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We know what you're thinking; more X-Men: First Class news? According to a phone call placed to AICN by executive producer Bryan Singer (Superman Returns, X-Men 2), there's plenty left to divulge on the upcoming project helmed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, Stardust).
Singer, having gained recognition in the fanboy community for directing the first two “X-Men” films (and helping comic films reach the point they are at today), took a break from the franchise to work on Superman Returns, leaving the franchise in the hands of Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand, Rush Hour 3). Needless to say, such an action leaves a lot to atone for.
While he will not return as the director, Singer is taking a very active role as an executive producer and has now given specific details regarding the closely guarded “First Class” story.
According to Singer, “First Class” will take place in the 1960s. With John F. Kennedy as the President of the United States while Martin Luther King and Malcolm X spearhead the Civil Rights movement, the film will open with Charles Xavier (in his late 20s with a full head of hair) attending Oxford University.
It's no secret that “First Class” will highlight how Xavier met Erik Lehnsherr (destined to become the X-Men's greatest foe, Magneto). Now it is clear that the film will highlight the similar visions both Xavier and Lehnsherr shared in a world united before their eventual split in ideals. However, what is clear is that both men will be responsible for the founding of the X-Men as well as the opening of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
Among the bigger details to come out of Singer is that (wait for it) neither Cyclops or Jean Grey will be present in the film. However, Singer is quick to point out his enthusiasm for the (large) ensemble built, specifically citing Nicholas Hoult, who will play Beast. He also notes that the costumes (a first look we can expect in a month or sooner) will have a far more comic feel compared to the recent “X-Men” films.
According to Singer, Vaughn is heavily inspired by the James Bond films of the '60s, something that will be reflected in the technology and overall locales of the film, which will be shot in England and the U.S., while acknowledging the global climate of the '60s (only confirming Russia will play a role, amongst others).
Lastly, Singer points out that there are characters who have not been announced yet, so feel free to cast your speculation (as if the cast wasn't large enough already). With shooting to start at the end of August, expect greater details on the film to make itself known soon.