Meet the actors in the running to play Jean and Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse

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Nov 19, 2014, 3:42 PM EST (Updated)

X-Men: Apocalypse will give us new incarnations of Cyclops and Jean Grey, and these are the young stars who could win those roles.

We've known for a while now that Apocalypse will be set after the events of Days of Future Past but before the original X-Men trilogy, and therefore producers would likely be leaning toward younger versions of major X-characters who didn't play prominent roles in the past events of First Class and DOFP, most notably Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey. According to The Wrap's sources, director Bryan Singer has already begun meeting with actors to play the latter two of those roles, and three frontrunners have emerged for each of them.

For the Cyclops role, Singer is reportedly eyeing Ben Hardy (bottom left), Timothee Chalamet (bottom center) and Charlie Rowe (bottom right). Of those three, Hardy might be the least known, at least to American audiences, as his most prominent work so far is playing Peter Beale on the popular British soap opera EastEnders. The spotlight is probably shining brightest on Chalamet at the moment, since he's in theaters right now as young Tom Cooper in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, but Rowe's also been easy to spot lately as one of the leads on the FOX drama Red Band Society. None of them are major stars yet, but it's not hard to picture any of them with a red visor on.

The Jean Grey contenders, on the other hand, are definitely bigger stars. The Wrap reports that Singer is eyeing Chloe Moretz (top left), Hailee Steinfeld (top center) and Elle Fanning (top right) for the role. Of the three, Moretz probably has the highest profile among genre fans, with a career that includes starring roles in Kick AssCarrieLet Me In, Kick Ass 2, Dark Shadows and more. At 16, Fanning's the youngest, but she's been working steadily in Hollywood for more than a decade and is best known to genre cinema fans for films like Super 8Maleficent and The Boxtrolls. Steinfeld broke out in a big way in 2010 with a starring role in True Grit, which earned her an Oscar nomination and has since appeared in Ender's Game3 Days to Kill and the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2. All three are acclaimed young stars who could bring real weight to the Jean role, and as The Wrap notes, it seems Singer is counting on a higher-profile actress for this part, while he's seeking more of an unknown to play Cyclops.

At the moment, though, the final casting choices could be none of these six actors, as The Wrap's report also makes it clear that no official offers have been made for the Jean role yet, and an actress like Fanning might not even be up for a role like this, which would likely involve a multi-film commitment. There are also reportedly other young stars in the mix, so Singer might end up going in a completely different direction.

Still, we've got six names in front of us, and all of them seem like fair choices to play the younger version of two of the most famous mutants in X-Men canon. What do you think? Who would you pick?

X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27, 2016.

(Via The Wrap)