Well, first things first: We, just like everyone else, basically got suckered yesterday by the promo pic for X-Men: First Class, which was either very early, very awkward promo art, or simply a shameless and hacktastic photoshop job, depending on who you ask (Matthew Vaughn has called the whole thing basically bullshit). The response from readers both here and elsewhere was overwhelmingly negative, so it’s no surprise that Fox quickly released some official photos, courtesy of the LA Times. Three of them came out, and if nothing else, I’m digging the retro feel of it (it’s set in the 1960’s) and the costume and makeup design is excellent. In an interview with Moviefone, Kevin Bacon had the following to say about the setting:
The backdrop is the Cuban Missile Crisis, so it’s a little earlier than the Civil Rights era. I don’t think JFK is a character in the movie, but the idea of the possibility of thermonuclear war in our own backyard is there. And also the fallout from the Holocaust is still there, which you’ll remember is in the first film.
Interesting, and I like the thought process.
Anyway, first is this shot, featuring Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw and January Jones as Emma Frost, both members of the sinister Hellfire Club.
I like what they’ve done with Shaw — the pantaloons and ponytail look would never have worked, to be honest. Bacon also spilled a bit about his character in the same interview:
You don’t see much [of his backstory] in the movie, but he’s kind of a self-made man. He lost his father as a young man, made his first million by the time he was 30 and first billion by time he was 40. He’s a very powerful billionaire and also, as it turns out, a mutant. He’s the leader of the Hellfire Club, which is a nightclub for the rich and extremely powerful. And he has a plot to take over the world, so that’s really fun. He’s incredibly good at manipulating people and at taking whatever kind of energy or ability they have and using it to his advantage, like if he’s talking to a German, he’s fluent in German. He’s very charming and able to get whatever he wants.
Anyway, next is this shot of Xavier (James McAvoy) and the pre-Magneto Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender). Nothing fancy here, except that, you know, it’s James fucking McAvoy and Michael fucking Fassbender, which is inherently awesome.
Finally, a shot of the some of the heroes gathered together. I love that they’re not in costume, which is much more in line with the philosophy behind the film (Vaughn’s stated that costumes will not appear for the majority of the film: “The costumes are blue and yellow as well, because fuck it, lets take it back it the original. Also, by the way, those costumes are hardly in the movie. The main costumes are like these cool 60’s James Bond…”):
Lastly, Vaughn recently gave the boys at Slashfilm two more images, and these are a little more interesting. One features McAvoy’s Xavier doin’ his psychic thing:
And this one, with Fassbender’s Magneto doing his thing… complete with early model helmet!
Of course, there’s still plenty to worry about — there have been numerous reshoots, the film is on a ridiculously tight schedule and director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) has been lamenting the rushed schedule. But this certainly makes me feel better than I did yesterday.
Oh, and one last thing: