New Still Images from X-Men: First Class, Plus Insight from Director Matthew Vaughn, Producer Bryan Singer, and James McAvoy
01.20.11 by BJSprecher
Just one day after the first first promotional image from director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class made a splash on the Internet, Fox has released, via the L.A. Times, three new still images from the movie, one of which offers the first look at Kevin Bacon as the villainous leader of the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw. In addition, Vaughn, producer Bryan Singer and actor James McAvoy, who plays the founder and leader of the X-Men, Charles "Prof. X" Xavier, each offered a bit of personal insight into the movie.
Vaughn, who is still filming First Class even as the June 3rd release date looms on the horizon, said that he has "never worked under such time pressure" and that he feels a bit "like a boxer against the ropes." However, he remains optimistic that his superhero movie will stand out from the rest of this summer's competition, which includes Green Lantern, Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor.
With Green Lantern, I don’t know about that one, I couldn’t get my head around the trailer, to be honest ... look, I will say the following: X-Men as a brand is bigger than Captain America, Thor and the Green Lantern, all put together.
Singer, who first introduced moviegoers to Marvel's mutant heroes as the director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United, said that the cast assembled for First Class is "excellent" and that he's "very sensitive" of the need of
McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to give performances that live up to their predecessors as Prof. X and Magneto, respectively, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen.
Michael Fassbinder and James McAvoy are two of the best actors working today and that was needed to fill those shoes. Short of digitally recreating Patrick and Ian in their 20s I cant think of anyone who would be more equipped for this than these two guys. The challenge of that is what attracted James, I’m sure of it. That’s why the guy who starred in Atonement would want to play a comic-book character in the first place because it was a role established by a really fine actor.
McAvoy emphasized that First Class is not a reboot and said that he's not "replacing anyone" as Prof. X. He said that his challenge is to portray the character that Stewart first brought to life on the big screen in a way that shows how much he has changed over the years.
This is a prequel, so I’m the same character, just younger, but the challenge for me—and for Michael—is to show the same person in a different place in their life; to show someone before they’re this bad guy, before they’re this saint. Charles wasn’t always a … monk, this selfless, sexless monk that he becomes.
X-Men: First Class was written by Jane Goldman, who also wrote Vaughn's last teen superhero movie, Kick-Ass. Nicholas Hoult, Caleb Landry Jones, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Flemying, Bill Milner and Morgan Lily also star.