Colin Firth could've been an X-Men: First Class baddie

Exclusive: Star was on the Shaw shortlist

Colin Firth was very nearly cast as the big bad in the upcoming X-Men: First Class.

That’s according to director Matthew Vaughn, who says the King’s Speech Oscar winner was on an exceedingly short shortlist to play megalomaniac Sebastian Shaw.

“There were only two people I wanted for Shaw,” reveals the Kick-Ass auteur, talking exclusively to Total Film. “It was between Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon.

“The reason I thought Firth would be interesting was purely because you’ve never seen him play a villain and I think he would’ve done something really special with it.

“So I said [to the studio] if you’re willing to go with a European actor, I want Firth – and if it has to be American, I want Bacon because I think both those guys are such great actors.”

In the end, of course, the role went to Bacon, who co-starred with Firth in showbiz thriller Where The Truth Lies.

While we’ve no doubt Firth would’ve nailed the part of the Hellfire Club leader, the buzz on Bacon is that he’s a Shaw thing.

“Kevin Bacon is one of this film’s greatest assets,” says James McAvoy (aka the young Professor X) “There’s a Bond villain aspect to his performance, all the trappings are there, but he doesn’t camp it up.”

X-Men: First Class hits cinemas on 2 June 2011.

For more X-Men: First Class goodness, get the new issue of Total Film Magazine, which hits newsstands on Thursday 14th April.

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Think Firth would’ve X-celled as the villain? Or was Bacon a better bet? Comment below…

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