James McAvoy

James McAvoy has been cast to play the leader of the X-Men pack in the upcoming installment of the superhero franchise, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Check out photos of McAvoy

McAvoy will play Charles Xavier, the professor who organizes the X-Men band of mutants into a group that fights for good, in X-Men: First Class. Patrick Stewart originated played the role.

The film, which will be directed by Matthew Vaughn (Snatch, Kick-Ass), is set to start shooting this summer.

McAvoy, 31, is best known for his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Atonement, as well as his role opposite Angelina Jolie in Wanted. He will next be seen in Robert Redford's post-Civil War drama The Conspirator.