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James McAvoy Replaces ‘X-Men: First Class’ Co-Star In Danny Boyle’s Thriller ‘Trance’

Written by on June 23, 2011 

Update: McAvoy has been confirmed, but it is a different role than Fassbender. Read the update here.

After his Oscar win for Slumdog Millionaire, then his survival tale of 127 Hours, Danny Boyle is set to remake Joe Ahearne‘s 2001 British thriller Trance. The modestly budgeted art heist film is being described in the “dark, sexy, hard-edged tone of Boyle films like Shallow Grave and Trainspotting” and we now have an actor in talks to the role, after Michael Fassbender was rumored, but dropped out. [Variety]

His X-Men: First Class co-star James McAvoy has entered early talks to play the role of Simon, “the shady leader of the gang who partners with the assistant.” Check out a synopsis below.

An assistant at an auction house masterminds the heist and teams up with a gang of thieves, but suffers a blow to the head and wakes up with amnesia. He is the only one who knows where the painting’s location is and after his continued failure to remember, the gang begins to suspect duplicity on his part and hire a female hypnotist to get into his brain.

Boyle, and his producing partner Christian Colson, plan a different kind of production schedule. He will have a London shoot this fall, then take a break to direct the opening 2012 Summer Olympics ceremony. He will then return to the film and edit it for a March 2013 release via Fox Searchlight. Many films are on such a tight production schedule, it will be interesting to see what this extended break can help in the formation of the film.

Fassbender was a great choice, by McAvoy is (almost) just as good. The duo were fantastic together in the otherwise weak X-Men: First Class, and I’m looking forward to Boyle direct a thriller like this one, harkening back to his early days. McAvoy will next be seen in the crime thriller Welcome to the Punch, with Mark Strong.

What do you think about McAvoy taking over for Fassbender?

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