With X-Men Origins: Wolverine opening in a mere few days, there’s plenty of talk surrounding the X-Men franchise, sequels and spinoffs. Most of that talk centers around X-Men: First Class, the next X-project on the Fox’s development slate.

Two weeks ago, we found out some more details regarding X-Men: First Class where it was revealed that it would be another prequel tied into the X-Men movies that we’ve seen so far and not its own separate franchise that would hopefully follow a more accurate continuity from the comics.

Most blogs and movie news sites out there reported the news but none really explored the idea of who would actually be in the movie. In that report, producer Lauren Shuler-Donner discussed X-Men: First Class:

“It is the first class of Xavier’s school, way back when, so it’s young Scott, young Jean, young Beast and that’ll be really fun, I think (the plan) is to follow some of the characters into their own stories, and weave them back into the X-Men world.”

“And hopefully First Class will become its own franchise and we can follow them as they grow up.”

But Lauren, what about young Iceman and young Angel? Just kidding! I know you guys already messed that up.

I’ve said this before in other X-Men threads here on Screen Rant: the more changes and deviations from the source material that Fox makes with these movies, each successive movie becomes further and further distanced than the comics to the point where none of the characters and their histories resemble what they should.

We’re starting to see this really take effect now with characters showing up twenty years before they should in the Wolverine spinoff, and it’ll be at the forefront of X-Men: First Class with a roster that will be 40% different than that of the comic series it’s based on.

So, who is going to be on the First Class Roster?

In the comics, the X-Men: First Class series represents an early look at the original five X-Men characters: Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Jean Grey all under the teachings of Professor X.

In the X-Men movies however, Iceman is recruited into Xavier’s school for the gifted much later than the other core mutants and we don’t meet Angel until the third movie (he’s never actually a member of the X-Men) so we know they’re not involved.

As Donner says in her interview, we can expect to see the obvious characters of Cyclops, Jean and Beast. The other two (or more?) choices are up in the air but we can certainly piece together the possibilities from what we know about X-Men Origins: Wolverine. We can expect a lot of bridging between that movie and First Class since writer Josh Schwartz had to update his script with re-writes because of the additional footage shot later for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

x men origins wolverine cyclops emma frost What Students Are In X Men: First Class? (Not Gambit)

Young Cyclops and Emma Frost from X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Fox’s take on the Wolverine origin story introduces us to a young Cyclops and a young Emma Frost, a prominent couple in modern X-Men comics. The movies are chronologically reversed from the comics in that aspect. In Marvel continuity, Cyclops is with Jean before meeting Emma and only hooks up with her years after Jean’s death.

It’s an easy assumption to make that we’ll therefore see Emma Frost as part of the original X-Men five which would make for an interesting love triangle (and a possible reason for Emma leaving the team and not being in the X-trilogy?). It’s also likely that Tim Pocock and Tahyna Tozzi who play Scott Summers and Emma Frost in X-Men Origins: Wolverine respectively would reprise their roles since First class takes place shortly after the events of that movie. They’ve already been cast as those characters once and are the right age, why else would they even be in the Wolverine film?

So, if Emma’s a part of the team, we still have one more spot. The obvious guess to fill the void would be Gambit – a fan favorite who finally makes his on-screen debut in the Wolverine origin movie and who’s played by young Taylor Kitsch (who also happens to have a three-picture contract), making him the right age to fit into X-Men: First Class. On top of that, with no Wolverine as part of the team, the Ragin’ Cajun can take the role of the independent keeps-to-himself bad-ass (that’s a reason Gambit was left out of X-Men 3). Unfortunately for us Gambit fans, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Click to continue reading about Gambit and the potential X-Men: First Class Roster…

x men origins wolverine gambit card What Students Are In X Men: First Class? (Not Gambit)

Could Gambit be in X-Men: First Class?

IESB exclusively interviewed producer Lauren Shuler-Donner and in the video interview she states that Gambit will not be part of X-Men: First Class. Her reasoning is that he was not part of the first group of students at Xavier’s school. Does she mean in the comics? If so, that’s a strange response considering Iceman and Angel are supposed to be part of the first group but cannot within the continuity of the movies –  so, some of the members that will be in the movie were not part of Xavier’s real First Class either. In the video, Donner also says that while we may possibly see some of the young mutants from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As for Gambit and Deadpool, they are having internal discussions about possible spinoffs for both of them.

If Gambit’s omission is true, I’m a little surprised by this. That seems like the perfect opportunity for them to use the character in there own “continuity” but having his own spinoff is even better if that actually happens. I suppose then that another character in First Class would be Storm. We know from the first X-Men film that Storm was one of the first students of Xavier’s and in the trailers for X-Men Origins: Wolverine we could see a very young Storm make a cameo appearance.

x men origins wolverine young storm cameo What Students Are In X Men: First Class? (Not Gambit)

A very young Storm makes a cameo in the Wolverine trailer

So, that’s what we know from what we’ve seen so far. I could go on and on and list dozens of possibilities out of the X-Men comics but from what Donner says, it seems a likely possibility that the First Class roster may comprise of:

  • Beast
  • Cyclops
  • Emma Frost
  • Jean Grey
  • Storm

Keep in mind though, there’s no limit or confirmation on that. Who’s to say Fox’s First Class roster won’t have more than five members?

Who do you think could be in X-Men: First Class and who would you like to see?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens this Friday, May 1st and X-Men: First Class has no set date yet but it does have a revised script. If filming begins late this year we could see X-Men: First Class as early as 2010.