James McAvoy may have the biggest movie of his career coming this summer, starring as Professor Xavier in X-Men: First Class. So to follow that up, he’s going back to the UK and tackling something a lot smaller. According to Deadline McAvoy will star in Welcome to the Punch, a London-set thriller to be directed by Eran Creevy.
Creevy himself describes the film as “an epic crime thriller in the mould of Heat or Internal Affairs“; he was nominated for a BAFTA for his directorial debut Shifty, which was shot for $150,000. The director seems to be deliberately describing Welcome to the Punch in a vague way, so it’s hard to know what kind of role McAvoy might wind up playing, but I’m rooting for something shady and villainous. In this Friday’s The Conspirator he plays a crusading attorney in the Civil War era, and Professor X is the valiant hero fighting against Magneto’s rage in X-Men. McAvoy has a lot of range as an actor, and if he wants to show it off, a shady cop could be the perfect way to go with it.