Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Info on the upcoming X-MEN: First Class

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is the fifth installment of the X-Men film series and will probably be best understood by general audiences as a prequel to the first three movies. The film, set during the 1960s, will focus on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the origin of their groups, the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants.

"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 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."

The film stars James McAvoy as Professor X (you will remember him as the main character in the movie WANTED) and Michael Fassbender as Magneto (many of us saw him in the movie 300 as one of the spartan warriors). Other cast members include Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence and Lucas Till. The film is mostly being shot in England and parts of the United States. Fox envisions this film as the first in a new trilogy. X-Men: First Class is scheduled for release on June 3, 2011.

To those familiar with the comic books, when you say "X-Men First Class", it refers to the original first X-men characters; the first mutant class that went under the tutelage of Professor Xavier; namely, Scott Summers (Cyclops), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), Bobby Drake (Iceman), Warren Worthington (Angel), and Hank McCoy (Beast). But this upcoming movie "X-men; First Class" appears that it will not focus mainly on these characters, rather it will focus on the characters of Professor Xavier and his once best friend Erik Lensherr (Magneto) when they first sought out to save mutants from the prejudices of mankind. The First Class referred in this movie will refer to characters such as Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee, Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok, Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique, & Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast, as well as lesser known characters such as Riptide, Darwin, and Azazel. The villains in this movie will be the aristocratic mutant group The Hellfire Club.

The X-Men Universe have a rich history, and it is actually a good thing that this new "reboot" of the franchise goes back to its roots in order to tell its great stories properly and with a hopefully decent continuity and faith to the source material. 

In April 2006, one month before the release of X-Men: The Last Stand, writer Zak Penn revealed he was contracted to write and direct a spin-off. He later explained in 2007 that "the original idea was to have me do a young X-Men spin-off, a spin-off of the young X-Men characters. But someone came up with a pretty interesting idea; it was this guy who worked with me named Mike Chamoy, he worked a lot with me on X3. He came up with how to do a young X-Men movie which is not what you'd expect." Penn compared the idea to the comic book series X-Men: First Class, and Josh Schwartz was writing the screenplay in May 2008. Schwartz's writing assignment also included the possibility of directing of X-Men: First Class, but Fox approached Bryan Singer, director of X-Men and X2, in October 2009. The original idea was to green-light the film depending on the success of X-Men Origins: Magneto, but Singer added elements of the Magneto spin-off, merged into a new script by Jamie Moss. In addition to Moss, Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were hired to rewrite the script. Miller compared it tonally to Singer's work on the first two X-Men films. Singer dropped out of the director's position in March 2010 due to his commitment to a Jack the Giant Killer adaptation. He formalized his duties from director to producer. Matthew Vaughn signed on as Singer's replacement in May 2010. With his hiring, Fox announced a June 3, 2011 release date, and Jane Goldman was hired for another rewrite. Vaughn wanted to model X-Men: First Class after the 2009 Star Trek film, taking the franchise in a new direction with a fresh, young cast. An action scene that was to have been set in a dream sequence with revolving rooms was scrapped after the release of Inception. The 1960s setting of X-Men: First Class will be technologically inspired by the James Bond films of that era, also adding to the international feel of the characters. The X-Men costumes will look much more as they did in the original comics compared with the first three films.

Fox envisions X-Men: First Class as the first film of a new trilogy. Donner compared the franchise plans to the darker, more mature content of the Harry Potter film series. X-Men: First Class is scheduled for release on June 3, 2011.


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