Remember that X-Men: First Class cast photo that leaked online yesterday that you hated? Director Matthew Vaughn hated it too. While I was heading out the door to the airport (Sundance Film Festival here I come) I received a phone call from Vaughn who wanted to set the record straight about the photo. And to make up for it he gave us two much more inspiring images of the main characters in his upcoming superhero film.

“I freaked out on them yesterday. I don’t know where the hell that came from. I don’t think it’s a Fox image. It’s not a pre-approved image. When I found out, I said, what the fuck is this shit, and Fox is running around trying to figure out what happened as well. I agree. It’s like a bad photoshop, which maybe it was by someone. It didn’t reflect the movie. I was shocked when I saw it. I was like ‘Jesus Christ’…

Vaughn assures fans that he has the best intentions.

“I’m a fan of X-Men. We’re not bastardizing X-Men, I’m trying to get them back to being whole again.

As for the costumes…

The costumes are blue and yellow as well, because fuck it, lets take it back it the original. Also, by the way, those costumes are hardly in the movie. The main costumes are like these cool 60’s James Bond…”

You have to remember that this is a prequel story about how the mutants gathered together and formed the X-Men. I’m sure the suits don’t come together until very late in the game. Vaughn provided us with two exclusive images from the film which show James McAvoy as a pre-wheel chair Professor Charles Xavier and a costumed Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, complete with Magneto’s trademark helmet.

“Imagine the Cuban Missile crisis and discovering that mutants exist, both at the same time.” … “The actors are so great. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are very very hard to replace. When I’m watching Fassbender and McAvoy you just think, it sort of reminds me of Daniel Craig doing Bond, you kind of forget there were other people playing him. And that’s what I feel about these two.”

I think a lot of people saw the image and the first thing that came to mind was Fantastic Four, and Vaughn says X-Men: First Class is as far away from Fantastic Four as you can possibly get.

“It’s definitely more serious and more realistic, and I think that’s something that had to happen. That’s my feeling about the world we live in right now. I think the glossy colorful superhero film sorta had its day. I think Batman Begins started it, Dark Knight, dare I say Kick-Ass was fun and it had some real pop to it, but at the same time we grounded it in reality as much as possible. I think that’s what the audience wants. And that why that image is more Fantastic Four than it is X-Men. And I say that with all due respect to the Fantastic Four team. That was then and this is now. It’s a different time. I mean, look at me — I’m not exactly mister light.”

When asked if not having suits for a big portion of the movie might mean we could expect less action than previous installments, Vaughn responded that First Class “has a fair amount in there.”

It’s funny that you say that because if you watch [the other x-men movies] there isn’t as much action as you’d think. I think X-men 3 had the most action. But X1 and X2 had cool set pieces. But for me, I think it’s boring watching CG and big explosions. I’m sorta over that. I’d say it’s got more character-driven action than action for the sake of action.

As for keeping the fans of the series happy, Vaughn says he did “a lot of research on the X-men comics” and is trying to be faithful to the mythology set-up over the years.

I’d say this is more like Casino Royale than [JJ Abrams] Star Trek. If you think about it, Casino Royale just totally rebooted Bond — they kept what they wanted and got rid of what didn’t work. You sort of saw Bond become a double O for the first time and yet it didn’t seem to matter [what they changed]. I think my rule is to make a stand alone movie that is as good as possible and do as many nods and winks towards the comics and the other films, but not get tied up in knots worrying about that. It’s sort of a stand-alone movie in my mind with a reboot being a real reboot. Because if you’re a stickler for continuity, in X3 when you see Patrick Stewart…. well, I don’t want to give away anything about the plot but we’ve been as respectful of the other movies and comics as we I can feasibly can be without compromising the story.”

Vaughn is currently busy editing the film in London. The first teaser poster premiered on Aint It Cool News earlier tonight. I asked when we could expect a first trailer, but he was unsure. I can’t wait to see more.

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