If the early photos from X-Men: First Class already have you nervous about the 20th Century Fox prequel, this latest interview with director Matthew Vaughn may do little to ease your mind.
“It’s got a lot of teenage angst,” he tells EW.com. “The Twilight girls will like it.”
Now to be fair, Marvel’s X-Men comics cornered the market on teenage angst well before Stephenie Meyer was even a teenager herself. And half the movies released in the past few years have invited Twilight comparisons in hopes of attracting just a fraction of that franchise’s audience.
However, by mentioning the T-word, Vaughn risks making X-Men‘s core, if small, audience even more skittish. But the director also makes reference to another successful movie franchise, potentially good news for fans of 007. I said potentially.
“The best way of describing it is X-Men meets Bond, with a little bit of Thirteen Days thrown in for good measure,” he says. “It’s set in the ’60s, and I basically molded a young Magneto on a young Sean Connery. He’s the ultimate spy — imagine Bond, but with superpowers.”
As suave as Michael Fassbender is, it may be difficult for fans to envision the future Master of Magnetism as a mutant super-spy — a role played in recent years in the X-Men comics by Mystique.
That said, the plot details revealed by Vaughn do hold some promise: “In the beginning of the film, no one knows that mutants exist, and all the mutants don’t know that each other exist. They’re all in hiding. Kevin Bacon plays a very megalomaniac mutant [Sebastian Shaw] who decides that he can take over the world and that mutants are the future. Erik and Charles then meet each other and hook up with the CIA to try and prevent World War III. You find out everything about what went on between Erik and Charles.”
I love the idea of the early-’60s setting, with the tensions of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Sebastian Shaw as the central villain (even if he could end up resembling Dr. No or Ernst Blofeld more than the leader of the New York branch of the Hellfire Club). I’m not nearly as optimistic about the hodgepodge character line-up — Azazel? — or the equally jumbled comparisons to other movies.
But when asked by EW whether he has concerns about angering die-hard X-Men fans, Vaughn answers: “Yeah, but I could tell those fans that they’re wrong. One thing about the X-Men world is that, if you know your X-Men universe, every writer reinvented the storyline. I did my research, and none of the histories of the characters make any sense. Each writer just totally changed the history to make their plot work. So I can quite safely say that X-Men has a history of reinventing its history for the sake of the plot.”
X-Men: First Class stars stars James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lensherr, 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, Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, Edi Gathegi as Darwin, Oliver Platt as the Man in Black, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggart and Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore. It opens on June 3.
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