Comic News Briefs: Captain America and X-Men: First Class
by Ethan Anderton
May 4, 2010
News comes in and out all the time, and while much of it is very reliable, it's always good to have official channels pass down confirmation. That's what these two comic news briefs are all about. First up, Marvel Studios announced today what we'd heard previously regarding some casting for Captain America: The First Avenger as Hugo Weaving has been confirmed to play Cap's arch nemesis Red Skull. The villain, formerly known as Johann Schmidt, was given his intimidating moniker after being drafted into the loyal service of The Third Reich. I cannot wait to see Weaving as Red Skull face off against Chris Evans' Cap!
Next, Variety has finally cleared up all the confusion surrounding Matthew Vaughn and X-Men: First Class as it is now official that the Kick-Ass director will be helming this new X-Men movie, which will hit theaters on June 3rd, 2011. This flick is moving fast too with production beginning this summer. Anyone looking forward to Bryan Singer directing before he departed (due to his previous commitment to Jack the Giant Killer) will be happy to know that he also gave his seal of approval for Vaughn to take over X-Men:
"I've been a fan of Matthew's since Layer Cake. He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film."
Though we're not sure exactly who is in the "First Class" line-up yet, Variety says that the prequel chronicles the beginning of the X-Men saga, before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto and when they were discovering their powers for the first time. Close friends at the time, the two worked with other mutants (some familiar, some new) to stop a global threat. In the process, a rift between them opened, which started the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.
As immensely pleased as I was with Kick-Ass, I'm still worried about Vaughn taking on X-Men. Why? Well, because even though we all bash Brett Ratner left and right for ruining X-Men: The Last Stand, the fact is, all of the terrible story elements including deaths of characters like Cyclops and Professor X (though I guess he's not really dead), the cheap and disrespectful introductions of several key mutants into the mix, and the complete mishandling of one of the pivotal and most highly regarded comic book storylines (Dark Phoenix) were all in place while Vaughn was developing it. I have all the hope for him to make X-Men: First Class an amazing, and somewhat fresh start for the X-Men, but consider me cautiously optimistic for the time being.