I imagine that nearly every day, Kevin Feige must curse the decision-making process that saw rights to The X-Men land at Fox. The characters are essentially untouchable when it comes to the team-building going on over at Marvel, not to mention mired in a series of films that seems to need ever-heavier justification. Good thing the only character more popular and worth integrating into the new Marvel film universe is Spider-Man…oops.
Back to X-Men. Specifically, the future plans held by Fox. Trades have now announced that Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz is writing and potentially directing a new film in the franchise. Title is X-Men: First Class, which (a) is the same title as Marvel’s series about the original team’s early years, and (b) an obvious nod to the potential of a reboot.
Schwartz’s involvement isn’t really new. Back in May he was quoted by bbook.com saying “I’m very well aware that I’ll be bludgeoned by purists, but I love its
mythology, and it comes with a pretty hefty paycheck… It’s not like
I’m adding new characters like Toaster Head, or anything like that.” The quotes, which referred to a potential prequel film, were retracted. But in light of this news, that retraction rings even more strongly of damage control than it originally did.
Obvious questions include: will this be an ‘original team’ film? In lieu of those characters, will it go the New Mutants route? Will this be more (a) Gossip Girl (b) Smallville (c) Twilight?
Variety says: Resulting film would likely draw from elements of the Marvel comic
of the same name, launched in 2006, and enlist such characters as
Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, who have
appeared prominently or made cameos in prior pics.
Hollywood’s penchant for reboots with new actors playing familiar
roles, pic could also reintroduce characters. Comicbook revolves around
the Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Professor X.
THR takes basically the same tack: First Class could serve as a prequel and focus on certain X-Men
characters like Cyclops but as teens, or it could focus on some of
the students attending the mutant school introduced in the “X-Men”
movies. Marvel Comics ran a short-lived comics series with the same
name several years ago.