Just to show that studio thinking is not really ever easily understood, this summer's "X-Men: First Class" was not only one of the better superhero movies of the summer, it also was a big relief to fans who saw the franchise on the verge of collapsing after Fox fumbled with both "X-Men: The Last Stand" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," widely regarded as two of the worst entries in the series. But Matthew Vaughn, along with a crack cast led by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, delivered a clever, involving, and gritty origin story reboot of sorts with 'First Class.' One that took the superheroes back to their '60s beginnings, and pitted them against a real life threat, giving the movie the kind of raised stakes realness, that none of the other movies could claim to have. So you would think that it would just be a no brainer to bring back the same creative team as the first film to ensure a repeat success for the sequel, but it isn't that easy.
As you might remember, there was a rather protracted battle over the screen credits for the writers on 'First Class.' While Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are credited with the screenplay, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman also had a serious hand it in as well. And these folks only worked on the script at later stages, as it went through a few other hands before it reached them. So while it might be disheartening to read SuperHeroHype's report that "X-Men: The Last Stand" writer Simon Kinberg has been hired to write the the second installment of the new series, just remember, Fox likes to throw a shitload of people at one script/project, so he'll probably just be the first of a handful of people that pull this together.
Sequel talk has always been in the works -- this is a franchise after all -- with a variety of settings ('70s and '80s) being tossed around, and even one elaborate posit that the next movie would involve JFK's assassination. But considering no one who wrote or directed 'First Class' is involved at this point, all bets are pretty much off. Director Matthew Vaughn, who had to struggle with a ridiculously tight schedule that left him wondering who his crew was, has already moved on and is looking at a couple Mark Millar adaptations for his next effort.
Pretty much everyone in 'First Class' is likely contracted to come back (except the people who got killed off, obvs) so it's not a matter of if this is going to happen, just when. No director set yet but it's all early days and lots of time for that decision to be made. So yeah, no need to freak out yet nerds, as Kinberg is likely just the first of a long line people who are going to take a stab at this. But in terms of easing fanboy worries, Fox couldn't have made a worse choice.