X-Men franchise continues
However, there's a big flip side to the story, we won't be seeing the old cast return, although it'll be hard to do without the famous lead mutants of Professor Xavier and Magneto going head to head and providing the good and bad pillars for the story.
First Class, which will undoubtedly be called X-Men: First Class, is going to see a young set of mutants and start its own franchise away from the regulars we know.
However that title to me suggests one big thing, it's going to be at Professor Xaviers school, where mutants are taught how to control their powers and live together with humanity.
It's something that the team behind the X-Men films have been thinking on for some time, restarting the franchise with younger characters, after all that'll save tons of money in salaries by getting rid of all those big name actors and taking on relative unknowns.
However there's that problem of who to have as the figurehead of the school that's teaching them and the other side of the mutants, the darker side. They are going to have to bring in some of the old characters to keep the X-Men link going, otherwise they'll have to set it in a completely different location or recast the leads.
Sure it'll be a big ensemble saving, but they still have to have those figureheads return, and if there are going to be more young X-Men films, they'll have to keep coming back.
20th Century Fox is keeping quiet about the project, although Variety have the news that Josh Schwartz of The O.C., Gossip Girl and Chuck is set to write the script – we can see where this is going, O.C. Meets X-Men? I damn well hope not!
Also producing, alongside the long term X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner, is Simon Kinberg, the man behind the superb Mr & Mrs Smith (Filmstalker review). Now at the moment it's Schwartz that has the directing option, but I wonder if Kinberg would be a better name for that job, especially as Schwartz hasn't directed as yet.
All we hear about the plot is that it will “lean” towards teenagers taught at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Now that one line could well suggest that they are out of the school, now that would get rid of the need for seeing the old characters.
However it's likely that the film will touch on the comic books of the same name from 2006 and we'll see other characters such as Iceman, Rogue, Colossus, Angel, characters who have already appeared in the films to date as teenagers, but always in the background.
This is a seriously big change for X-Men. For me I always felt that the X-Men characters were aimed at the slightly older side of the fans, but this is a move to turn around and grab the younger fans for the franchise. The problem is will it satisfy those already on board with the X-Men franchise and who will be seeing the more adult orientated X-Men Origins films?