are they going to take this?  Actors in their 20s play teens all the time (see the cast of Glee).  Are we going to get Miley Cyrus and the cast of Twilight?  Do they really think that the success of these things means it will help with their sales.  I’m sad to say it, but teen girls are not the comic book demographic. They’re just not. And that’s okay.  Will a couple of cute boys pining over Jean Grey convince them to flock to the theatre?  Probably not, unless they cast Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner.  Then all bets are off. If Fox is trying to cater to the younger crowd, that’s their decision.  They need to make money, and with R rated comic book adaptations (like Vaughn’s Kick-ass) falling short at the box office, I understand their worry.  But again, look at two of the most successful comic book movies ever: The Dark Knight, and Iron Man.  There was no pandering to the tweens, no adding a relatable young side kick for the kids to latch onto (that was Batman and Robin).  The simply made good movies. Period.

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