X-Men: First Class – The Producer Speaks

As a preview for SFX #209 (out next week) here’s an extract from our exclusive interview with X-Men: First Class producer Lauren Shuler-Donner

X-Men: First Class is very, very different to its predecessors,” says producer Lauren Shuler-Donner who has overseen all the X-movies so far. “It’s got a different style, a different tone. I believe you have to not just reboot but reinvent. So how do you do it? You make its world unique. You use its strengths. Make it of its world. Nolan’s The Dark Knight is vastly different to Favreau’s Iron Man. They’re very different movies, and that’s how you distinguish them. You stay true to your world.”

Part of the uniqueness of First Class is found in its defiantly retro setting, immersing its protagonists in the age of Kennedy’s Camelot and the Cuban missile crisis. As well as co-opting some Mad Men-style, there’s more than a pinch of vintage, softly-purring 007 cool.

“Yes, it’s got a Connery early ’60s Bond feel to it,” notes Shuler-Donner. “Michael Fassbender’s Eric Lehnsherr has definitely got a Bond element to him. And of course we tried to stay true to the look of the ’60s, the wardrobes and the hair. We took a few liberties, but mostly we’re in that world. And then we have the real events of the time to ground us.”

You imagine a period setting must be a harder sell for today’s audience. “Unfortunately it always is. There’s a generation that went through it, and then there are generations that didn’t, and do not know that time, and we don’t ever want them to see it as a history lesson. But that’s another way to stay unique and different.”