Kick-Ass may be just scraping by at the box office, but apparently its super-violent, not-that-commercially-popular handling of the superhero world has managed to score director Matthew Vaughn another shot at the genre. According to Variety, 20th Century Fox has signed Vaughn to direct X-Men: First Class. Because you know who should direct an important prequel charged with restoring the dignity of a once venerable franchise? That guy who violently satirized superhero comics and movies. Right?
Vaughn will work off a script most recently re-written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (writers of Thor), based on a story by original X-Men director Bryan Singer. Variety describes the plot thusly:
[First Class] chronicles the beginning of the X-Men saga, before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto and when they were discovering their powers for the first time. The two men worked with other mutants (some familiar, some new) to stop a global threat. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.
The strangest part of the news is just how quickly this is all going to happen: the studio has given Vaughn just over a year to finish the thing, with shooting set to begin this summer for a release date of June 3, 2011. That's barely enough time to needlessly complain about costume and casting choices! And barely enough time to put together a decent film, really. Thankfully, the bar has mercifully been left set at X-Men: The Last Stand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine left it there after refusing to raise it), so as long as the film doesn't make me feel like I'm eating folded up slices of cold bologna (that's how X-Men 3 made me feel), it will already be a step up.