20th Century Fox has just sent out a press release announcing Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn will indeed direct 20th Century Fox’s next X-Men feature, X-Men: First Class which is now set for a June 3, 2011 release. This will mark Vaughn’s second attempt at directing an X-Men film as he was at one time attached to direct X-Men: The Last Stand before dropping off that picture citing personal reasons and was then replaced by Brett Ratner.
Vaughn will be directing a newly touched up script from Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz who also worked on Thor.
At one point it was thought X-Men and X2 director Bryan Singer would be helming the project, but he will only be producing as his scheduled commitment to direct Jack the Giant Killer wouldn’t allow for him to direct both films as Fox is happy with the latest draft of the First Class script and ready to move forward.
The new film will chart the beginning of the X-Men saga, beginning 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.
There is no mention of when the film will begin production, but the June 3 release date instantly pits the feature against Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom from Dreamworks, the following week will see the Fast and the Furious franchise continue with Fast Five from Universal and two weeks later the Warner Bros. comic adaptation, Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds in the title role will be released.
Fox is also expected to move forward on Wolverine 2 starring Hugh Jackman and last we heard of that, production was thought to begin in January 2011 for a 2012 release, which would have back-to-back years with back-to-back X-Men films. I assume there are some in the audience that won’t mind that.
I, for one, am a Vaughn fan despite not being totally enamored with Kick-Ass but genuinely enjoying Stardust and really liking Layer Cake before that. I wonder what kind of approach he’ll take to the X-Men franchise and just how far he’ll be able to push the envelope. It will assuredly not carry the violence of Kick-Ass, but I have to assume it will be far more intense than Ratner’s Last Stand and would expect it to be more on par with X2. At least… I hope. What are your thoughts?