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Trivia for X-Men: First Class:
- The idea for X-Men: First Class first came about during filming of X2: X-Men United. Lauren Shuler Donner thought it would be interesting to do a film about younger versions of X-Men characters such as Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm. The idea never moved forward until Simon Kinberg read the First Class comics and pitched the film to 20th Century Fox.
- One of the pitches for X-Men: First Class was to make it more of a "high school movie", focusing on the origin of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. The idea was scrapped as it was considered too similar to films such as Twilight and John Hughes movies. The filmmakers also wanted to explore characters that haven't been seen before in other X-Men movies.
- When Bryan Singer became involved with the film, it was retooled to focus on Professor X and Magneto. They were always going to be the central characters, but the filmmakers thought it would be better to explore them and the rest of the X-Men at a younger age. X-Men: First Class grew from that concept.
- When deciding on the film's villains, Lauren Shuler Donner suggested they go with the Hellfire Club. The group's name intrigued Bryan Singer, who subsequently came up with the idea of setting the film during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He wanted to explore the time period where Professor X and Magneto would be in their mid-20s, which brought him to the 1960s, the height of the Cold War.
- The film is primarily set in 1962, a year before the X-Men debuted in Marvel Comics (September, 1963).
- Josh Schwartz wrote an early version of the screenplay, but once Bryan Singer became attached, Schwartz's script was ditched as Singer wanted to take the story in a different direction. Jamie Moss was subsequently hired to write a new draft.
- Bryan Singer was offered the director's chair but had to turn it down due to his commitment to Jack the Giant Killer (2011). Singer stayed on the project as a producer however.
- In April 2006 Zac Penn was hired to write and direct this film; he was going to make a prequel about Magneto, in a vein similar to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). However, the filmmakers decided to shift the focus from the early years of one mutant to those of the X-Men. Penn found this approach more interesting than what he'd come up with and so stepped down with his blessing.
- Matthew Vaughn was originally hired to direct X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), but left citing pressure from the studio to finish the film within a short time.
- Amber Heard was rumored to play Mystique before Jennifer Lawrence was cast.
- Taylor Lautner was considered to play Hank McCoy (aka Beast) but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Broadway actor Benjamin Walker was previously cast as Beast, however he dropped out of the role to star in the Broadway musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Nicholas Hoult was later cast.
- Rosamund Pike was rumored to play both Moira McTaggert and Emma Frost. Rose Byrne was later cast as Moira and January Jones as Emma Frost. Alice Eve was originally cast as Emma Frost, but a deal couldn't be reached and Sarah Harding was called back three times for the role of Emma Frost but the part went to January Jones.
- Charlie Rowe was initially cast as the young Charles Xavier but, due to scheduling conflicts with Neverland (2011) (TV), he was replaced by Laurence Belcher.
- The filmmakers had only two choices for the role of Sebastian Shaw: Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon. They decided to go with Bacon as he was American and seemed more menacing than Firth.
- This is the second time that January Jones has been cast in 1962 opposite an actor with a pork based name. The first was in Mad Men opposite John Hamm and then this alongside Kevin Bacon
- The character Sunspot was going to appear in the film but he was dropped out.
- The film is based on the "X-Men" comics 'Uncanny X-Men' (1963) and 'X-Men: First Class' (2006).
- The uniforms the X-Men wear are colored blue and yellow, in homage to the original blue/yellow suits the X-Men wore in the comics from1963 (their debut) to 2001 (when X-Men (2000) inspired a change to black leather).
- Director Matthew Vaughn cited the first two X-Films, Star Trek (2009) and the 1960s Bond films as major influences on this film.
- Filming was originally to take place on Tybee Island, but a producer browsing on the online map program Google Earth found Jekyll Island to be a more suitable location.
- Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were considered to appear in the film as the elder Professor X and Magneto, but the idea was rejected as the filmmakers wanted to start a new X-Men trilogy, without any connection to the previous films.
- Both Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy appeared in "Band of Brothers" (2001) at the start of their careers. This marks their first appearance together since then.
- Tahyna Tozzi was considered to reprise her role as Emma Frost from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
- A telepathic battle between Professor X and Emma Frost was going to be in the film, but upon the release of Inception (2010) the concept was scrapped.
- Michael Fassbender, who plays the Jewish character Magneto in this film, had earlier played an Allied Forces soldier in Inglourious Basterds (2009). Paradoxically and ironically, Sir Ian McKellen, who also played Magneto, had earlier played a Nazi in Apt Pupil (1998) (thus going the other way from Fassbender).
- In the comics Alex Summers (Havok) was the brother of Scott Summers (Cyclops). In this film, Alex's relationship with Scott is unknown.
- The filmmakers hired an "X-Men" specialist to help the cast understand their roles.
- Matthew Vaughn instructed the cast to do away with all accents in their performances. James McAvoy had planned to copy Patrick Stewart's voice (since McAvoy was going to play a younger version of Stewart's Xavier), but Vaughn quashed it; Vaughn also told Rose Byrne that Moira MacTaggart would not have her trademark Scottish accent in the film (to the Scottish McAvoy's mild disappointment).
- The film was originally to be a prequel about Magneto. Screenwriter Sheldon Turner wrote a treatment which he described as "X-Men (2000) meets The Pianist (2002)": the story focused on Magneto's early years as a prisoner of war in a Nazi concentration camp, until liberation by a squad of Allied Forces led by Charles Xavier. They later meet after the war and become friends, and later become rivals. The studio decided to change the film's direction to the early years of the X-Men, but incorporated aspects of Turner's script into the film.
- To prepare for his role as Erik Lehnsherr, Michael Fassbender studied Sir Ian McKellen's performance as Lehnsherr in the previous X-Films, but also looked through the comics as he decided to make his own version of Magneto: "You want to respect what someone else has done, especially because the fan base really liked what Ian has done with it. But while I could have gone and studied him as a young man and brought that to the performance, I don't think Matthew is very interested in that. So I'm just going my own way and working with whatever is in the comic books and the script."
- To prepare for his role as Beast, Nicholas Hoult studied Kelsey Grammer's performance as Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and Grammar's earlier series "Frasier" (1993); he also underwent training in athletics, weightlifting and boxing.
- The ending fight between Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr was going to have them use their powers, but Matthew Vaughn reasoned that since it was a prequel about the early X-Men the fight had to be a more conventional brawl: "Fox were saying, people want to see super heroes use their powers... but not in this film." "Sometimes they just want to punch each other. That, to me, is what's different."
- During the Cerebro sequence, one of the first mutants to be seen is Storm as a young girl, noticeable by her long white hair and black skin color.
- This was retconned by X-Men: Apocalypse, where Storm is shown initially with dark brown hair that becomes white when Apocalypse enhanced her powers.
- The film acts as both a prequel and semi-reboot of the franchise. The films sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, removes all of the previous films, except "First Class", from the series continuity via a time travel plot. This is a way to bring the series into a new timeline with the cast of the previous films being able to reprise their roles. Due to this, this movie deliberately ignores the continuity of the previous movies.
- Emma Frost is in the movie, while a similar character was also in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is set in the end of the 1970s. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine she is only a teenager. Though the Emma in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is never referred to as Emma Frost in the film and does not show any telepathic ability, she is also the sister of Kayla Silverfox, so it can be assumed she is an original character based loosely on Emma Frost and thus they are different characters.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand show Charles Xavier being able to walk in the 70s and 80s, but First Class shows that he lost his ability to walk in the 60s. It’s possible he found a way to walk again in the 70s and 80s and lost it again before the first X-Men film but this is unlikely. It might be possible he created an illusion of himself (with the ability to walk) to meet and guide Scott while he was elsewhere, much like Emma Frost did in the bedroom.
- The X-Mansion is not the same as the Mansion in the first three movies. The mansion may have been destroyed and rebuilt before X-Men.
- In X-Men Charles tells Logan that he met Erik when he was 17 years old. In the movie they met when they were in their 20's. It is possible that they briefly met when they were younger, and that Charles remembers this because of this telepathy, but Erik forgot about him.
- In X2 "Mr. Shaw" is seen debating with Dr. Henry McCoy about the mutant phenomenon. X2 is set in the 2000s, while this movie is set in the 1960s (40 years earlier). In the movie McCoy is already transformed, while he is a 'normal person' in X2. This could be explained by an image inducer or a reverse mutation, something that has been done numerous times in the comics. Also Sebastian Shaw died in this film but possibly appears in a very brief cameo in X2. Although it was supposedly intended to be Sebastian, the makers of First Class probably didn't know of this and put Shaw in the movie. However, it can be reconnected as the man on the TV could have been a descendant of Shaw or even a totally different character, as his first name was not seen. The same thing can be said about X2's Dr. McCoy. However, McCoy has been shown in his young "human" self in the second trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, suggesting that the reverse mutation is the one that comes out on top.
- Beast has blue eyes in X-Men: The Last Stand, while in X-Men: First Class he has yellow eyes and a less human countenance in furry form than Grammer's version. This is possibly the result of a further-enhanced mutation, something that has already been suggested to have happened to Sabretooth.
- In X-Men, Xavier says he worked with Magneto to build Cerebro, and Magneto recounts the same in X2, while in First Class Hank McCoy builds it. It could be that Xavier and Magneto constructed the second Cerebro inside Xavier's mansion.
- Charles and Erik have not yet visited Jean Grey, while they did in X-Men: The Last Stand. In The Last Stand it is revealed that they visited her in about 1980, while X-Men: First Class is set in the 1960s. However, Erik and Charles split at the end of the film so unless they call a truce or become allies once again, which according to Michael Fassbender is very possible (likely in the upcoming Days of Future Past film), this cancels out The Last Stand's flashback.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Moira MacTaggert is portrayed as being a British Doctor while in First Class she is an American CIA agent. After the incidents of First Class, she could have left the CIA and become a doctor.
- In X-Men, Xavier states that Cyclops, Jean and Storm were among his first students. In First Class, Havok, Beast, Banshee and Mystique are the first students taught by Xavier. It could be that Xavier simply did not have many more students after these before he got Cyclops, Jean, and Storm, somewhat making them among his first students.
- In the movie, Charles becomes a paraplegic after being hit in the spinal cord by a bullet deflected by Erik when Moira shot at him. However, in X-Men: The Last Stand during the flashback with Erik and Charles recruiting Jean Grey, he is shown walking around without the use of his wheelchair. It could be likely that the First Class was originally intended as a reboot of the franchise with no connections to the previous three films until the release of Days of Future Past.
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