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.
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.