Matthew Vaughn

20th Century Fox has officially announced that Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn will helm the X-Men series prequel/reboot X-Men: First Class. When it was reported that they were fast-tracking this project into production, they weren’t kidding. The film is set to go into production this Summer, and the studio has set a June 3rd 2011 release date. The same weekend as DreamWork Animation’s Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, a week after The Hangover 2, and two weeks before Green Lantern.

We also have a look at the early plot synopsis:

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga.  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.

Check out the full press release after the jump, which includes a quote from producer/writer Bryan Singer, along with our previous coverage.

Here is the full press release:

BRYAN SINGER AND MATTHEW VAUGHN UNITE FOR X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

Twentieth Century Fox will release film on June 3, 2011

LOS ANGELES (May 4, 2010) __ “Kick-Ass” director Matthew Vaughn will helm X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, a new chapter in Twentieth Century Fox’s blockbuster series of films based on the Marvel Comics.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS begins production this summer for a June 3, 2011 release. Bryan Singer, who conceived the story for FIRST CLASS and directed the original “X-Men” and its sequel “X2,” is producing along with Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg.

“I’ve been a fan of Matthew’s since LAYER CAKE,” said Singer. “He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film.”

Added Twentieth Century Fox president of production, Emma Watts: “X-Men: First Class presents an exciting opportunity to further explore the history and relationships of these beloved characters. Matthew’s combination of talent, verve and vision is perfectly suited to the task.”

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga. 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.

Previously:

Last week it was reported that 20th Century Fox was in talks with Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn to direct the X-Men series prequel/reboot X-Men: First Class. Deadline quickly responded claiming that “Vaughn’s negotiations have been touch and go, and sources close to the director said he’s passing. ” Cinematical posted a list of eight directors Fox was in talks to take the helm: Louis Leterrier, Jonathan Mostow, Daniel Espinosa, Rupert Sanders, Timur Bekmambetov, David Slade, and Carl Erick Rinsch.

Well earlier this week Vaughn returned to the table.

This is a weird turn of events, as you might recall that Vaughn was originally set to direct X-Men 3: The Last Stand after series director Bryan Singer left the franchise for Superman Returns. Vaughn ended up quitting the production due to “a huge amount of studio pressure to finish the film in a very short amount of time, with a script he felt was flawed and a large amount of studio interference.” Vaughn dropped out only a few weeks before filming was set to begin. And as you know, Fox was able to sign Brett Ratner to direct that sequel.

EW notes that Vaughn “could very well turn down the First Class offer” especially considering the filmmaker’s history with the X-Men franchise. The studio is also said to be speaking with other possible directors.

The box office for Vaughn’s Kick-Ass has been below expectations despite overwhelmingly great buzz. Vaughn has originally hoped to film a sequel, but it doesn’t seem likely at this time. Vaughn has also been considering an adaptation of Jonathan Ross’ Turf and was in talks for a big screen adaptation of Bloodshot.

Bryan Singer was originally attached to return to the X-Men franchise to helm this new film, but his commitment to Jack The Giant Killer at Warner Bros will prevent him from directing. In fact, it was Singer’s take on the story that got Fox so excited about the project in the first place. Originally the film was going to be about a new class of mutants that would consist of some of the characters not featured in the original trilogy.

But Singer’s treatment was a Str Trek-style reboot/prequel, which will focus on “the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where there [sic] relationship took a wrong turn.” Singer has previously admitted that First Class would “probably utilize some of the [planned/announced X-Men Origins:] Magneto story because it deals with a young Magneto,” and that “it might supersede” that plan because this new movie would explore “that relationship between a young energetic professor and a disenfranchised victim of the Holocaust.”

“It’s basically about the formation of the X-Men. How they began and the relationship between a young Xavier and a young Magneto.”

The day after Jamie Moss handed in his first draft, Fox head Tom Rothman fast-tracked the project.  It was at this moment that Warner Bros informed Singer that they would not delay the production of Jack and the Giant Killer. Singer will still produce the project. I’ve heard the script is solid, and everyone who has read it is excited to get it into production asap.

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