Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'X-Men: First Class' One Sheet, Pics & Interviews

Updated: One Sheet

Hopefully there will be a better resolution picture soon but for the moment this is your first look(Picture below) at Matthew Vaughn's 'X-Men: First Class.'
From left to right, then: Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, (AKA Nightcrawler’s dad), Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Lucas Till as Havok, Zoe Kravitz as Angel, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier.

'X-Men: First Class' opens June 3.

Update: Michael Fassbender chatted to MSN about taking up the role of Magneto in 'X-Men: First Class:'
MSN: What drew you to play this character and take on the challenge of assuming a role established by Ian McKellen?

Michael Fassbender: Hopefully I won't disappoint the fan base out there, because I know that what Ian McKellen did sort of latched onto a lot of imaginations and was very successful. But what drew me was the script and Matthew Vaughn and the fact that James McAvoy was going to be playing young Xavier. I thought it was a fresh take on the whole story. I've never been a big comic book enthusiast, but I thought it was an interesting concept to go back to when they were both friends and initially came together.

As someone coming to this from a sort of open perspective and not really being a fan, what did you learn about this character?

He's such a complex character, really, and the idea of him being a villain is interesting considering his history (Lehnsherr is a Holocaust survivor who lost his family in the camps, and later lost his wife and daughter) ... he's a very solitary individual, and the pain and grief that's gone on even before we meet him in this film is an interesting pool of information to draw from, in coming up with this Machiavellian character for whom the ends justified the means. You can see where he's coming from. Human beings don't have the greatest track record in what they've done throughout history, so his point of view is, "Well, we are the next stage of evolution -- (humans) are to us what Neanderthals were to Homo sapiens."

He's always been a fascinating character because he's not completely wrong, but thinks that everything he does is right, no matter what the cost.

He's an extremist, and that's always a dangerous place to be. By the time we leave him at the end of this movie, he's become very clear about what he wants and his decisions and his game plan.

Early word on the movie's story line draws parallels between Xavier and Lehnsherr and Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in terms of the methods they use to achieve their goals. Did that comparison come out for you while making the film?

You don't set out to play these things that way, but it's a good parallel to have in the back of one's mind, as something to take from real life as a reference. I didn't study any Malcolm X videos or anything like that. But it clarifies where both these characters are coming from. Hopefully by the end of the film, the audience is like, "Damn, why didn't these two guys stay together?" They have enough in common and not in common to keep each other in check, and hopefully the audience will feel like they could have worked together for the greater good.

One of the criticisms of "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006) was that a lot of mutant characters were jammed into the film, introduced and then never developed. There are a lot of mutants in this film as well, but from your perspective are they handled better here?

The cool thing about this movie is that I think it does deal with each individual mutant, and the ones they've chosen are all very much individuals and unique personalities with unique gifts. What's interesting is that we've gone back to a period where the mutants don't know that there are other people out there like them. They just think they're freaks and outcasts from society ... all of these new characters are fearful of their gifts and uncomfortable and misplaced in society, so hopefully when they all sort of come together and realize they're not alone and feel more comfortable in their own skin, that's a discovery for all the characters that you experience.

The film is set in the '60s and Vaughn has said he wanted to capture a certain look -- specifically referencing the James Bond films of that era. He has also said that the costumes will be more like the comics' versions and not the black rubber look of the other "X-Men" films. Can you comment on both of those ideas?

There's a scene where they just sort of transformed this hall in London into Buenos Aires Airport, and I just looked around this mock airport and said to myself, "My God, I've just had a feeling of being in the '60s." From the colors to the costume designs to the production design itself, there's a sort of nostalgia in the air when you look around the room. It's just from my own perception of the '60s, and all that came with it in terms of the music and the fashions and so forth, but all of that comes across in the visual references that we all have. All of that is there to encapsulate the feeling of that era, for sure.

As for our costumes, we went back and forth on so many things. We added things that worked in the comics, took them away again, and stripped them down again. ... When it came to the Magneto suit, you know, there's various stages of what has been done with it, but you will have something that is traditional to the comics. There is a helmet (laughs), which is of course essential to keep Charlie-boy out of my head, and the colors are also kept traditional to the comics, that sort of red and purple. I don't know if I'm giving you too much, but I'll say it anyway (laughs).
Kevin Bacon also talked about playing the villain Sebastian Shaw:
What can you tell us about your character, Sebastian Shaw, and how he figures into the plot?
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.

Is your look changing for the film?
My look is very different from the guy in the comic books. We decided pretty early on that that was not going to translate to film. But there's a certain kind of style to the suits that I wear, but I don't have anything extreme in the makeup department. When you first meet me -- I don't want to spoil it -- but when you first meet me, I look a little different.

Are you signed on to more than one film?
I am, but whether or not I end up in any more remains to be seen.

Matthew Vaughn was planning a big action scene in a rotating room, but scrapped it after he saw 'Inception,' and said he needed to go bigger. How has he topped it?
I'm trying to think what scene that was. I remember hearing something about that, but I'm not sure if that was online or actually from Matthew. But we do have a really, really super cool scene in a hall of mirrors and that's going to be really spectacular.

What's the craziest-looking mutant or mutant power that will get audiences talking?
That's hard to say because when you do a movie like this, so much of this stuff is happening in post. There were some practical things, like it's no secret that Magneto has the power to move and bend metal and the way that's handled right from the first scene in the movie is going to be really cool. It's something we haven't seen in any other movie so far.

The movie is set in the '60s: Is Vaughn going for a swinging '60s, James Bond look?
There is an element of that, certainly to my character. I've got some pretty nice pads and I'm kind of slick in that way. I don't think it's visually, in terms of camera moves, it's not trying to recreate that. But it has an element of that. The set design is fantastic. I've only seen the sets that I've been on and they are really interesting and very '60s modern and super cool, and beautiful. I have one set that's kind of like an inner sanctum and then I also have a submarine; the inside of the sub has elements of my other set. I have my own set of style and wanted to translate it over to my board room and stuff. It's great. I love the way it looks.

What's the coolest part of the film?
That's hard for me to say, not having seen the movie. But I think the youth of the movie, that is really exciting. You've got Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Zoƫ Kravitz (Angel) and James McAvoy (Professor Xavier) and all these young actors who are about to explode. When you see them become what we know of as the X-Men, to me, that's really cool. The visual stuff, I can't say, until I've seen the effects. But from a plot standpoint, watching the creation of that kind of elite squad and yet they're all in this college dorm room kind of atmosphere, where there's romances and drunken parties and people become friends and then they have a falling out. I think all that stuff is going to be really cool. All of these movies deliver something other than just another airplane blowing up because there's interesting stuff going on between the characters.

What was the most fun part of playing this character?
I have a really newfound appreciation for those actors, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr., and Hugh Jackman, that are able to work within this kind of genre with all the green screen and create great, memorable performances. It's very difficult; for me the most fun is always connecting on a scene and working with another actor to try to make that scene work. There was a scene near the end of the film between me and Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and the scene was okay, but I don't think either one of us was figuring it out. So Matthew let us spend a weekend up at his house and really figured it out from an acting standpoint, what this moment really means between these two. And that's the fun stuff. Hanging from a crane is fun too, but not as fun as actually connecting with another actor.
IGN has spoken to January Jones about her role as Emma Frost:
IGN: What was your reaction to being offered a role in a X-Men film, and particularly this character?

January Jones: I was very excited to do something so different and so iconic and be a part of a franchise like that. But also there was a huge weight of responsibility, too, to portray that character. There are so many fans of the comics and the movies that -- inevitably, I'm going to disappoint someone, but I just wanted to really do my research and still have fun with it. It's been a blast so far. I just hope all the fans enjoy it as much as we have.

IGN: What were you thinking when you first saw what Emma Frost's costume: excited, scared or did you just find it ridiculous?

Jones: It was a little bit of both, '"Let's go for it!" and "You've gotta be kidding me?" No actual woman looks like that. She's very blessed, shall we say. So coming straight from Mad Men, literally the day before, there was no way I could get physically cut like that. Also, for a woman to get that physically cut and not lose the curvy areas was a bit of a challenge for me, so I just did some weight training and body sculpting. I had a lot of fun with that, too. All the stunt training and the physical aspects of the role that I didn't know I'd be doing were a lot of fun. Because her powers are very strong on both the mental and physical sides, so it was a lot of fun for me to go to different places than I've had to do as an actor before.

IGN: This is a project that came together very fast and is now coming out in just a few months, which would suggest that you guys were going to have to do a lot of effects and action shots practically. Was that the case and, if so, how was that compared to being asked to stand before a green screen and imagine what was happening?

Jones: Well, we're still shooting it. When I heard it was coming out that quickly, I had a lot of questions. They're editing as we go, doing the visual effects as we go. Obviously, I have a lot of faith in the people we're using for those things. I didn't have to do any wire work, but there was a lot of wire work involved for some of the characters and there are times when you're imagining this is going to be happening behind you so you react to that, which was my first experience with that sort of thing and which was fun. It was like coming to work and being a little kid and using your imagination and times feeling kind of silly, but embracing the fact that it's going to look awesome. And from what I've seen it looks amazingly incredible. Just Emma Frost's diamond form alone I've never seen anything like it.

IGN: Who do you have the most scenes with?

Jones: I'd say Kevin Bacon, probably, and McAvoy and Fassbender. Mostly those guys.

IGN: Can you talk about Emma's relationship with Sebastian and the Hellfire Club in the movie and how period do they get with the Hellfire Club?

Jones: I don't want to give any of that away as far as their relationship, but I can say that it doesn't feel like a period movie. There's obviously historical aspects in the storytelling and some of the props and stuff, but I think it feels very modern. It does take place in 1962. One of the things that's brought in from that time, the Hellfire Club aspect especially, is that it's pretty -- I dunno, the Bunnies and the Playboy clubs. It's really cool. You'd think Sinatra was there. The sets are really cool and the vibe of the whole thing is really neat.

IGN: It sounds like the kind of place the guys from Sterling Cooper Draper Price wouldn't mind frequenting.

Jones: Yeah, but with really badass mutants hanging out as well.

IGN: How much of Emma's background -- in the comics she's a self-made woman, comes from lots of money and an old Yankee family -- how much of that do we learn about in the movie, or is she really just more of a mysterious femme fatale type here?

Jones: Not in this one. We don't go into too much of the backstory. Not really. it's more of a mystery about the relationship she has with Shaw and her past and why she reacts certain ways to certain things. I think the fans of the comic who know her history will understand why she does certain things because they know her, but I don't think it'll be confusing to audiences who don't know her backstory either.

IGN: So is she definitely a villain in the movie or is she a bit more ambiguous, sort of like maybe a Bond girl where you don't know whose side she's on?

Jones: Well, she's on the side of the mutants. I have hard time defining who is good guy-bad guy in this because everyone's pro-mutant. It's just whether you trust the humans or you don't. So I can't say whether she's a bad guy or a good guy.

IGN: Can you say whether you'd do a sequel?

Jones: Yeah, I'd love to do another one. I've had a great experience on this one. It's been really, really fun and just an exciting place to go to work. Just a lot of great talent and also we just get to play. It feels like being a kid again, although my outfits are not. (laughs)

IGN: Do you think that since it's a period comic book film that's what will help differentiate it from the other comic book movies coming out soon and will make it stand out more to filmgoers? Yes, it's a recognizable brand name, but in no way like you've seen it before.

Jones: Yeah, I think that aspect will help it. I think it's just an intelligent story as well because of the history, it's a period piece, it brings in a lot of characters' backstories. You can see Professor X and Magneto and how this all came about and Sebastian Shaw. I think just having that backstory and that kind of drama aspect to it just brings a whole new level to the storytelling. It's not just all in-your-face action. There's also a real dramatic storyline underneath it that makes it much more interesting. I also think it was very smart to take a real-life historical event like the Cuban Missile Crisis or whatever it is during that time in 1962 and weave all these different storylines of these mutants. It's a really good idea that makes you feel like it could have happened or that maybe it did. I think having it set in that time will just take it up a notch.
Updated: New pictures and close up look at the new faces: