Producer Bryan Singer provided Ain’t It Cool News with details about X-Men: First Class, whose ever-expanding cast and unusual choice of characters — Azazel, Angel Salvadore, the Man in Black — has many fans wondering what the heck’s going on with the reboot of the Fox franchise:
This isn’t the “First Class” from the Marvel comics
We’d guessed as much from the inclusion of such characters as Banshee, Emma Frost and Darwin, but this film won’t follow comic-book continuity, in which Angel (Warren Worthington III, not Angel Salvadore), Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Marvel Girl/Jean Grey were Charles Xavier’s first recruits. In fact, Jean Grey and Cyclops won’t appear at all; we will, however, see Lucas Till as Cyclops’ brother Alex Summers/Havok.
Swingin’ Silver Age adventures
As the alert sent in June by the West Michigan Film Office suggested, First Class will be set in the 1960s, with the hopeful futures envisioned by President Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. apparently paralleling the dreams of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). Singer said director Matthew Vaughn is “technologically inspired” by the James Bond spy-fi tech of the era.
Welcome to the Hellfire Club, Mr. Shaw
Kevin Bacon will indeed play Sebastian Shaw, mutant leader of the New York branch of the Hellfire Club, a social club whose secret Inner Circle is bent on world domination. Emma Frost (January Jones) is, of course, the Hellfire Club’s White Queen.
Say good-bye to the leather biker suits
According to AICN’s Harry Knowles, “the costumes will be far more comic bookish than we’ve seen before.”
We already knew that First Class would be filmed in England and the United States, with Oxford used for Xavier’s university days. However, Singer said other international locales will be represented, including the Soviet Union. “The international flavor will give the film a more James Bond vibe,” Knowles writes. “I get the idea that this is going to be something quite special.”
Hair today …
We’ll see Professor X when he still had hair, and before he ended up in a wheelchair.
Although the full cast still hasn’t been revealed, here’s who we know: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier; Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr; Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw; January Jones as Emma Frost; Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique; Nicholas Hoult as Henry McCoy/Beast; Caleb Landry Jones as Sean Cassidy/Banshee; Lucas Till as Alex Summers; Edi Gathegi as Darwin; Jason Flemyng as Azazel; Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart; Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore; Bill Milner as young Erik Lensherr; and Morgan Lily as young Raven Darkholme/Mystique.
X-Men: First Class begins shooting on Aug. 31 in London for release on June 3, 2011.
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