Casting rumors are picking up steam on Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, with two female actresses linked to prominent roles in the upcoming superhero flick.

20th Century Fox is rumored to be expressing "strong interest" in landing Amber Heard for the part of Mystique, the blue-skinned shapeshifter previously played by Rebecca Romjin. Meanwhile, the studio is also reportedly considering British actress Rosamund Pike to play Moira McTaggert -- Professor X's assistant. Pike being up for a part in the film isn't news, but early speculation had her pegged for the role of Emma Frost after she was spotted with issues of the comic featuring that character.

Both actresses seem like good fits for the respective roles, but these are currently just rumors and no one knows for sure how far along in the process the actresses and Fox are. Clearly, it seems unlikely that either has been made an offer at this point, so nothing is locked in yet.

One thing we do know for sure is that Vaughn's Kick-Ass co-writer Jane Goldman is polishing the script -- which is said to focus on the early years of Professor X and Magneto, detailing where their relationship turned adversarial. It's also set to chronicle the formation of the Professor's school for mutants and feature younger versions of classic X-Men characters.

For the time being, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic about this film. Between X-Men: The Last Stand and the Wolverine spin-off, I'm not as excited about X-Men flicks as I used to be, but I'm curious to see what Vaughn does with the material. I think Amber Heard is a decent choice for Mystique, but since it's not a done deal, there's still time to pitch other actresses for the part. Feel free to share yours below.

[via The Playlist]