Friday, January 21, 2011

Scenes From the FIRST CLASS Struggle

In the last few months, most of the noise on the X-Men movie front has surrounded director Darren Aronofsky (currently garnering much Oscar buzz for The Black Swan -- which I still need to see!) signing on to direct the next Wolverine entry starring Hugh Jackman.  I guess it tells you how under-the-radar Matthew Vaughn's prequel/stealth reboot X-Men: First Class has been flying that after briefly mentioning the project at its inception last May, I've almost completely neglected it here.  This despite the fact that director Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer lined up a very solid cast, with headliners James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, as the proto-Charles Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X) and young Erik Lensherr (a.k.a. Magneto) respectively, reprising the roles immortalized by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in the initial trilogy. The film, depicting the pair's journey from fast friends to bitter enemies, sounds promising, and could potentially mark the X-franchise righting itself after previous missteps.

Publicity-wise it's been radio silence since production ramped up, with the filmmakers hustling to ready the film for its June launch, but after the unplanned leak of a questionable publicity still earlier this week engendered much teeth-gnashing among the usual geek suspects, the dam seemingly burst, with Vaughn not only releasing several official shots of the cast (which, in addition to McAvoy and Fassbender, includes Kevin Bacon as the villainous Sebastian Shaw and Mad Men's January Jones as the seductive Emma Frost) in action, but also chatting at length with both SlashFilm and Geoff Boucher of "Hero Complex." From Vaughn's comments, it seems he's barely keeping his head above water trying to get the thing finished, which confirms my initial concerns from May over the extremely stunted production window that Fox has afforded it.  Still, I really like what I see so far.  The array of talent assembled both behind and in front of the camera is first-rate, so hopefully that bodes well for First Class.


Omar A. said...

It looks great...I'm very optimistic.

Zaki said...

I agree. Very promising.