As of today, not only is Twentieth Century Fox going ahead with their proposed X-Men prequel entitled X-Men: First Class, they’re hitting the ground running. Though there’s no cast yet, the studio’s assembled a director (Kick-Ass‘s Matthew Vaughn), a handful of producers (including Bryan Singer, who came up with the story and directed the first two X-Men films), and a release date (June 3, 2011). Production is set to start this summer to crank the summer blockbuster out in a timely fashion. For more on the story and the production details, follow the jump.
X-Men: First Class will tell the story of the mutants who came into their own without the guiding hand of the Xavier Institute. It will begin in a time when Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr (Magneto-to-be) were allies, and had to band together with a number of others, both familiar and unfamiliar to the film canon, to stop a global threat.
Variety reports that Singer picked Vaughn to direct because he’s been a fan of Vaughn’s since his feature debut with Layer Cake. “He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film.”
Though I worry Fox is wearing this slice of the Marvel universe a little thin, what with a Magneto prequel and another Wolverine one on the way, I am genuinely excited to see this project moving forward. Vaughn is more than capable as a comic-to-film adaptation director, and save for one rather notable and recent example, live-action X-Men films have been historically pretty good — at least, Fox has $1.5 billion in the bank from the franchise thus far that says so.
Fox prexy of production Emma Watts said:
“‘X-Men: First Class’ presents an exciting opportunity to further explore the history and relationships of these beloved characters. Matthew’s combination of talent, verve and vision is perfectly suited to the task.”
Obviously with a release date of June 2011, casting will begin shortly. We’ll post updates as we hear them.