Fox Makes It Official: Matthew Vaughn to Direct X-Men: First Class
05.05.10 by Ryan
After a negotiation that saw director Matthew Vaughn go from hired, to declined, and finally back to hired again, Fox wasted no time in confirming Vaughn will in fact direct their upcoming X-Men: First Class prequel. The talks came after Bryan Singer had been brought back to the franchise to direct the movie, but was forced to drop out as director and stay on only as a producer.
Deadline got a copy of the press release that confirms Vaughn and a release date of June 3, 2011—a mere 13 months away—putting First Class two weeks after Thor's May 20 opening weekend and two weeks before Green Lantern's June 17 release. Fox is clearly confident in Vaughn, as is Singer, who praised the Kick-Ass director in the press release.
I've been a fan of Matthew's since Layer Cake. He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film.
Vaughn was initially hired to direct the third X-Men movie, 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, leaving Brett Ratner to direct instead. The results put the franchise on hold until the success of X-Men Origins: Wolverine made X-Men movies viable again. Like Wolverine, First Class will take place prior to the X-Men trilogy, as it follows the early days of Professor X and Magneto.
X-Men: First Class, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga. 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. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.
The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz was initially brought in to write the First Class screenplay but Singer's brief stint as director led him to rewrite the story and hire Jamie Moss to write the screenplay. However, THR reports that it was a rewrite from
Thor screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz that made Fox confident enough to think First Class could be made in such a quick time frame. The report also claims that Singer was instrumental to bringing Vaughn back to the negotiating table.
While no cast has been announced yet, a separate report from THR says that Singer has been helping out on the casting front as he prepares his next directorial effort, Jack the Giant Killer. Reportedly, Singer is using auditions for Jack to simultaneously find appropriate actors for First Class.
Vaughn could use the help. He has a little over a year to cast, prep, shoot, and edit First Class before next June.