Maybe it was a good thing that Bryan Singer dropped out of the director's chair on X-Men: First Class. His first two entries into the mutant series, 2000's X-Men and 2003's X2: X-Men United, have become modern classics and when he opted out of making the third film, the franchise tanked. Many saw his potential return to the Marvel Universe as a blessing, but after hearing about his idea of casting for the film, which follows the adventures of a young Charles Xavier as he clashes with his one-time colleague Eric Lensherr and forms The School For The Gifted, I'm feeling VERY happy that he'll only serve as producer.
Blastr reports that Singer was courting his "friend" Taylor Lautner for a role in First Class. IMDB had Lautner loosely attached to the project as a young Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast in the Matthew Vaughn directed film, but today's news (as well as Nicholas Hoult's involvement in the project) should put to rest the rumor that the young heartthrob at the center of one of the worst film franchises in history will join one of its most exciting.
In his own words, Singer spills the beans about the potential casting decision: "I wanted Taylor [Lautner] to do it, I really did. He's doing a movie in Pittsburgh called Abduction and then he's got the next Twilight movie. We talked about it a lot, he is a friend, and I really wanted to make it work. It just doesn't look like it's possible to do it."
Though I've enjoyed all of his films and almost everything that has his name on it, I have to wonder what was going through Singer's mind when considering Lautner for a role in the film. Friendship aside, what qualities (other than rippling muscles) has he shown that justifies his addition to the franchise? None. His acting is laughably one-dimensional and he's not yet proven that he can open a movie by himself. His fan base consists of young females who lie outside of X-Men's target audience, which consists of 14-35 year-old males who can't stand the sight of him. Further, the casting of the younger characters has been met with a tremendous amount of scrutiny thus far, as many claim that Fox aims to cash in on the dollars of younger moviegoers who have made Lautner the undeserved star that he is today. Hiring him would have been the ultimate smack-in-the-face to the die-hard fans that continue to make X-Men the global phenomenon that it is.
If anyone has John Singleton's contact info, please forward it to me. I'd like to personally thank him for keeping Lautner busy through the First Class shoot...