There have been a lot of questions about X-Men: First Class over the last week as a great number of casting decisions were announced. Now producer Bryan Singer has offered up the biggest update on the movie yet. In a conversation with AICN, Singer spilled a lot of beans, such as the fact that the film takes place in the ’60s, is inspired by the look and tech of James Bond movies, and that Kevin Bacon will play Sebastian Shaw, of the Hellfire Club.

Here is a set of bullet points that covers the grand scope of the details Singer offered up to AICN:

  • Cyclops and Jean Grey are not in the film.
  • X-Men: First Class takes place in the 1960s. Real world details are in place: JFK is the president. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are alive.
  • We see how Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr met, and hear of the future they dreamed of for humans and mutantkind, specifically with respect to their ideas for the X-Men.
  • Professor X and Magneto are in their 20s when they meet. Xavier will not be in a wheelchair at first, but we will see how he is crippled. And Xavier has hair!
  • Director Matthew Vaughn has been inspired by 60s-era James Bond tech, and the costumes will be far more ‘comic bookish’ than we’ve seen in the past.
  • The vision of the Hellfire Club will be the classic one, seemingly with the Victorian costumes and men’s club attitude first seen as John Byrne drew them in the ’80s.
  • The story begins with Xavier at Oxford in the ’60s, and Singer said the film will have an ‘international’ feel. Shoots in England and the US will double in places for other global locations, including the Soviet Union. Again, that’s working towards the Bond vibe mentioned earlier.

What this all comes down to is that Vaughn and Singer are trying to make a genuine Silver Age movie — that is, a film that represents the slightly more eccentric, pop-art style of storytelling that characterized comics in the ’60s. It’s the time when Marvel Comics as we know it came to be, and when superheroes really began to dominate comics. It’s not an easy thing to get right — there’s so much possibility for camp — but with the cast Singer and Vaughn have in place, it could work.

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