Bryan Singer Explains ‘X-Men: First Class’ Story & Characters

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

At last, we have answers to some of the burning questions regarding X-Men: First class, its story and characters! After the onslaught of recent casting announcements for Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men prequel, fans were left wondering what direction the project was taking and what possible story they were trying to tell, considering the seemingly odd and somewhat inconsistent character choices.

With two poorly received X-Men films in a row, moviegoers are skeptical of the franchise and the reactions have been very mixed from the latest X-Men: First Class news reports. To clarify the First Class confusion and answer key questions about what the next X-Men installment is about, Bryan Singer reached out today to ease the tension and set the record straight.

Singer called Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News and entered into a detailed discussion about his story for First Class, confirming some of the character reports and revealing the setting of the film. Here are the details in point-form:

Story

  • X-Men: First Class is not like the “X-Men: First Class” comics, hence the significant character differences.
  • It takes place in the 1960s where Kennedy is still president.
  • Equality and racism are key issues with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X dominating mainstream media with the Civil Rights movement (foreshadowing (even mirroring) the mutant situation to come).
  • Director Matthew Vaughn is very interested in the setting and what Singer describes as the “James Bond tech of the time”, as Harry puts it.
  • Shooting will begin with Charles Xavier attending Oxford University.
  • We’ll get to see classic X-Men costumes, much more similar to the comics than we’ve seen in previous movies.
  • The movie will be the franchise’s most international yet, with shooting taking place in the U.S. and England, and the story also involving at least The Soviet Union as well.
  • We’ll get a first look at some X-Men: First Class costumes within a month.
sebastian shaw emma frost hellfire club x men first class movie Bryan Singer Explains X Men: First Class Story & Characters

Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) and Emma Frost (January Jones)

Characters

  • Story will explore how Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) met and their goals for the future of mutants (Origin of X-Men and their initial purpose).
  • Lensherr and Xavier will be in their late twenties – Xavier will have hair and function of his legs.
  • Cyclops and Jean Grey are NOT in the movie. Havok definitely is and Lucas Till will be playing him.
  • January Jones is Emma Frost and there’s no truth to Rosamund Pike’s involvement.
  • Singer is excited about them getting Nicholas Hoult as Beast because of a fortunate delay in start date for Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Kevin Bacon’s villain is in fact, Sebastian Shaw. Yes, that means Hellfire Club is in X-Men: First Class.
  • Singer explains the 1960s setting is perfect for the Hellfire Club, from the characters to costumes.
  • There are other characters that will be in the film that they’re keeping secret. Could it be more mutant X-Men or more likely, other members of the Hellfire Club?

Continue to Page 2 for our thoughts on the X-Men: First Class story and characters!

« 1 2»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: the wolverine, x-men, x-men: first class

199 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. Oooooh….
    Ok, I’m intrigued!

  2. Having Alex Summers in the film is probabl there as a way of bringingin Scott later .
    Sounds like they are disregarding The Wolverine film,Or they would have used the same Emma And Scott instead of recast the roles.

    • Alex Summers is Scotts YOUNGER BROTHER NOT OLDER BROTHER and how can he show up before Scott? Scott NOR Jean not being there as founding members is beyond insane when they even established that they were in the previous movies. WoW! JUST…..WOW. What a heaping pile of camel dung!!!

      • I have to agree, how do you call X-men first class with out the two original members. Also, Scott and Alex mother saved her two boys by throwing them out of a plane together after it hit a Shi’ar Empire shuttle. This is turning out to be another Fox Studio hot mess.

  3. Man Ian lost WTF is fox doing , just redo x-men, they messed it up the last to films, now there pulling this, look if your going do an x men movie do it right ,or do it at all

  4. Can’t wait for this worthless version of a good story.Everytime I see screenrant post more news on Xmen I get excited till I read what they are planning on doing. Stop ruining movies because of marketing. The original story is just as exciting an entertaining.

  5. Have the love the comic nerds going nuts about what came first etc etc. Brian didn’t say the entire film was going to be in the 60s. So for all you know there could be some in the 60s leading to the 90s.
    Note watchmen, Kick ass all have changes to the comics and they worked.

  6. Thank you Bryan singer for confirming for me that I’m not gonna see this. This movie is officially going to suck and be a waste of time.

    Wolverine not being in it – Makes sense but disappointing because he’s my fave Marvel character, but still it’s understandable.

    No Jean or Cyclops – Best response.. WTF? I mean what are they thinking. Two of the major major founding members not to mention two of the most recognizable and iconic xmen characters. It’s like they are trying to push away the comic fans and the mainstream xmen movie fans. I mean three of the most famous Xmen are not in this film. How does that make sense on a marketing standpoint? Hope this film has a very low budget.

    Hellfire club – Dozens of great x rogues and they go with Shaw and the Hellfire club? Seriously that’s the best they could come up with? If I made a list of my top 5 rogues for Xmen the hellfire nor should would be anywhere near that list.

    Kevin Bacon – Ugh not only is he hard to look at in general, but he is a very overrated actor. Not saying he is bad at all he just isn’t really that great. He is average, but usually picks a bad movie. 9 times out of 10 if you see Kevin Bacon on the cast it’s gonna be a bad film. Looking at his IMDB I can pick 3 maybe 4 films out of a long long list of movies that are actually good. For such a large career so few good films isn’t speaking highly of your ability to pick a script.

    Continuity – Doesn’t even make sense. What is this movie? Is it connected to everything else because if so it makes no sense at all. No Cyclops but we get his little brother? Emma is in it despite arriving with Scott at the end of Origins? From what I’m hearing despite it’s errors Wovlerine Origins seems to have better continuity than this film will.

    All and all how on earth do they expect fans to accept this with out Jean and Scott? Not only are the comic fans going to be upset about excluding them, but I see the mainstream audience being pushed away as well because very few characters that they know will make the cut not to mention the changing of Xavier. I really don’t see this film doing well. I already know that I couldn’t be paid to watch it with what I know. Before I had no plans to see it, but if some good news came out I might of gave it a rent on DVD sometime, but hearing No SCOTT and NO JEAN seals me never seeing this film no matter what comes out.

    My fave x characters
    Wolverine – Not in this film
    Colossus – Probably not in this film
    Jean Grey – Not in This film
    Cyclops – Not in this film
    Xavier – In this film, but the iconic actor who played him is gone and replaced with a mediocre talent.
    Beast – Cast as a Teen heart throb twilight wannabe

    • i was thinking, why didn’t they just go with the ultimate x-men ‘first class’ colossus was in the 2nd movie long enough to be established as one of the st students to join, storm jean and scott where all there in the 1st movie. i really see no point in even bothering with this movie, the way this stuff is coming out i hope a cast member gets really sick and has to pull out, causing production to either be canceled or delayed long enough foe the actors to quite/move on.

      ohh and my fav x-men characters are wolverine and colossus.

    • Correct on all counts, this movie will fail. As much as I hated the Wolverine movie, I still went to see it because it was Wolverine and he will always be supremely cool as a character. There is nothing cool sounding about this mess.

      And that’s a shame because Matthew Vaughn is a great director. He should be doing something like Spiderman.

  7. let’s get this straight.
    1. its a prequel or a reboot…it could go either way if..it makes money.
    2. Havok is in the film…Does it have to be Alex Summers.?? no.just like it was mentioned that “angel” was in it..but not the angel that supposed to be in it..oh no the one that was in the Grant Morrison storyline which occurs wwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy past the foramtion of the x-men.
    3.Banshee is a kid.wtf.This is FOX..Its what they want to do..and to put it bluntly if they want to spend millions of dollars on a film that has no correlation to what its based on except by character name alone then so be it-and it will fail or succeed depending on what kind of film it is.
    4.will their be moments that x-men fans remember from the comics?? yes and no…the only people that will b**** about this flick are those who know x-men inside and out and grew up with these characters. If its a great action flick ,everyone will like it and then forget it….are they catering to us??of course not. they are catering to the millions of kids who have wads and wads of allowance money.They want to relate to them-”that’s the ticket” as Jon Lovitz used to say…
    Its going to be a “B”movie with “A+” money..and that’s it.
    I mean look at the cast so far-its all fairly young actors who are a few years shy to the biz for the exception of Oliver Platt who is just gettin a paychek for it..

    You saw xmen and xmen2 then xmen3..xmen4 was wolverine1 and this is xmen5-another who’s who of xmen thrown into a pot and spilled out onto the kitchen floor.

    • Here is my take.. if it’s in the 1960′s and we some Russian stuff.. perhaps we see some Omega red? as a villain? I dunno..

  8. This movie has no connection with the actual uncanny x-men comics universe. Some passing similarities.

    In fact, the attempts to dig themselves out of the storyline hole that ratner dug have only led to further disrespect of the source material. Hey let’s give Xavier a Beatles haircut too!!!

    It’s my guess that the whole thing is a parallel reality and they’re relying on CABLE and the time travelling angle to get them back on track. BUT to waste a whole movie for damage control? Why not just do a complete reboot? But have we not been asking this same damn question from the beginning?

    This movie so absolutely screwed!

  9. I accepted the fact, long ago, that Fox does what it wants with the “concepts” of characters and could really care less about the fans that helped make the characters notable enough for Fox to acquire them in the first place. This actually applies to most movie companies that make superhero flicks but, then again, they are all just making them to make a dollar.

    The saddest thing to me is that movie makers don’t have to worry about being held accountable with their typically silly script decisions because they can simply REBOOT.

    As a comic character fan, I honestly don’t understand why these movies can’t be more loyal to their origins. Afterall, it was the original concepts, themes and stories that brought these characters to the attention of fans and even the “non-fan” money chasers.

  10. Omega Red with out Wolverine would be a sin

    • Agreed. Those Jim Lees from the early 90s were the best.

  11. Drsam honestly I think he’d make a great deadpool or Punisher movie. He also would of been pretty good for Captain America certainly better than the guy they got right now. He doesn’t seem like a good fit for this and being a comic fan I’m surprised he even agreed to do it he must of really needed a paycheck. Because this film now officially doesn’t even stand a chance of being watchable.

  12. Pass. Maybe once it hits the Library shelves for free but paying to see something like this abortion just described, no.

  13. Sucks when you see a trainwreck about to happen but nobody gives a damn.

    This reads like their ripping off elements from Watchman, and why
    they don’t follow comic canon is beyond lame…

    I truly hope this film bombs, and bombs hard!!!

    That means, you guys have to boycott this film! See it on dvd not in the theatres.
    If this makes over 60 mil, you can all look forward to a sequel,,,

  14. 790 hell it almost sounds like they are trying to make the movie fail they are literally making all the wrong decisions like each and every bad choice they can make.

  15. I’m the biggest X-Fan, and I’m kind of bummed. I just wanted Jean in the film so someone could reference her as Marvel Girl ONE TIME. That woulda be awesome. Now, that’ll never happen apparently. In response to a couple of these comments…X-Men doesn’t deserve to be a B movie(yeah that includes BAD!) Also, I’m not boycotting ’til I see some costumes . If they give us the yellow and blue, I’ll have some hope.

  16. Lol, Daniel, I’m not even a hardcore X-Men fan and I can see that. 8-)

    Its clear Singer and Co, are going for a (non X-men) 12 year old fanbase with this one.

    This tweeny trend isn’t going away anytime soon. The tween marketing agenda is ruining a lot of comic films these days.

    And they cry out, “Go see Scott Pilgrim”, or we won’t get original comic films. “Lol”

    Yeah,,,talk to the hand, cos the face isn’t listening.

  17. Jenn, I think the last priority here is without a doubt comic continuity. I can almost type with knowing glee that the Magneto story will have nothing redeemable and or in common with X-Men First Class.
    ^
    @
    “I hope they don’t cast a Gossip Girl type group of pretty people who can’t act.”

    According to what I’m reading here, that’s the bottom line with this film…

    Weird/lame, how the X-Men films are following in Fantastic Four’s footsteps.

    • I would love to see a grittier movie with the Magneto origins and them really diving into both Xavier’s and Lensherr’s past and their time in the concentration camp. I want to see them build an epic friendship up in a grand way that it breaks the hearts of everyone who watches them become enemies. I know that won’t happen but it’s what I’d like.

      Doesn’t it make you wish you worked in movies and had the clout to smack some Fox execs and direct/produce the X-Men movies yourself? :)

    • How would you say that First Class is following in Fantastic Four’s footsteps? I’m not disagreeing with you but I would like you to clarify. I am in the small crowd that liked FF overall. Of course there were bits I didn’t like (most notably Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom) but I loved Michael Chiklas, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffund. Even Jessica Alba grew on me. I think they did a decent job balancing the humor and showcasing what was always one of my favorite parts of FF: them being a family. There are several areas I could nitpick at but overall, I liked it.

  18. I won’t go as far as saying if you don’t see it we won’t get original films because it really won’t make a difference seeing Scott p or not seeing Scott p only effects Scott p. I will say this it was a great film and it seems like the only people who bash it are people who have not seen it. I think that’s kind of funny yet nearly every single person who so it liked it.

    Anyway back to xmen I agree the are aiming for the twilight crowd just like the new spidey, but what I can’t figure out Is why drop Scott and Jean the two main xmen for the founding of the team out side of Wolverine the two best known xmen. Makes no sense. There is no logical reason I can come up with. It’s funny they bring in hellfire club since their main focus was always Jean Grey lol bringing in them does not make sense either. They are pretty dull bad guys and their only reason for existence isn’t even in the movie.

    • I agree that it is weird for the Hellfire Club to be in without Jean Grey since they were always trying to snatch her up and didn’t do much else. I’m hoping the movie version of the Hellfire Club is a little more badass. The reason I’m glad for them to be in the movie is because maybe this means they will make more movies and keep with the Hellfire Club trying to snag JG. I would love to see a properly constructed Dark Phoenix storyline on film. I’m excited just thinking about it! I shouldn’t get my hopes up but I can’t help…love X-Men! :)

  19. Jenn the Magneto origins film was canned I think last year. Basically they decided to go with First class instead. I believe it was near the end of 09. They basically lost all interest in making it and thought first class would be a better story and could cover most of what magnetos origin film would of.

    • Dang Daniel f way to ruin my day. Just kidding! Thanks for the info.

      • i just really wish hollywood would stop making comic book adaptations altogether, all they do is tear em up, rewrite what they dont like, and kill it for everyone involved.

  20. well im glad that angel salvador is in the film,but they had better add in beak if she is in it, and glob herman. it would also be nice to see anole,chamber,and husk because they are very interesting characters. also the sentinel story needs to be done and i hope this adds up to the sentinels story in the sequel. i also hope that sinister,and apocalypse make it into the sequels. and now that they are talking russia it gets me thinkin about russias government in the film and what they are doing to mutants and which ones other countries are finding in the film like colossus as a younger boy,and maybe omega red? anyways it is sounding a little more interesting to me but they had better have beak in it and tito would be cool for future x-men films like x-4.

    • Agreed that Beak is a necessity if they’re doing Angel.

  21. So I knew they weren’t going to stick with the comics but this is straying so far from what First Class should be that they should just re-title the movie. That said, I can still dig the new storyline even though I’m a die hard fan of the comics because by now, I almost expect them to screw that part up. My biggest concern is character development and having the continuity make sense.

    If I were Singer, I would just scrap the idea that any of the other movies should tie in and say this is a reboot starting from their idea of the beginning. I’m not exactly a fan of reboots but at this point they’ve screwed the adaptions up so badly that I would almost welcome a reboot.

    Still *trying* to be an optimist, I cannot imagine an X-Men movie without Jean Grey and Cyclops. I am beyond stoked that Wolverine will not be in this movie because it wouldn’t make sense. Before I hear from the haters, I do like Wolverine but if he was in this movie it would have been to get more butts in theater seats and not for the sake of the story in my opinion.

    It is quite interesting that they aren’t putting any of the major players in the movie; by that I mean the characters that non-fans know. It seems like the only ones non-fans will know are Xavier and Lensher. Also, is anyone wondering how the Magneto origins movie will work in with this since this seems to touch on his relationship with Xavier? I was under the perhaps false impression that the Magneto origins movie would be a build up and downfall of their relationship as friends and what that means to the mutant world? If they are doing part of that here then how will that help/hurt the Magneto movie (if it’s still in the works)?

    Someone mentioned Omega Red above and I think that he should not be in the movie. I like that story arc but he can’t be in an X-Men movie without meeting up with Wolverine! I like the Hellfire Club being in here and I absolutely ADORE the fact that costumes will be used.

    My last comment is that I hope they don’t cast a Gossip Girl type group of pretty people who can’t act. It seems like they haven’t decided whether they’ll do that yet because they have cast some great people in here such as James McAvoy for Xavier. I saw someone up above say that was a horrible choice but I think he is a great actor. I am thrilled with Rose Byrne as Moira but some of the other choices have me scratching my head.

    Anyway, would love to see responses on what I’ve said. Are you guys thinking the same thing or am I off in my own little world trying to shove my comics into the faces of Fox execs?

  22. I WILL BE SHOCKED IF THIS DOES OVER 100M DOMESTIC, I CAN SEE THIS TANKING AT ABOUT 80M. THIS PROJECT ALREADY HAS ALOT OF THINGS GOING AGAINST IT, #1 IT IS FOLLOWING 2 POORLY RECIEVED INSTALLMENTS X3 AND XMOW, WHICH HAS DIMINISHED INTEREST IN THE FRANCHISE. #2 ALL THE NEWS WE GET ON THIS FILM SEEMS CONVOLUTED AND NOT ADHEARING TO CONTINUITY. #3 WEAK NAMES FOR CASTING. #4 A RUSHED SHOOTING SCHEDULE; THIS FILM IS DUE TO COME OUT IN 10 MONTHS AND SHOOTING HAS’NT EVEN STARTED, NOT GOOD. #5 AN OVERRATED, UNPROVEN DIRECTOR AS FAR AS BIG FRANCHISES GO. #6 A RELEASE DATE WHICH IS ONE WEEK AFTER PIRATES 4, SO THIS FILM CAN FORGET ABOUT OPENING #1 BECAUSE THERE’S NO WAY THERE GONIG TO KNOCK PIRATES OUT OF #1 AFTER THE FIRST WEEK, AND OPENING ONE WEEK BEFORE FAST FIVE, WHICH IS GETTING ALOT OF INTEREST AND GOOD BUZZ, ESPECIALLY AFTER THE SUCESS OF FAST FOUR. #6 SO SINGER IS BACK PRODUCING, BIG DEAL, HES A DECENT FILMMAKER, BUT PEOPLE REALLY DO PUT HIM ON AN UNJUSTIFIED PEDASTAL. #7 I CAN SEE THE CRITICS DESTROYING THIS FILM COUPLED WITH BAD WORD OF MOUTH. IN CLOSING; I KNOW THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FRANCHISE FOR FOX SEEING THAT IT HAS BEEN A BIG MONEYMAKER, AND GIVE FOX’S RECENT 2 BILLION INFLUX OF CASH FROM AVATAR OBVIOUSLY THEY HAVE MONEY TO SPEND, MY SOLUTION; SCRUB THIS FILM AND THE UPCOMING WOLVERINE 2 AND DO X-MEN 4 FOR THE SUMMER OF 12′ PICK UP 6 YEARS AFTER 3 ENDED WITH A GREAT STORY A NEW VILLIAN AND GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

  23. other than explaining the young cyclops in wolverine,what about the young emma frost too? does this movie even have any ties with wolverine??? meaning those appearances were just some stunt to get us to see it!!???

    its official,fox killed x-men

  24. FAUX killed X-Men.

    From now on I’m gonna call it ‘FAUX’ as some one coined this name for this studio.

  25. what fox should really do is nix X3 and Wolverine and go for a Mr. Sinister angle. this could keep the characters killed off in three and bring about a Madelyne Pryor, Cable, and Apocalypse story than would be far better than this crap. they did it with superman returns.

  26. If takes place in the 60s why is alex summers gonna be in it if scott isnt. Maybe he like travels back in time or something

  27. The only reason I’m seeing this movie is because of Kevin Bacon. Nuff said.

  28. fail. just fail…

  29. and now i’m gonna ask this: so we will never see the cyclops/jean grey/emma frost love triangle storyline in film? isn’t that a big piece of these character’s lives?

    • Maybe in X-men: Second Class :-)

      • I would love to see them introduce Psylocke but that probably won’t happen.

        My favorite characters:

        Jean Grey
        Rogue
        Psylocke
        Mystique
        Nightcrawler
        Colossus
        Beast

Be Social, Follow Us!!