With the DVD/Blu-ray release of Kick-Ass happening today, director Matthew Vaughn is rightfully getting a lot of media attention and the press is taking advantage of the opportunity to discuss his next gig, X-Men: First Class.
X-Men: First Class, as we know, has had its start date delayed several times and it's now set to being production in early September. Possibly more worrisome is that it's been re-written six times recently as well while its release date still sits in June of 2011. If that wasn't enough, after Vaughn saw Christopher Nolan's Inception, he had to literally pull out twelve (12!) pages of the First Class script which featured a similar dream action sequence that would have been too reminiscent of Nolan's latest success.
With all of that in combination with the plethora of headlines about X-Men: First Class casting, fans are starting to wonder what direction the project is taking and whether or not it's still a prequel or some sort of quasi-reboot.
IGN had a chance to speak with Vaughn on the matter and the British director compared his X-Men movie to what J.J. Abrams did with Star Trek, which hints at the film acting as a sort of franchise "reinvention."
"Obviously [Abrams] couldn't make everyone happy with that one, but he did a pretty good job... He made a fantastically exciting reinvention of that world, with those great characters. And I think there will be comparisons a little bit with X-Men: First Class. It's very similar, in a way. But we're doing some cool stuff in this movie, some really cool stuff that you haven't seen before."
Vaughn continued to praise Bryan Singer's story with the following (and very interesting) statement:
"The story that Bryan Singer came up with is very, very smart... It's very clever when you see how he has integrated the characters into the time period where the film is set. I'll put it that way. I just don't want to give it away. ... It's a very clever way of getting these characters involved in recent history, in recent world events."
He refers to "time period" and recent world events. Will time-travel play a role in this film? We've expected that there would be flashbacks since X-Men: First Class is incorporating elements from the never-going-to-happen X-Men Origins: Magneto film and there has been talk at Fox meetings about the time-traveling mutant, Cable...
By comparing to Abrams successful time-travel-dependent reboot of the Star Trek franchise and referencing the concept of time, we're now open to quite a few possibilities for how they're handling X-Men: First Class. I'll let you speculate on what this may mean.
Before you start thinking this film is out of continuity though, Rick Marshall at MTV spoke with Vaughn yesterday and directly asked the director if X-Men: First Class is a true prequel to the X-Men trilogy.
"Yeah, I would say absolutely so... You've got Magneto and [Charles] Xavier when they first meet... The backdrop of what's going on in the world when they first meet, it's very interesting. You see them and their relationship develop and play out with this major political event in the background."
I'm happy this isn't a reboot because they'd be off to a poor start due to character selection. Should Fox decide to restart the franchise in the future, they need to do it right and start with the proper roster of mutants and go from there so they're not breaking further and further from continuity with each successive franchise film.
I'm also intrigued by how they're going to tie the history of key characters into real-world events of the past. My only concern is that with the delays, rewrites and last-minute scrapping of large segment of the script, that First Class will be rushed since its release date hasn't budged at all. With Vaughn and Singer at the helm, I'm not too worried though.
X-Men: First Class stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Alice Eve, Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till and Jennifer Lawrence. It's currently still set to hit theaters June 3, 2011.
Sources: MTV, IGN