Marvel sure is slapping us in the face with movie photos and news, and it looks like X-MEN FIRST CLASS is commanding attention this week. We already saw the cast photo in costume here, and today we’re treated to some new production stills from 20th Century Fox. Hero Complex at the LA Times scored an excellent series of quotes from the film’s director Matthew Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer, plus a few nice words with one of the main stars James McAvoy (ATONEMENT, WANTED). We’ve pulled a few of those quotes below. It’s interesting (as talked about in the article) the pressure Vaughn is being put under to get this thing done for its June release date. They’re still filming! He made a few comments about the production, and where it stands next to the other big Marvel movies on the horizon.
Vaughn is famous for firebrand candor and droll wit, and despite the hand-wringing right now among some Fox executives, the British filmmaker isn’t turning meek under the pressure. Asked if he’s concerned about the glut of superhero film competition this summer — with “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Green Lantern” and ”Thor” – Vaughn said that, if anything, it’s the other guys who should be nervous. “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.”
Those words could prove to be pretty bold depending on the end result of X-MEN FIRST CLASS, but I have faith in Vaughn, and have enjoyed his previous works greatly. Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two X-MEN movies for Fox, is acting as producer on this outing, but seems rather enthusiastic about the project. He also weighed in on this retro story, which takes place in the 1960’s rather than present day.
“It is an excellent cast,” Singer said. He added that no one is more aware of the high-bar set by McKellen and Stewart. “I’m very sensitive to it. Michael Fassbender 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.”
Finally, the man playing Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) threw down his thoughts on taking over such an iconic character, and his motivations and intentions with the portrayal.
“This isn’t a reboot, so I’m not replacing anyone, in which case you might want to try to be as different as possible and stay away from what had been done before,” McAvoy said on Monday during a break from a rescue scene that required water-tank work. “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.”
For a film we’ve heard little to nothing about in the past several months, we’re sure getting a healthy dose of info this week, and I will say things are sounding good so far. I’m a little concerned at the hectic schedule Vaughn is under, and how audiences will take to an X-MEN movie without Wolverine… yep, Hugh Jackman ain’t in this one. Then again actors like McAvoy and Fassbender give me lots of confidence, and with Vaughn and Singer at the controls, this could prove to be the best X-movie yet. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.