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Hugh Jackman Drops ‘Avon Man’ For ‘Wolverine 2’

PLUS: ‘First Class’ finds its Moira MacTaggert

It’s hard to imagine Hugh Jackman going door-to-door selling cosmetic products, but up until Tuesday, that is exactly what he was planning on doing.

Now? He’s sharpening his claws for the next outing of Wolverine.

The Australian actor has dropped out of Kevin Lima’s comedy “Avon Man” so he can spend some more time at the gym and get into the right shape for “Wolverine 2.” The sequel to the prequel — if that makes any sense — features a heavy Japanese samurai story and is due to go into production in early 2011. However, with “Avon Man” targeting an October release, the question has become why can’t the actor do both?

Apparently, Jackman’s weight and build has been a factor in his recent roles which means his physique is somewhat different to what was seen in the last X-Men movie. Now he has to focus his energy on meeting the requirements of the role.

He will, however, still serve as a producer on “Avon Man.”

Meanwhile, “Damages” star Rose Byrne is said to be in final negotiations to join the cast of “X-Men: First Class,” the other prequel to the comic book series. Already the movie is pushing toward filming with shoots expected to take place in London by the end of August.

Byrne is expected to play Moira MacTaggert, an expert on genetic mutation and love interest to Charles Xavier (this time played by Scottish actor James McAvoy).

Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Alice Eve, Nicholas Hoult and Jason Flemyng also have signed on for the project.

“X-Men: First Class” is being directed by Matthew Vaughn based on a script and story by Jane Goldman, Ashley Miller, Jamie Moss, Josh Schwartz, Bryan Singer and Zack Stentz, according to Internet Movie Database.

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