Access Week In Geek, 5/7/10: Vaughn Enrolls In ‘X-Men: First Class,’ ‘Captain America’ Finds Red Skull & More!
First Published: May 7, 2010 6:05 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- VAUGHN FINALLY ENROLLS FOR “FIRST CLASS”
20th Century Fox, after much back and forth speculation, confirmed this week that “Kick-Ass” director Matthew Vaughn will indeed helm “X-Men: First Class.”
Vaughn’s history with the Marvel mutants goes back to his involvement with third film in the franchise, “X-Men: The Last Stand” — He vacated the director’s chair shortly before filming began and was replaced by Brett Ratner. Fox has targeted a June 2011 release for the prequel film that also will see the return of the series’ original director, Bryan Singer, to the franchise as executive producer. Singer helmed both “X-Men” and “X2: X-Men United” before parting ways with Fox before the third film to instead direct “Superman Returns” for Warner Bros.
“X-Men: First Class” screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller, who also wrote the screenplay for director Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor,” (which is currently shooting), spoke with io9 and revealed how they came aboard the project. “They knew we worked on ‘Thor,’ knew we knew the [Marvel] universe, they liked our writing, and thought we could bring something to it that was compatible with Bryan Singer’s vision,” Miller told the site.
Miller also likened the script, which depicts the earliest years of the X-Men and the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto, to the character-driven storylines seen in Singer’s X-films.
“You see it in ‘X-Men’ and ‘X2’: Character first,” Miller said, referring to USA Network’s promo catchphrase, “Characters welcome. " “This is basically a big episode of ‘Burn Notice’ with mutants.”
MARVEL CONFIRMS THEIR RED SKULL
In other Marvel movie news, the studio confirmed this week that Hugo Weaving will be joining Chris Evans in “Captain America: The First Avenger” as the villainous Red Skull. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that “Infamous” star Toby Jones is currently in talks to play evil scientist Arnim Zola in the film as well.
TWO MORE GOOD REASONS TO SEE “IRON MAN 2”
The first treat arrives before the film, which is the trailer for “Super 8,” the highly anticipated big screen collaboration of Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.
Rampant rumors spread this week regarding the contents of a super-secret locked film canister shipped to theaters with prints of “Iron Man 2.”
Was it the teaser to a “Cloverfield” prequel set to be unleashed on moviegoers like the first film’s was with “Transformers” in 2007?
The answer to the hottest topic of online speculation this week was that “Super 8” has no connection to the J.J. Abrams-produced monster film, but was rather a teaser to his forthcoming homage to Steven Spielberg’s earlier body of work (think “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”), with a scheduled release for the summer of 2011.
The second bonus at “Iron Man 2” will require you to stay until the end of the credits. Without giving any specific spoilers away, like its predecessor, there is an extra easter egg scene included post-credits which takes fans further into the mythology leading into Marvel Studios’ future film slate.
It’s worth the wait.
“APES” TO RISE AGAIN
Fox announced plans for a new entry in the “Planet of the Apes” series titled “Rise of the Apes,” set for June 2011. However, it will not be directly linked to either Tim Burton’s 2001 reboot starring Mark Wahlberg or the original film series starring Roddy McDowell. “Rise of the Apes” will have a contemporary San Francisco setting, deal with animal genetic manipulation, and forego the signature Oscar winning make-up established by the previous films and instead utilize CGI from Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital for photo-realism as similarly seen in the director’s “King Kong.”
Although there have been rumblings for several years regarding Fox’s plans for another film to be set in the “Apes” timeline, the widely rumored direction of the film was thought to deal with the initial events that lead to the apes’ revolt against humanity, which sees the Earth subsequently evolve into a world where apes rule over man.
The new film was assumed to be a broad re-imagining of 1972’s “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” which featured Roddy McDowell as the intelligent chimpanzee Caesar who leads the simian revolution, in the then-future year of 1991. Working titles for the new Fox film included “Genesis: Apes” and “Caesar” (adding fuel to the fire that nods to ‘Conquest’ would be included in the new entry), but the initial screenplays were said to be too dark in tone to earn the green light from Fox.
It now seems that Fox has found the right formula to formally announce the new entry from screenwriters Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa, whose names have also been attached to the earliest versions of the film.
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