Zack Snyder. Mark Steven Johnson. Bryan Singer. This list of directors to bring multiple comic properties to screen is a small group, but it's number officially grew by one today as Matthew Vaughn was confirmed as the director for Fox's upcoming prequel for their Marvel Comics-licensed X-Men franchise: "X-Men: First Class."
As Variety reported, the director behind the currently screening "Kick-Ass" (as well as the Neil Gaiman/Charles Vess novel adaptation "Stardust") will helm the prequel pic as produced by original X-Men director Singer and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg. The film will open June 3, 2011.
"I've been a fan of Matthew's since 'Layer Cake," Singer told the trade. "He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original X-Men film."
Well-read fans may recall that Vaughn was originally lined up to direct what became "X-Men: The Last Stand" – the last entry in the franchise to feature a full team of mutants at Professor Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters. Though he stepped away from the project late in the game, Vaughn is credited with the casting of Vinnie Jones as the Juggernaut. The director had been rumored to be in for "First Class" – which will focus on the first team of mutants assembled by Xavier and his then friend Erik "Magnus" Lehnsherr – for a number of weeks before reports in the press saw him walk away and then back towards the new film.
With "First Class" in the works, Fox looks primed to extend their control of the X-Men license for the foreseeable future as the studio also has plans for a second "Wolverine" solo picture in the offing as well as competing reports for a "Deadpool" spinoff picture.
Check back to CBR and Spinoff Online for more on "X-Men: First Class" as it becomes available.