It looks like 20th Century Fox will be continuing the X-Men franchise not just with solo spin-offs. The studio signed Josh Schwartz this week to write X-Men: First Class to bring the franchise to a younger generation.
Josh Schwartz is the creator, writer and producer of the television shows The OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck and this will be his first shot at developing a project for the big screen. You can probably guess who the target audience will be.
The film will undoubtedly follow (at least in some way, shape or form) the general idea and story from the X-Men: First Class comic book which Marvel debuted in 2006 as a mini-series, later continued as an ongoing series. The book follows the original five X-Men (for the most part) in their teens working for Professor X as it was when the X-Men comic began back in the 60's.
That being said, the comic may have no bearing at all on the film… in fact it probably won’t – we all saw what happened with X-Men 3 and pretty much all the other Marvel properties they own rights to. They don’t seem to pay homage to the continuity of the source material at all - so I would not be surprised to see the First Class team feature characters that definitely do not belong. Just look at X-Men Origins: Wolverine; it has Gambit captured and as part of Weapon XI program, which makes no sense at all to anyone familiar with the comics.
My fear is that Fox will just randomly pluck any X-characters who they think are popular and throw them on the same team without regard to who they are and where or when they are from. And it’ll be a shame if they do that since the X-Men are badass in their own right and they don’t need to be screwed with to sell.
I’m a big X-Men fan myself and I’m always up for seeing more feature films about them. However I wish they could just turn some of the millions of stories already written (and illustrated) for them and adapt them for film, rather than just using the brand and character names for whatever they want. There’s a reason the X-Men comic has been around so long and has spawned so many books, games, merchandise and television programming – you don’t need to make up stuff to substitute for that.
I have no idea what to expect from Schwartz, other than the project obviously being targeted as a teen drama for teens. Apparently there’s also a possibility of him directing which makes it even more unpredictable.
You know my thoughts. What are yours?