X-Men: First Class is currently shooting off the coast of Jekyll Island, Georgia, after moving principal photography over from London. While we learned a lot about the upcoming X-Men prequel from Bryan Singer discussing the story and characters of First Class back in August, we now have an official description to go with his.
The synopsis released by Twentieth Century Fox reiterates what we already know about the setting and origins tale behind the relationship of Professor X and Magneto, but it also hints at what may be a major character and story reveal.
Here is the newly released X-Men: First Class synopsis - pay attention to who Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr are teaming up against:
X-Men: First Class: "Charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga, and reveals a secret history of famous global events. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Not archenemies, they were instead at first the closest of friends, working together with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop Armageddon. In the process, a grave rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men."
Xavier and Lensherr are teaming up against Armageddon, with a capital "A," possibly referencing the actual Marvel character and not the word representing the end of the world (it is capitalized in the bible however). For those unfamiliar with the character, Armageddon (pictured below) was created by Apocalypse, arguably the most dangerous of X-Men villains. In the comics, Apocalypse used his own DNA as well as Jean Grey's to create Armageddon in another reality. The film is seemingly deviating quite a bit from the comics and Bryan Singer stated that Jean and Cyclops are not in the film so that connection likely won't be made.
The more interesting connection however, is that of Apocalypse, a character many diehard X-Men fans desired to be featured/introduced in X-Men 3 or X-Men 4 had it come to be. He could be used as a background villain if First Class is able to launch a franchise/trilogy of its own.
As for the other reality from the comics being used in the film, it may be a stretch but director Matthew Vaughn did hint at the possibilities of either time travel or alternate dimensions back when doing press for the Kick-Ass home video release. When discussed whether First Class is a reboot or still in continuity, he described Singer's script as "clever" and referenced time, while comparing the film to what J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek (creating another dimension/continuity through time travel).
The other (and more likely) possibility is that Armageddon is referring to "Project Armageddon," the Sentinel program (mutant hunting robots) supported by Sebastian Shaw's Hellfire Club boss, Edward Buckman and hinted at in the intro to X-Men 3. Buckman, the White King of the Hellfire Club, had partnered with a man named Stephen Lang, a mutant-hating government-employed engineer who manufactured the Sentinels. Perhaps this is where actor Ray Wise's Secretary of State character comes in?
Tying this all into the characters we know will appear in X-Men: First Class, in the comics Shaw uses Emma Frost to make Buckman kill the council and them Buckman himself so Shaw can become the leader. For years, Shaw supported the Sentinels as a way to have more power, despite being a mutant himself.
At this point it's simply more food for thought and speculation. We should be getting images soon for the film, hopefully providing a look at the costumes of the movie.
X-Men: First Class opens in theaters June 3, 2011.
Source: Twentieth Century Fox
X-Men Trivia: Matthew Vaughn regular, Jason Flemying, is playing the father of the character who convinced Armageddon to join the X-Men against Apocalypse.