Nicholas Hoult
“Grrrrrrr.” ©20th Century Fox

Doctor Hank McCoy a.k.a. The Beast (Nicholas Hoult) has played something of a bit-part role in the X-Men franchise thus far. In three movies, he’s been little more than a supporting character, albeit a popular and important one.

But as Hoult returns for a fourth X-Men movie in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the 27-year-old says he signed up for the franchise again because there would be a different treatment for the character.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight Canada! at the Toronto International Film Festival,  Hoult revealed his personal motivation for coming back to the franchise.

“It’s very different for Beast this time and that was part of the appeal for doing the movie for me. Simon Kinberg, who wrote [X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse], is directing this time and he had great ideas where he wanted the character to go, so it was exciting.”

What exactly does that mean? The “Dark Phoenix Saga” of the comics may offer some clues. In the storyline, Beast is a member of The Avengers, having left the X-Men. But he’s drawn back by old loyalties in a collective attempt to curb the power of The Phoenix, a cosmic entity that has possessed Jean Grey.

The Saga was largely centred on the Scott/Jean romance. But perhaps Beast may come to play a bigger role in the big screen version of the story? Will he fully embrace his Beast side this time round?

In any case, Hoult, who’ll next be seen in The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, is too good an actor not to fully utilise.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled for release on November 2, 2018. 

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