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This latest addition to the X-Men saga first arrived on our radar when X-Men: The Last Stand scribbler Zak Penn claimed to have been offered a spin-off series back in 2007, saying, “the idea was to have me do a young X-Men spin-off, a spin-off of the young X-Men characters.”
Sure enough, Fox officially announced the project the following year, under the name of X-Men: First Class. The direction the film would take remained veiled in secrecy, although the title alone had fanboys foaming at the mouth.
You see, X-Men: First Class is also the name of a 2006 comic-book series focusing on the original X-Men team, comprising Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman. So would Fox really be whipping up a kind of kiddie X-Men, as Penn suggested, or an alternate backstory for some of the characters from the original films?
In either case, Josh Schwartz (of The O.C. fame) had got as far as completing a first draft of the script, only for an old face to throw a rather significant spanner in the works…