Despite a rather rushed production, an entirely new cast and taking the risk of setting the film in the ’60s, X-Men: First Class proved to be the most critically well-received superhero film of the year. Thanks to director Matthew Vaughn, Bryan Singer and some creative writing on the part of Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and others, Twentieth Century Fox has revitalized the team-based aspect of the X-Men franchise.
X-Men: First Class raked in over $350 million at the worldwide box office and so a sequel is on the way. Sherlock Holmes writer Simon Kinberg will be handling the screenplay this time around, and Matthew Vaughn is already pitching sequel ideas to Fox about Charles Xavier who will remain a key focus of the next film.
Just last week, co-star Michael Fassbender talked about his ideas for X-Men: First Class 2, explaining that since the first film saw the transformation of Magneto into the character we know him as, he’d like to see James McAvoy get to do the same with Charles Xavier becoming Professor X in the sequel.
McAvoy agrees and in a chat with io9, he says that by the end of the first film it’s already established that Erik Lensherr (Magneto) is a villain, but Xavier still has quite a lot to deal with and a lot of evolving to do, so to speak, before becoming the cool, calm and collected leader of the X-Men.
“…I know that with Charles, you either have to write him out of the movie or give him an interesting story. He can’t just become the guy that we saw in the first three movies. He just had two major things happen to him. He’s lost his best friend, essentially, and he’s just been paralyzed from the waist down. Which is just a huge, huge blow to his considerable ego. So he’s got to deal with that.
And I don’t think we can just brush over that and go,’yeah I’m in a wheelchair now,’ because Professor X is in a wheelchair. You’ve got to deal with that, I don’t care if he’s a superhero and has brain powers or not, he’s just had a huge part of his physical life taken away from him, by someone he cares about more than anyone else. So he’s got to deal with that. That’s part of the interesting ideas that we’re talking about with Matthew [Vaughn], that Matthew’s very excited about which I think is fantastic, but I can’t really get into them with you because they may (or may not) form the spine of the story.”
McAvoy explains that Matthew Vaughn already has some ideas for Xavier’s arc and how viewers will see him go from where he ended up by the conclusion of X-Men: First Class to where he is by the beginning of the original X-Men trilogy. Those ideas are being pitched to Twentieth Century Fox as we speak.
Like the rest of the major cast members, McAvoy is locked in to a 3-picture deal with Fox so expect him, Fassbander and others for X-Men: First Class 2 sometime after Hugh Jackman returns for The Wolverine. The actor explains that there’s no point in doing the sequel unless its story is good enough for the movie to stand strongly by itself so despite the success of the First Class, the studio isn’t rushing the sequel.
Let’s hope that’s the case since Vaughn barely got the first film done on time with a very tight production schedule. Let’s also hope some of those supporting mutant characters get to speak this time around – We’re looking at you, Azazel (Jason Flemyng) and Riptide (Álex González).
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