X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn's return for a sequel has been essentially a given - not only because the majority of people walked away impressed with his work on that X-Men franchise reboot/prequel, but also because he's been actively developing ideas for the next installment (as First Class stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have made known).
20th Century Fox has reportedly (at last) closed a deal for Vaughn to direct X-Men: First Class 2 (official title pending), which will once again be produced by X-Men film franchise stalwart, Bryan Singer.
Deadline mentions that Vaughn is officially onboard to helm a sequel to First Class in the site's report on Fox production president Emma Watts signing a new deal, through to 2015. That article also reiterates previous reports that the screenplay is being penned by Simon Kinberg - though, it is suspected that Vaughn's First Class and Kick-Ass co-writer, Jane Goldman, will eventually be brought on to also contribute to the new X-Men flick's script.
There's no official production timeline for the First Class sequel just yet, but McAvoy and Fassbender are already locked to reprise their turns as youthful versions of Charles Xavier/Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, respectively. Likewise, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) is in line to reprise her turn as Raven/Mystique, as is Singer's Jack the Giant Killer star Nicholas Hoult as Dr. Hank McCoy/Beast - among others.
In other words: with the majority of the main First Class cast prepped to return in the followup - and Vaughn passing off Kick-Ass 2 writing/directing duties to someone else - this project should come together quickly, so as to allow for shooting to begin in the near future (before the end of 2012, perhaps).
News that the First Class sequel is (for now) making its way down the production pipeline at a reasonable pace should be welcome news to the ears of fans who remember how much First Class was rushed through development - enough so that, before the actual film was released, many people were anticipating that the final result would be a messy failure of a franchise reboot.
While X-Men: First Class does have undeniable flaws, the majority of movie geeks seem to agree: it's still a very good comic book flick that rejuvenated the flailing X-Men movie franchise - and, frankly, had it NOT been made in such a hurry, First Class probably could have been a close-to-perfect film. Hence, we'll all be crossing our fingers that Fox actually allows Vaughn and Co. ample time to process the sequel and smooth out any kinks that pop up during the scripting, shooting, and/or post-production processes.
With The Wolverine still being tentatively set for a 2013 theatrical release, it seems likely that the First Class followup won't be arriving until Summer 2014. That's assuming the former doesn't end being delayed even more - and Fox starts rushing First Class 2 to take its place in 2013 (*knock on wood*).
Expect to learn more information about X-Men: First Class 2 in the near future - including (possibly) an official title for the project.