Bryan Singer Discusses X-Men: First Class Characters; Nicholas Hoult Joins Singer's Jack the Giant Killer
02.14.11 by Ryan
X-Men: First Class began as a 2006 comic book series created by writer Jeff Parker and artist Roger Cruz that brought the original X-Men line-up back to comics, including Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and Professor X. In 2008, Fox hired The O.C. and Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz to adapt the comics into a screenplay, but once Bryan Singer was brought on board to direct the project, Schwartz's draft was abandoned for a new story pitched by Singer which brought the mutant team back to 1960s and followed the contentious relationship between Professor X and Magneto, with a completely different line-up of super-powered mutants.
Scheduling issues eventually led Singer had to leave the director's chair to Matthew Vaughn and continue to produce the prequel, but Singer's stamp on the movie had already been made. Now that first teaser trailer for First Class has debuted, there's been plenty of reactions, including Michael Fassbender (Magneto) offering his commentary. The LA Times spoke to Singer, who discussed how First Class will differ from the comic book timeline.
Singer explained that Havok (played by Lucas Till) is being included "at a sort of a different time, relative to the comic book lore," which means that he won't be the brother of Cyclops, unlike in the comic books.
Yes, the timeline is different. It wouldn’t physically fit for him to be the brother of Cyclops. We take some liberties on that. There are notions, but, um, I don’t want to give away certain interrelations, but let’s just say there are some things that do adhere to the comic books and do so in a way the fans will get a kick out of. And those things can, perhaps, move forward into the future...
Singer explained that, while the First Class comic book went back to the early days of the mutant team, altering the timeline has allowed the movie adaptation to go even further into the past and could perhaps sync up in future sequels.
That’s one reason we wanted to call the film First Class even though it isn’t the First Class in the comics as fans know it. You couldn’t really tell that story without going even earlier and explaining how they got there and how it came to be. I liked the title, so we kept it, but this is a prelude in a way that will eventually lead to the [scenarios] that fit in more clearly with the First Class comics and situations.
Singer added that Havok is "a danger to himself and everyone around him," as he is one of several mutants that "haven’t honed their abilities yet." Singer is also pleased with the other mutant characters that have been added to First Class.
I’m also excited about Jason Flemying as Azazel, which is a really cool character. It’s like this sinister alter ego of Nightcrawler in a way, which again brings some of the things that we like about that character but at the same time has a different quality.
We have younger versions of Mystique and Beast, so I’m very excited about them and what they bring to the film. Jennifer Lawrence’s work [as Mystique] and Nicholas Hoult’s portrayal of Beast — these are characters that we’ve seen in the earlier films, but then these are very different portrayals and you have to bring a lot of attention to those.
Singer is clearly very impressed with Hoult's performance, since he's also recently cast the actor in Jack the Giant Killer, the movie Singer had to direct instead of First Class. Deadline reports that Hoult has "been offered the lead role" and is negotiating for the part, and will join recently cast actors Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, and John Kassir. The three actors will be playing two of the movie's villains, with Nighy and Kassir joining forces to play the two heads of the movie's lead giant, and Tucci as the King's villainous advisor. Hoult will play the young farmer who takes on the giants and tries to save a young princess in the process. A beanstalk will also likely be involved.
Jack the Giant Killer was written by Christopher McQuarrie, Darren Lemke, and Mark Bonback and is scheduled to start production this spring.