For this bit of exciting and awesome news, let us dust off our best Gossip Girl impression: Spotted: Uber-producer Josh Schwartz raiding Seth Cohen’s old comic book collection as he gets ready to play ball with the big boys of summer blockbusters. Hope you bring your “X” game, Josh.
Ahem. For the non-cognoscente who don’t have the foggiest idea of what we’re referring to: Josh Schwartz, the creator of Gossip Girl, The O.C. and Chuck, has been chosen by 20th Century Fox to write the script for X-Men: First Class. Based on the 2006 Marvel comic of the same name, the film will deal with a young class of mutants attending the Xavier Institute, including such familiar X-Men faces as Rogue, Iceman and Angel. However it is also possible that First Class could go in another direction and reboot the franchise completely, serving as an origin story for favorite characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey and The Beast.
Despite the massive financial success of the series–the last installment, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand grossed just over $450 million dollars worldwide–we’ve never fallen in love with the X-Men franchise. The films were good, but they were always missing… something. Too self-serious and somewhat gloomy, we appreciated the characters and the plotting, but the end product just felt like a two-hour screen version of a furrowed brow. That’s fine if you’re Batman, but not fine if you’re Storm. With Mr. Schwartz in charge of the script however, that should all change.
We’re biased because he’s responsible for three of our all-time favorite shows, but having someone like Mr. Schwartz write a comic book movie is an inspired idea. He has become one of the most consistently funny voices on television today and there is no reason to think that kind of energy can’t transfer over to the big screen. The patter of his writing is sharp and quick, and, unlike a lot of people who are asked to write superhero screenplays, Mr. Schwartz is an unabashed comic book nerd. (He had an entire subplot on The O.C. where Seth Cohen was making a comic!) Perhaps he’ll be able to inject X-Men with the fun it has sorely lacked without pissing off too many of the hardcore fans. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Rogue and Iceman talk about their doomed relationship while a Death Cab for Cutie song was playing? Sign us up!