OK, this is muuuuuch better. Recent photos of Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class" leaked on the Internet with the cast in costume and well, they essentially looked like cast off test images from Brett Ratner's "X-Men: The Last Stand" -- definitely not anyone's favorite of the "X-Men" franchise. Heralded as a back-to-basics prequel set in the '60s, the leaked image -- apparently it wasn't ready for public consumption, but once it's out it's out -- seemed to be antithetical to the idea of a group of mutants first finding one another and eventually becoming part of a school of mutants and then a super hero team.
Regardless, the leaked images have been derided in almost all circles including the important-fanboy district, so 20th Century Fox has certainly go into full-on damage control mode. We hear that rounds of interviews with the director are being lined-up (there's one here too) and well, Hero Complex has just been given three new images of "X-Men: First Class" which are exactly what we wanted: they're realistic and down to earth (mind you, we can't vouch for the hardcore fanboys, but these images look great to us.
More photos below the jump and sure Kevin Bacon and January Jones look like they're on "Laugh In" with his crazy mutton chops and her vixen-ish snow suit, but hey, it's the '60s and all should be forgiven. Overall, a huge improvement. Frankly, we personally hope that the costumes and all that foofaraw only happens near the end of the picture. Though why Vaughn and company decided to give Professor X (James McAvoy) Spock ears (see the first photo) is a little beyond us (yes, they're kinda like that in the comics, but still, they look hella weird here).
Director Matthew Vaughn who was supposed to helm "X-Men: The Last Stand," only to bail nine weeks before production was going to start in 2005 sounds like he's almost overwhelmed with the project. “I’m at that stage where I feel like a boxer against the ropes,” the director told Hero Complex. “I’m just throwing punches and taking them as they come and making sure I don’t hit the canvas.”
Ironically, being overwhelmed (and a poor script with too many stakeholders involved) was the reason why Vaughn left in the first place, but clearly he's here and making the movie. I’ve never worked under such time pressure," he said. "The good thing about the independent world is I never even knew if I was going to get distribution. I’m used to finishing a film and then crossing your fingers that someone is going to like it. This is totally doing it the other way around. We’ve definitely got a release date and we’ve got to make it.”
While there are big shoes to fill given this is a prequel based on the highly successful, "X-Men" films, Bryan Singer, who directed the first two films, believes in his new team, “It is an excellent cast,” Singer said. “I’m very sensitive to [the fact that Ian Mckellen and Patrick Stewart were beloved in those original roles]. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are two of the best actors working today and that was needed to fill those shoes. Short of digitally recreating Patrick and Ian in their 20s I cant think of anyone who would be more equipped for this than these two guys. The challenge of that is what attracted James, I’m sure of it. That’s why the guy who starred in ‘Atonement’ would want to play a comic-book character in the first place because it was a role established by a really fine actor.”
The L.A. Times article also notes that Bryan Singer hopes to direct more "X-Men" films in the future, but that's really old news. Frankly, if "X-Men: First Class" the movie is as good as these photos, we'll be pleased as punch, but that's also an unrealistic and unfair comparison. Photos and movies are not the same, but these pics do give us hope. The picture lands in theaters this summer on June 3.