Fox Lines Up X-Men: First Class

Written by Gossip Girl's Josh Schwartz

If a movie studio can develop mutant powers, then we’ve discovered Twentieth Century Fox’s: the ability to create X-Men spin-offs.

Not content with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, out next May, and the in-the-works X-Men Origins: Magneto, Fox today confirmed that it has recruited Josh Schwartz, creator of TV's Gossip Girl and The OC, to work his teeny magic on X-Men: First Class.

And, in case you haven’t guessed, this is the official title of the Young X-Men pic that was announced back in September – and that’s pretty much all that’s known about it right now.

However, if this follows on from X-Men 3, then we can pretty much safely guess that Hugh Jackman won’t be back as Wolverine, Halle Berry probably won’t show up and, given that Cyclops and Jean Grey are dead, and Professor X was last seen occupying the body of a coma patient, that this will indeed feature the likes of Colossus, Shadowcat, Iceman, Rogue, Siryn, Jubilee and others glimpsed briefly, if at all, in the X-trilogy. OMG – it’ll be like High School Musical… with mutants! (And, hopefully, less singing.)

Whether or not those roles will be played by their originators is also in doubt, given that that would mean Ellen Page, for example, returning to play Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat. And we've got a feeling she might have moved on.

But it’s still very early days yet. Schwartz has, of course, been brought on board because he ‘gets’ kids, and not in a creepy Child Catcher sort of way. No, he’s down with them and their street lingo, whatever that may be. But presumably it’s something phat about Super Nintendos and hippity-hop.

Most interestingly, though, Schwartz has also been offered the directing gig but, perhaps cognisant of the leap from producing a TV show to directing a mega-budget movie, he’s declined for now. But it didn’t stop JJ Abrams and now look at him, so there might yet be time for Schwartz to reconsider.

Lauren Shuler Donner, the lady with the keys to the X-Men kingdom, will produce, along with X3 scribe, Simon Kinberg.