Bryan Singer Offers Clues to X-Men: First Class Characters, Setting

Even as casting news for the upcoming Matthew Vaughn directed prequel to X-Men has been coming in fast and heavy over the last few weeks, specific details regarding the plot or characters has been pretty sparse. Just who is the villain? Oliver Platt is playing what? Does anybody know anything about this film?

With tantalizing clues popping up here and there, internet rumors have circled this film like a swarm of locust descending upon crops.

Hoping to clear some of these rumors up, X-Men: First Class producer Bryan Singer called Harry Knowles, webmaster for to give readers some specifics regarding the film’s plot and characters. Here’s what we now know:

  • The reason we haven’t heard any casting news regarding Cyclops or Jean Grey is due to the fact that the characters are not in the film. One suspects this goes the same for Storm as well.
  • X-Men: First Class takes place in the 1960s. John F. Kennedy is president and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are alive and marching in the streets.
  • The film will detail how Professor X and Magneto met. The characters will be in their 20s and Xavier will not be in a wheelchair and will have hair. Presumably, the film will show how the future leader of the X-Men became crippled and lost his hair. I’m guessing school prank gone awry.
  • Matthew Vaughn is said to be inspired by ’60s-era James Bond technology. The film’s costumes will be far more inspired by their comic book origins than in previous films. Whether this means the X-Men will be sporting blue and yellow spandex remains to be seen.
  • The film’s central villains will be the Hellfire Club — a  Victorian costume-wearing men’s club that seeks to control human and mutant affairs. Kevin Bacon will be playing Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the group.
  • The film will be shot in England and the US but the film will take place over the world — including the Soviet Union.

The Buzz: This news is downright interesting and officially has me excited about the X-Men film for the first time.

The franchise, with its two sequels and spin-off, certainly seemed played out. The introduction of Silver Age comic book-inspired local and costumes makes me think Singer and Vaughn are cooking up something special — something that will stand-out from the legion of other comic book movies set to hit the big screen in the next few years.

While the decision to set the film in the ’60s seems kinda dodgy continuity-wise (so was Beast in his 60s during X-Men: The Last Stand?), if you ignore continuity gaffes and just go with the flow, I’m sure X-Men: First Class will be a fun ride.

The filmmakers have picked an interesting and varied cast of mutants (many of whom I’m suspecting are cannon fodder). Matthew Vaughn has yet to direct a fun movie. Bryan Singer is back with the franchise he helped create. Honestly, this movie has too many good things going for it not to be fun.

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