Thor Writers Talk X-Men: First Class
05.08.10 by Ryan
When word got out that Fox had officially hired director Matthew Vaughn to helm their upcoming X-Men prequel, X-Men: First Class, it was also reported that Thor screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz had finished a rewrite that gave Fox the confidence to set a release date only 13 months away. Prior to writing the Thor screenplay, Stentz and Miller worked on television, writing for Fringe and the now-canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. In an interview with io9, Stentz explained how their TV past helped the two writers land the First Class gig.
We had one of those great general meetings you have where the executive says "I have to find something for you guys". And you expect to never hear from him again. [However,] there are just a small number of writers in Hollywood who know comic books backwards and forwards and are not daunted by skipping all of the usual feature writing "screwing around."
Miller added that their work on Thor didn't hurt, either.
They knew we worked on Thor, knew we knew the universe, they liked our writing, and thought we could bring something to it that was compatible with [producer] Bryan Singer's vision."
While the writers could not divulge what exactly Singer's "vision" was, Stentz admitted that they feel no pressure when it comes to re-introducing the characters, who will be in younger incarnations.
The thing is, we've been here before. We did it on Terminator for two seasons. We did it on Thor. You learn how to approach the material as something you can live in and not just nod at. I would also argue that if you're telling a story where your characters can no longer surprise the audience, you're telling the wrong story. These characters surprised us at every turn, sometimes in really wonderful and emotional ways. Those moments are what make movies great.
Despite the accelerated process First Class will undergo prior to its release next summer, Miller says their First Class responsibilities are far from over.
Of course, there's a complete script. But these things are never done until they're shot and edited. All we know is we throw ink where we need to throw ink and we do it until they say stop.
Meanwhile, the two writers can turn their attention to yet another comic book adaptation, Damn Nation, which follows a group of survivors in a world overrun with vampires. Miller says that "everyone seems to love" their draft, making the script at Paramount, making the script just another success for the two self-proclaimed "fanboys."
"I think there are three Marvel comic book adaptations coming out next summer," said Miller. "And we wrote two of them. That blows my little fanboy mind."
Thor opens May 20, 2011, while First Class opens June 3, 2011. The First Avenger: Captain America, which Stentz and Miller did not write, opens July 22, 2011.