James McAvoy joins XMen First Class May 28, 2010 James McAvoy is a fresh faced Professor X James McAvoy has reportedly signed on to play the role of Professor X in the upcoming X-Men: First Class. McAvoy will portray a young version of the well-known Charles Xavier, reports The Hollywood Reporter. “[First Class will] chart the epic beginning of the X-Men saga,” read a press release. “Before Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were the closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. “In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-Men.” Matthew Vaughn is directing the feature with a tentative release date of June 2011.