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From Gossip Girl To Marvel Girl

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Rumors first started circulating about this months ago, and Variety is now reporting that Josh Schwartz, creator of "The O.C.," "Chuck" and "Gossip Girl," will be scripting "X-Men: First Class" for FOX. The studio declined to confirm any details about the project, but the article notes that FOX has been leaning towards using the younger characters from the previous films in future installments.

Resulting film would likely draw from elements of the Marvel comic of the same name, launched in 2006, and enlist such characters as Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, who have appeared prominently or made cameos in prior pics.

Given Hollywood's penchant for reboots with new actors playing familiar roles, pic could also reintroduce characters. Comicbook revolves around the Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Professor X.

Since "X-Men: First Class" is one of my absolute favorite comic books, I naturally have mixed feelings about this news. The title immediately fills me with hopes of seeing everything I love about the comic played out on the big screen: lighthearted adventure, innocence, comedy, maybe the first sparks of young love between Scott and Jean, a Jean who is alive, a bouncy and non-furry Beast, a funny Iceman, and a pointed lack of douchey-ness from all characters, especially Professor X and Cyclops. Then my better judgment kicks in and I realize that I shouldn't even expect Iceman and Angel in the movie, since that wouldn't line up with the other films (the X-Men met Angel, aka Warren Worthington III, for the first time in the third film, and Iceman was way too young to have been part of an original group featuring Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, etc.), let alone a movie that even comes close to approaching the sheer joy of a single issue of the comic. And an adorable back up strip with Colleen Coover art is right out.

Whatever the characters in the film may turn out to be, I'm on board with a reboot, or whatever this turns out to be. An X-Men film that followed up on "X-Men: the Last Stand," seems pretty inconceivable for a variety of reasons, and pretty awful for reasons I won't even get into as to avoid the rage that thinking about that movie always brings out in me. (I'm trying desperately to quell the growing tide even as I type this.) I think Josh Schwartz is a good choice as a writer too. His television work suggests that he should be able to balance the action, angst, soap opera elements and FUN that I want from an X-Man movie. Now I just hope FOX does a better job of picking a director than they did the last time, since Schwartz apparently turned that gig down.

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