Fox is working on continuing the X-Men movie franchise with a younger group of mutants, according to Variety. The studio has contracted with creator Josh Schwartz, creator of TV’s Gossip Girl, to write the film X-Men: First Class.
Schwartz, who is also the creator of Fox’s The OC, as well as NBC’s Chuck, is expected to bring a next-gen sensibility to the series.
The writing gig also apparently included the possibility of directing the film, but apparently Schwartz has opted not to take the go there.
Lauren Shuler Donner, who produced the three previous X-Men movies, as well as the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, will guide First Class, along with Mr. and Mrs. Smith scripter Simon Kinberg.
Fox has been considering using younger characters, some of which have already been introduced in the previous films. The resulting movie would likely enlist such characters as Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat.
According to the report, the new film could result in its own series of sequels.
X-Men: First Class joins other X-Men-themed projects already in development at Fox, including a standalone Magneto origins film, as well as a possible Deadpool spinoff, based on the character played by Ryan Reynolds in the upcoming Wolverine film.
This film would be the first big screen action tentpole Schwartz, who has enjoyed success on television, will be developing. Let’s hope they (the studio) don’t drive this great franchise off a cliff. Chuck is a cool show. I honestly haven’t watched The OC or Gossip Girl. Hard to say if there’s some great short out there he’s done, that inspired this move, or just a desire to target younger audiences.
Film Fetish Trivia: Before directing the first X-Men film in 2000, Bryan Singer helmed the features Public Access in 1993, The Usual Suspects in 1995, and Apt Pupil in 1998.