Following on from the Batman post, we’ve also recently gotten our first proper look at upcoming X-Men prequel X-Men: First Class, charting the beginnings of the rivalry between future baldy Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and master of magnetism – and slightly daft helmets – Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Things have been remarkably quiet on the X-Men: First Class front publicity wise, especially considering it’s out this Sunmer – it’s being directed by Matthew Vaughn, who does have a good eye as a filmmaker (although don’t get me started on Stardust), and does at least seem more promising than the frankly borderline diabolical X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but there’s lots to play for, and these first publicity shots… well, they’re not exactly instilling major confidence, but neither are they absolutely screaming “Disaster”.
I mean, let’s be honest – group shots of more than about five actors almost always end up looking cheesy. And it might have been nice if they’d gone for something a little more dynamic than “Let’s get them to put their hands on their hips on an empty black set!” Anyhow, here we have (from left to right) Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira McTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost (and yes, that costume is completely true to the comics), and Jason Flemyng as the terrifyingly coiffured Azazel, a character of whom I know nothing thanks to the mind-buggering complexity of X-Men chronology and mythology (outside the Chris Claremont and Grant Morrison runs, I’m basically lost).
And here we have Hank McCoy, aka Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Havok (Lucas Till), Angel Aslvadore (Zoe Kravitz), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, stepping into the skimpy prosthetics of Rebecca Romjin from the original films) and Charles Xavier himself (McAvoy). The one thing I am liking from these shots is the visual approach they’re going for – they’ve set the film in the Sixties (the original setting of the comics, although it doesn’t fit in with the first film’s chronology in the slightest, with X-Men, made in 2000, being set ‘A few years from now’), and they do seem to have embraced the groovy comics vibe (especially with Emma Frost’s costumes). The management at 20th Century Fox have an extremely bad reputation for micro-managing franchise films and ending up with bland messes (X-Men: The Last Stand being a case in point), and there are a lot of characters here to fit comfortably into one movie (with the sheer number of cast members being a constant problem that only Bryan Singer seemed able to handle). I am going to do my best to remain cautiously optimistic – something that even just got near the quality of X2 would make me extremely happy. Of course, whether I’m still feeling like this once the first trailer hits is a completely different story…
And – literally as I finished writing this post, more photos have just hit the net, via this set report online at Hero Complex:
January Jones as Emma Frost looking very… well, very Emma Frost, with a sleazy-as-ever Kevin bacon as Sebastian Shaw. Nobody rocks the sideburns quite like the Bacon.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Xavier and Magneto in full “Yes, we are having a friendly chess match, but by the end of the movie we shall be BITTEREST ENEMIES!” mode. And is it wrong that I find the carpet in this shot fascinating?
And a “Let’s do the show right here!” group shot – I suspect that, at some point in this scene, someone will look at an old building and say “Hey- you know, this would make a brilliant school for the gifted with added underground lair and Thunderbirds-style hatches, don’t you think?”
Okay, moderately more impressed now. But we shall see how this all turns out… (*rubs hands together in suspicion*)
(And as a final addition to this post, here’s the first teaser poster. Because nothing says X-Men like… a whacking great Photoshopped ‘X’.)
*UPDATE – AGAIN*
Okay – via http://www.slashfilm.com, it seems like Matthew Vaughn didn’t like those shots either. A couple of helpful quotes:
“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’…
“I’m a fan of X-Men We’re not bastardizing X-Men, I’m trying to get them back to being whole again.”
“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…”
Plus, from there, a couple of new pictures: