Despite a flurry of downright terrible posters – here, here, and here – X-Men: First Class is shaping up to be one of the more interesting superhero films of 2011. After all, any film whose director describes it as 1960s James Bond meets Thirteen Days meets X-Men meets Twilight deserves a chance.

An upcoming issue of Empire features a whole host of new images and plot information about First Class, including a SPOILER-FILLED description of the opening sequence. Also, it was revealed that fan-favorite Michael Ironside (Terminator Salvation, Total Recall) is in the film, and that there will be a surprise cameo as well.

One last time – SPOILERS AHOY! Those of you who do not want to be spoiled by any spoilers going into the movie, be warned and read no further. Everyone else? Well, read further.

[WARNING X-MEN: FIRST CLASS SPOILERS BELOW!]

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Empire got a special sneak peek at the opening sequence – a recreation of Magneto’s Auschwitz flashback from Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000). According to them, after the Auschwitz scene, the film transitions to an introduction of Charles Xavier as a child discovering a young, homeless Mystique stealing food from his kitchen.

From X-Men: Magneto Testament, drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico

The film then returns to Auschwitz where Sebastian Shaw – as played by Kevin Bacon with gray hair and a hipster mustache – is pressuring a young Erik Lensherr to use his magnetic powers to their full capacity. Empire described the scene as uncompromising and disturbing, with brilliant special effects – starkly different from the lighter, more fluffy superhero fare this summer (Thor, Green Lantern, and Captain America: The First Avenger).

Director Matthew Vaughn said of the scene:

“I can’t imagine Thor or Green Lantern starting like that! That’s the fun of it. I can imagine people going ‘What the ****?’ […] I didn’t want to make the kiddie version of X-Men.”

I have to say, this is the sort of thing that fills me with delight. Vaughn is approaching X-Men: First Class as a film, first and foremost, and as an X-Men film second – as he should be.

On the plot side of things – I suppose the revelation that Kevin Bacon appears in the flashback means this version of Sebastian Shaw is immortal or something? This is a bit of a departure from the comic books, where, even though Shaw dressed and groomed himself like a man from the nineteenth century, he was as mortal as you or I.

When Empire asked Matthew Vaughn about the aforementioned awful posters that have been released, he said, simply:

“It’s not my job to market the film.”

Burn!

Michael Ironside in 'Terminator Salvation'.

Empire also had access to the editing room, and on the day of their visit, they learned that First Class would be featuring Michael Ironside in a small part (so far undisclosed) and, more importantly, a “surprise fun cameo” that they neglected to expand upon any further. The question is what cameo – in a movie where all kinds of random X-Men characters are popping up – would be both surprising and fun?

Last year, there was a report that Hugh Jackman was seen being driven to Jekyll Island, where they were going to be filming X-Men: First Class. This report was later debunked by producer Bryan Singer – but was Singer just being a producer, whose job is to deny reports about surprise cameos? Or was he actually telling the truth?

I’m not saying that I want to see Wolverine in this movie, even as a cameo. I’m just saying – it’s food for thought.

X-Men: First Class hits theaters June 3rd, 2011.

Source: Empire [via Comic Book Movie]