Matthew Vaughn Set to Direct ‘X-Men: First Class’ With June 2011 Release
CHICAGO – In an ironic twist of movie fate, “Kick-Ass” director Matthew Vaughn, the man once assigned the role of directing “X-Men: The Last Stand” will direct the next installment in the mega-franchise, “X-Men: First Class,” to be released on June 3rd, 2011. 20th Century Fox made the announcement official this afternoon.
Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in X-Men.
Photo credit: Fox
According to Box Office Mojo, “X-Men: First Class” will tell the story of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr before they became Professor X and Magneto, played respectively by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in “X-Men” and “X2: X-Men United”. The prequel will detail how the two characters first came together to fight as one mutant force and then later grew apart, resulting in the relationship in the current universe of “The X-Men”.
“X-Men: First Class” has no cast yet but the choice of Matthew Vaughn is an interesting one for several reasons. Not only was he once assigned to direct “X-Men: The Last Stand” before leaving due to creative differences, but he had also been rumored for “Thor” at one point before moving on to a very different kind of comic book film, last month’s “Kick-Ass,” which has made just under $43 million domestically since its release.
“First Class” is the fifth entry in a franchise that has made $1.5 billion worldwide. “X-Men,” starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, James Mardsen, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn, Stewart, and McKellen was released in 2000 and made $157 million domestically, followed by even bigger hits in 2003’s “X2: X-Men United” ($215 million), 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” ($234 million), and 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” ($180 million).