Actor Edi Gathegi, who played the villainous vampire ‘Laurent’ in Twilight and New Moon, is the latest addition to the cast of Matthew Vaughn‘s upcoming X-Men: First Class. The 31-year-old Kenyan, who grew up in California, will play ‘Darwin’ – a mutant who has the power of “reactive evolution.”
In the X-Men comics, Darwin’s body can biologically adapt to any environment he is put in, allowing him to survive almost any situation. For example, he can develop night vision after a few moments in the dark or grow functional gills if submerged in water. If exposed to fire, he simply becomes flame retardant. (That sounds more representative of Lamarck’s theory of evolution than Darwin’s, but we’ll give the writers a pass for now.)
Gathegi, who just finished production on director Paul Johansson‘s adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, has also appeared in small but memorable roles in Gone Baby Gone (as the drug dealer ‘Cheese’) and Crank (as the Haitian taxi driver). For his latest role, Gathegi will join an ever expanding ensemble cast for First Class, including James McAvoy as Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee, and Lucas Till as Havok. It was recently announced that Kevin Bacon will be playing the film’s villain.