Yesterday we reported that Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn was back in talks with Twentieth Century Fox to direct X-Men: First Class after allegedly almost passing on the opportunity late last week. Now, the deal is done and we have a replacement for Bryan Singer.

As of moments ago, Vaughn was confirmed to helm the X-Men prequel, and Fox has also set a release date for the movie next summer, further emphasizing their desire to get the mutant franchise back on track as soon as possible.

From the press release, here’s the quote from Byran Singer on the selection of Matthew Vaughn.

“I’ve been a fan of Matthew’s since Layer Cake. He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film.”

Production is set to begin on First Class this summer which means we’ll be hearing about casting announcements very shortly. Will we see the familiar faces of Tim Pocock and Tahyna Tozzi as Young Cyclops and Emma Frost respectively in X-Men Origins: Wolverine? I’ve said all along that we probably will. They were signed for a reason and intentionally included in Wolverine for the sole purpose of setting up and launching the First Class franchise. I would be somewhat surprised to see other actors brought in to take over those roles.

The big question for the fans now is which characters will be featured in the movie and more importantly, as part of the X-Men: First Class roster. As comics fans already know, Fox has shot themselves in the foot in terms of keeping this film similar to the actual original team of the X-Men. With the characters they’ve used in the franchise so far (Iceman, Angel) and this movie acting as a prequel, not a reboot, they’re forced to change up who will actually form Professor X’s first team of mutants. We also already know they’ll likely be making up a few new characters for X-Men: First Class, something I’m a little concerned by.

With X-Men: First Class fast-tracked for release a mere year from now, this opens up 2012 for another one or two franchise films with Wolverine 2 and Deadpool likely to get release dates. Looking even further down the road, there’s also the highly desired X-Men 4 which producer Lauren Shuler Donner really wants to work on with Bryan Singer possibly directing.

I’m all for Singer and Vaughn working together on the next X-Men movie and as I mentioned yesterday, I wish they had the chance to go back in time and re-do X-Men 3.

What do you think about Matthew Vaughn getting a second chance directing an X-Men movie?

If you’re a fan, check out our articles on What We Need From X-Men 4 and on What X-Men 3 Could Have Been.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes

X-Men: First Class opens June 3, 2011.

Source: Deadline