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Hank McCoy, a.k.a. Beast, has been one of the primary characters in the X-Men "First Class" trilogy since it began in 2011. Moviegoers have watched as he transitioned from a young intellectual with giant feet to Charles Xavier’s closet ally with a shedding problem. Beast will be featured again in the "First Class" finale X-Men: Apocalypse next year and while the character could always show up in another film, this may be actor Nicolas Hoult’s last outing as the blue-furred mutant.
Hoult told E! Online this weekend at SXSW that X-Men: Apocalypse is the last film in the series he’s signed up for. However, this doesn’t mean he will never play Beast again at some point, it all just depends on if he likes the story that’s handed to him. Said Hoult:
The first one did so well and [Days of Future Past] got received so brilliantly. It’s like, 'Wow, people really want to see the films' and the best thing is it's a great crew and cast to work with and he's a fun character. I have a good time playing him so I'd keep making them.
Of course, within the franchise’s continuity, Beast isn’t going anywhere. An older Beast was one of the main characters in X-Men: The Last Stand, and thanks to Wolverine changing the past in X-Men: Days of Future Past, he’s still alive in the revised timeline. If Beast is used in a future X-Men film that takes place in the present day, one would imagine the production would try to get Kelsey Grammar to reprise the role before approaching Hoult. It’s the same deal with Howard Stark in the MCU being played by both Dominic Cooper and John Slattery; at some point in time there has to be a transition between the two actors.
Although Beast and Mystique didn’t interact much in X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse will be deeply exploring their complicated relationship first established in X-Men: First Class. He’ll have some competition on this front, as the shape-shifting mutant may also be getting into a romantic entanglement with Magneto, making this one awkward love triangle. As for what the future holds for him after he and the other mutants battle Apocalypse in the 1980s, that’s unclear. Beast was the Secretary of Mutant Affairs in X-Men: The Last Stand, so perhaps we’ll see the young Beast leave Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters to establish a government career. On the other hand, Wolverine’s time travel shenanigans may have changed things so that Hank stays at the school as a permanent instructor. We’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store for him.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be released in theaters on May 27, 2016.