The folks at Variety are reporting that 20th Century Fox has signed Gossip Girl and Chuck creator Josh Schwartz to pen the much ballyhooed X-Men: First Class. This will be the first X-Men movie since Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand grossed over $450 million worldwide in 2006. The news was leaked by Schwartz himself back in May, but Fox has since been very quiet. The Variety report confirms that Schwartz, who is also the creator of the hit series The O.C., has signed on to write, but that he has declined the initial offer to direct. The door for directing is still open, sources say.
It is likely that this will be an unpopular opinion around here, but I think that Fox’s decision to sign on Schwartz is a good one, as he has the ability to take a very different approach to the material. People often forget the very youth-friendly nature of the 8 issue limited “First Class” series. It is unlike the more modern, gritty stories that you would see in books like “Wolverine: Enemy of the State.” The books follows such characters as Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, who have appeared prominently or made cameos in prior pics. In “First Class” we will see them in their teen years, discovering their powers and being taught at the Xavier Institute.
All indications are that this project will contrast greatly with the current X-Men productions that Fox currently has coming down the pipe, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Magneto. Based on the footage that was shown at Comic-Con in July, Wolverine will be a very brutal affair that digs into the more gritty roots of the character. And while I’m sure that many fans would love to see more X-Men films of that kind, there could very well be a place for a film such as First Class, a film that could reach out to a younger audience.
That said, I welcome your opinions in the comment area below.