By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 9, 2011 at 1:54AM
We're beginning to suspect that someone at 20th Century Fox's marketing department is deliberately fucking with Matthew Vaughn, perhaps as revenge for bailing on "X-Men: The Last Stand" all those years ago. For some time, the "Kick-Ass" director's return to the mutant franchise, in the form of prequel "X-Men: First Class" was a mystery, outside of a few spy photos of the cast filming. Then, our first look at the film's line-up of heroes and villains came in a campy, badly-Photoshopped image that mysteriously leaked onto the net back in January.
The director immediately went into damage control mode, revealing that he was furious about the picture, saying "I don't know where the hell that came from. I don't think it's a Fox image. It's not a pre-approved image. When I found out, I said, what the fuck is this shit, and Fox is running around trying to figure out what happened as well." More official images leaked out that boded far better, swiftly followed by a mostly intriguing trailer that suggested that the film could be one of the better superhero prospects of the summer.
But now we have two new characters posters for the film, hot on the heels of some strong ones that appeared a few weeks back, and honestly, we don't know what those concerned were thinking. Seemingly knocked-out in fifteen minutes over a lunch break by someone whose mutant power is to be really shit at using Photoshop, the images superimpose the floating heads of stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender onto silhouettes of their predecessors in the roles, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. We're hope we're not resorting to hyperbole when we say these might be the ugliest, most amateurish one-sheets we've ever seen for a major studio release, making the infamous early poster for "The King's Speech" look like high art in comparison; it's the graphic design equivalent of being fisted by Wolverine.
The truly baffling thing about them is that they're attempting to achieve exactly the same effect as the earlier, far more atmospheric posters, but executed infinitely less well. We can only imagine Vaughn's fury right now. You can see them below full size, if you really want to. "X-Men: First Class" hits theaters, hopefully accompanied by some more consistent marketing, on June 3rd. [Facebook, via Collider]