A scant day after Bryan Singer revealed the big news that he was returning to the Fox fold to develop and direct “X-Men: First Class” to some reporter types on the red carpet of James Cameron’s “Avatar”, Fox has now officially confirmed it. According to THR, the story for “First Class”, believed to be a prequel to the two Singer-directed “X-Men” movies, will follow the early days of Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and other familiar (and some new) mutants as they and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) work to create the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, aka Mutant High.
Fox has hired Jamie Moss to work with Singer on developing the story for the prequel, which would seem to mean that all those months Josh Schwartz slaved on the project has been tossed into the garbage. Considering that Schwartz is the creator of “Gossip Girls” and “The OC”, I can’t tell you how happy I am that he’s no longer involved with this movie in any shape or form. Whew! Survived a close one there, boys!
Singer’s last “X-Men” film was “X-Men United”, before he jumped ship to direct “Superman Returns”, which was met with middling reviews and failed to really do much for either Superman or Singer’s career. Two years later, Singer bombed again with the Tom Cruise WWII movie “Valkyrie”. And although Fox has made barrels of money with the last two “X-Men” films, neither the Brett Ratner-directed “Last Stand” or the Gavin Hood fumbling of “Wolverine” have been really accepted by fans. As a result, it makes sense that both Singer and Fox would see a reunion as the perfect chance to recapture their glory days.
But whatever storyline Singer and Fox decides to go with, “First Class” will have to wait until Singer finishes up “Jack the Giant Killer” for New Line.