So Harry Knowles over at Ain't It Cool News got a call from Bryan Singer with all kinds of juicy news about X-Men: First Class, the upcoming prequel/reboot (take your pick) that explores the early friendship of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr before they became better known as Professor X and Magneto and found themselves on opposite sides of the mutant debate.
Of course, Harry is all excited now about the movie (which is how he usually gets when a filmmaker calls him personally), but Singer did drop some tantalizing info about the film, which begins shooting on Aug. 31 in London and will come out next June. By the way, he's just producing this time, while Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is actually the man behind the camera.
Here's some of the things we learned:
It's the '60s, baby!
The movie is set in the 1960s. John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. are still alive and on the national stage. We'll see Xavier (James McAvoy) and Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) when they first meet and make plans for a happy, healthy relationship between humans and mutants. Xavier will have a full head of hair and be standing on his own two feet, although we will apparently see how he lands in his wheelchair.
This not the REAL First Class
We won't see the first class of X-Men from the comics—Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Jean Grey and Beast—at least not all of them. A young Beast is in the movie (played by Nicholas Hoult), as is Cyclops' brother Alex Summers, aka Havoc (Jacob Till). But Cyclops himself and Jean are nowhere to be found.
The Hellfire Club will be open for business
As hinted by the inclusion of characters Emma Frost (January Jones) and Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), the Hellfire Club—longtime antagonists of the X-Men—will play a major role in the story.
So who else will be in the movie?
Singer confirmed that most of the cast and characters listed so far are accurate, which means we've got Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), Darwin (Edi Gathegi), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Azazel (Jason Flemyng) in addition to the ones already mentioned. But Singer says to expect a few more characters they haven't announced yet.
The look is Bond, James Bond
In conjunction with the '60s setting, Singer says that Vaughn has been inspired by the James Bond movies for the technology of the film. The costumes will also have a far more "comic-book" style than we've seen before, probably in line with the groovy fashions of the time.
The mutants will go global
The story kicks off at Oxford, where Xavier is attending school, and most of it takes place in the U.K. and the United States. But the movie will visit the Soviet Union along with several other locations...
Put it all together and Knowles concludes that we'll be getting a Silver Age Marvel story on the screen for the first time. One thing's for sure: First Class is abandoning the continuity of the first three movies (hell, that already went out the window with X-Men Origins: Wolverine), but we'll either get something either very cool or even more muddled in return.
What do you think? Will X-Men: First Class return the mutants to glory when it arrives on June 3, 2011?