James McAvoy Cast in X-Men: First Class

James McAvoy has been cast to play the leader of the X-Men pack in the upcoming installment of the superhero franchise, according to the Los Angeles Times.

McAvoy will play Charles Xavier, the professor who organizes the X-Men band of mutants into a group that fights for good, in X-Men: First Class. Patrick Stewart originated played the role.

The film, which will be directed by Matthew Vaughn (Snatch, Kick-Ass), is set to start shooting this summer.

McAvoy, 31, is best known for his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Atonement, as well as his role opposite Angelina Jolie in Wanted. He will next be seen in Robert Redford's post-Civil War drama The Conspirator.

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