The cast of 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer’s upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse” is finally starting to come together. Fresh off the announcement of Kodi Smit-McPhee’s casting as a young Nightcrawler, the film has added yet another young actor in a key role.
According to Variety, British actor Ben Hardy will officially join the cast as an unspecified character. Sources tell the outlet, however, that Hardy’s character will be “significant to the ‘X-Men’ universe.”
The 24-year-old actor, who is best known for his work on the BBC soap opera “EastEnders," will join other “X-Men” newcomers Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp as Storm and Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler. Also rounding out the cast will be returning cast members Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Nicholas Hoult as Beast and James McAvoy as Professor X.
Precious little is known about the plot of “X-Men: Apocalypse” other than what fans have gleaned from the comic book source material. Oscar Isaac will play the super villain Apocalypse, an ancient mutant with extraordinarily powerful mutant abilities. In the comics, the X-Men must stop Apocalypse from destroying the world despite an inability to overcome his powers.
As The Wrap notes, Hardy was among those short-listed to play the role of Cyclops. He even tested for the role during the casting process. Ultimately, it went to Sheridan, but it looks like the director has found a place for Hardy in the upcoming movie anyway.
Given the fact that no other actor in the film seems to have had his or her character identity kept secret, many believe that the director is hoping to surprise audiences with Hardy's role. SlashFilm suggests that his character might be a young version of Angel, who first appeared in the 2006 film “X-Men: Last Stand” in which he was played by Ben Foster.
Angel’s inclusion in the “Apocalypse” storyline would make sense as the character has strong ties to the villain in the comics. It would also make sense to keep him a secret as the character is most famous for [POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT] being manipulated by Apocalypse into becoming the villain Archangel. If the movie plans to mimic this storyline with Hardy, it would reveal too much about the plot to simply name him.
It looks like, pending any official announcement from Singer, fans will simply have to wait until Hardy and the rest of the X-Men find their way to theaters on May 27, 2016.