Thursday gave us our first look at the trailer for X-Men: First Class, the next in the popular series of X-Men movies. The new movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick-Ass), places the adventures in the early days of the team, giving us a look at a still-walking Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), a not yet completely evil Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the first team of X-Men.
The first interesting thing to me is the trailer’s use of footage from the earlier X-Men films while setting the film firmly during the 1960s and the Cuban Missile Crisis. I can’t decide if they want the new film to stand on its own, or if they want to make this part of the earlier series. I can see how they could fit a young Beast into the movie, with the older version that appears in X3, but I am curious if they will try to match Emma Frost’s (January Jones) appearance in this film with the character’s appearance in Wolverine: Origins, or if they will just ignore it. As for setting the story during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I kind of wish they had set it a few years later and tied it into the first Apollo launch, as a nod to the original X-Men #1.
The biggest moment for hardcore X-Men fans has to be shot of Magneto pulling the submarine out of the water, and image almost taken directly from the pages of Uncanny X-Men #149-150. You can see by the flag on it that it’s a Russian sub, and if they are a real stickler for details, the name of the sub will be the Leningrad.
The other big moment to look for in the trailer is the bit with the Beast making his transformation from mostly normal human to Mrs. McCoy’s bouncing blue baby beast.
The other thing that got me excited: the original Blackbird!
There may be a few characters in the trailer that you don’t recognize, and I can identify a couple for you. The black guy in the car is Darwin (Edi Gathegi), a mutant with the ability to evolve to survive any danger that is thrown is way (e.g., if he’s getting shot, he’ll instantly develop hardened skin; if he’s on fire, he’ll gain some kind of asbestos skin). He was introduced just a few years ago in the pages of the X-Men: Deadly Genesis as one of a team of mutants Charles Xavier recruited to replace the original X-Men.
Another new face would be the girl with the fairy wings. She would be Angel Salvadore (Zoe Kravitz), the second character to carry the Angel moniker. She was introduced in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, as one of a group of mutants in a special class. It looks like they may have combined her character with that of Stacy X, a mutant prostitute introduced around the same time as Angel. I can’t remember if they announced that Stacy X would be appearing in X-men: First Class as a separate character or not, I’ve lost track of all the characters appearing in this one.
We also get our first look at Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the Hellfire Club. He’s not sporting his traditional look of mutton chop sideburns, ponytail, and lacey cravat. You can see him walking in with Emma Frost, which seems to me that the Hellfire Club will be a big part of the plot. Whether they show Emma Frost as a villain as she originally was or if she will be more of the “hero” that she is in the comics today is yet to be seen.
The red teleporting guy is named Azazel (Jason Flemyng) and he is not actually a mutant, but is instead a demon, at least in the comics. He appeared in a story written by Chuck Austen in which he was revealed to be Nightcrawler’s father, which would explain why this character is doing all the teleporting. You may not know, but Nightcrawler’s mother is Mystique, and she will also be appearing in this film. The scene from the trailer with Mystique in bed may very well be Nightcrawler’s conception.
Speaking of Mystique, it looks like they have made her a part of the original X-Men. That’s them all standing or sitting around while President Kennedy speaks. If you’re wondering who everyone is, on the couch is Xavier and Moira MacTaggert, L-R (image below) standing are Magneto and then it’s Cyclops’ brother Havok, Mystique, Beast, and Banshee.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this movie too much, but this trailer has me optimistically excited. I’m interested to see McAvoy and Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto, and it looks like it may be shaping up into a decent movie. Look at it this way: it can’t be worse than X3 (unless it is, which is a scary possibility).