This week in Scottish Entertainment / Actor News, Dougray Scott promotes ‘Father and Son’, James McAvoy joins the X-Men, John Hannah talks Spartacus and Shirley Manson guests on Craig Ferguson. Sabia has the details:

James McAvoy to play Professor X in ‘X-Men: First Class’

James McAvoy has been cast as a young Professor X/Charles Xavier in Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class. 20th Century Fox has set a June 3, 2011 release. Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer in London.
According to Fox, “First Class” will “chart the epic beginning of the X-Men saga. Before Charles Xavier and Erik 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.” [Heat Vision]

Sony picks up UK rights to ‘Retreat’ with David Tennant

David Tennant had been reportedly attached to star in Retreat, and now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has obtained the UK rights the film. Shooting was reported to have been originally scheduled to start in May in Canada, but now it could shoot sometime in the summer in North Wales:

Dave G Bishop, Head of Acquisitions, Northern Europe, SPHE, said, “We’re excited to be working with Magnet Films on this fantastic project. Carl Tibbets has written a thrilling script that keeps you guessing to the very end and with such great British acting talent attached, we’re confident the film will be both a critical and commercial success.”

Gary Sinyor, Managing Director, Magnet Films, added, “Retreat has the potential to be not just a crowd pleaser, but also a critical success based on the intelligent page-turner of a script and the marquee cast.” [Screen Daily via]

Dougray Scott promotes ‘Father And Son’; discusses future projects

Dougray has been doing interviews to promote Father And Son which premiers on Monday, June 7 on STV and ITV1 in the UK. It will air over four consecutive nights. He talked about his latest role in Father and Son, but also revealed a few details about his upcoming films. You can read the full interview over at The Daily Record.

…In Father And Son, which also stars Sophie Okonedo and Stephen Rea, Dougray plays ex-criminal Michael O’Connor who returns to Manchester from a quiet life in Ireland in order to save his estranged teenage son Sean – played by Reece Noi – from prison and to redeem his own troubled past.
…As far as work is concerned, he has a number of film and TV projects in the can, including a TV pilot for new Boston-set series Quinn-Tuplets in which he plays a documentary film-maker who chronicles a family of quints’ lives.

Also complete are Roland Joffe movie There Be Dragons and comedy No Ordinary Trifle, in which he plays opposite his real-life wife.

He’s also attached to Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s new film The Magnificent 11 – an updated remake of classic western The Magnificent Seven, with the action set around an amateur football team saving an Indian restaurant.

Another of his projects is former Skids frontman Richard Jobson’s mooted war film Into The Valley, which follows Scottish soldiers returning home after serving in Afghanistan and has been inspired by the hit Skids song of the same name.

He said: “I’m very keen to do them. The Magnificent 11 is very much on the cards and I did New Town Killers with Richard, who is a fantastic director. He’s started to get the funding together so hopefully it will all come together. He’s much in demand and chooses all his projects, like Father And Son, by making sure business is personal. [Steve Hendry]

John Hannah promotes ‘Spartacus: Blood And Sand’

John Hannah has been busy doing press for Spartacus: Blood And Sand in the UK (it premiered last week on Bravo) and some of his interviews are below.

John on Frost Over the World:


John on GMTV:


An excerpt from an interview with Digital Spy:

What attracted you to Spartacus?
“As an actor it was completely different from everything else I’d done, in terms of the content and in terms of the character. It was nearer theatre than any kind of contemporary TV that I’d done, and I think the American cable channels have been doing some fantastic work recently with things like Rome, The Sopranos and Deadwood and stuff like that. It’s very much in that kind of range. So it was a no-brainer really. Once I’d read the script I was desperate to do it.”

Can you explain a little bit about your character Batiatus?
“Historically the lanistas [gladiator managers] were looked down upon by society while being deeply revered, in the way that football managers are. A little bit like brothel keepers, they were sort of needed but you would not necessarily want to be seen with them in daylight. Like second-hand car salesmen, once they do well enough these guys want to become a little bit more establishment. As the show develops, Batiatus does start seeking higher positions. And he’ll do anything to get there. He’s incredibly manipulative, incredibly evil. At the same time, he’s also a nice guy – he’s trying to have a kid with his missus and he wants to have a family and all of that, but he’ll think nothing of killing competitors and getting rid of them in any way that’s required for him to get on.”

You’re well-known for your roles in romantic comedies. Do you think people will be surprised by your role in this show?
“I hope so. I’m sure people are savvy enough these days to realise that actors as individuals would like to do different things in the same way that they don’t want to see the same people doing the same things all the time. And also just as a TV viewer myself I’m kind of bored with the same kind of things being on TV. This is something incredibly different-looking, incredibly different in content. And I think that’s why it’s been such a hit. I think the TV-watching public in this country are sick of everything being a bit soapy, a bit detectivey. Lawyers and doctors and hospitals and pubs…” [Catriona Wightman]

Shirley Manson on Late Late Show

Newly married Shirley Manson was a guest on Craig Ferguson’s show on Friday night.


Weekly schedule for Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Mo 5/31: Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara (R 5/3/10)
Tu 6/1: Willie Nelson, Ellie Kemper (R 4/16/10)
We 6/2: Evangeline Lilly, Charlyne Yi, Laraf
Th 6/3: Jamy Ian Swiss, Jeff Stilson
Fr 6/4: Jay Mohr, Ed Alonzo

For more from Saba check out her websites here and here.