x_men_first_class_01.jpgJoining the elite three-time (Stardust, KICK-ASS) club for comic book movie directors, Matthew Vaughn has signed on to direct X-Men: First Class after a lot of back and forth. Bryan Singer was originally on board to direct but he pulled out due to scheduling — the helmer of the first two X-flicks will stay aboard as producer. Vaughn had been rumored for a while — he was originally scheduled to direct the third X-Men movie before pulling out at the last moment himself, leaving Brett Ratner to have his way with the franchise.   

What’s most unusual about the move is the haste with which it’s been put together — Fox has slated the release as June 3, 2011, and filming is set to begin in a few short months.

The story line will involve younger, cheaper stars playing younger, more youthful X-Men.


  1. Stardust was most definetly NOT a comic book.

    One library catalog record I checked had STARDUST indexed under the Graphic novels and Comic books, strips, etc. subject headings. Distinctions you might make between STARDUST and other types of graphic fiction would probably be lost on most people.


  2. Much like those great graphic novels, DINOTOPIA and GNOMES.

    An example of someone using “graphic novel” in a broad sense:

    While I think we’d be hard-pressed to argue that the average children’s book is a “novel” in any sense (nor would I want to try, in general, though some days I wonder if Dr. Seuss wouldn’t deserve it), one less-average book leaped from my memory: Dinotopia: a Land Apart from Time. [. . .]

    To my mind, this seems like a fine candidate for “graphic novel”, though admittedly it would probably fall into the category of “juvenile lit”. That is, if we’re assuming that graphic novel is rooted in the existence and importance of images in the narrative, no matter how they are laid out or whether our characters talk in speech bubbles. Are we?

  3. Is Vaughn still attached to “American Jesus”?

    Lots of kids’ books could be graphic novels… Tuesday, Black and White, The Snowman, In The Night Kitchen… James Stevenson has used word balloons in his books. Oh, and there are many graphicists who have migrated to picture books, including Mr. Vess (author of the recent “Instructions”) and Jon J. Muth.

    (And while the novelization of “Stardust” is shelved in Science Fiction/Fantasy at B&N, the illustrated novel from Vertigo is shelved in Graphic Novels. So there.)

  4. >> And while the novelization of “Stardust” is shelved in Science Fiction/Fantasy at B&N, the illustrated novel from Vertigo is shelved in Graphic Novels. So there. >>

    It’s still not a comic book.

    If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? Four. Because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

    STARDUST is a 60,000 word novel that was initially serialized and collected with copious illustrations, but it’s still a novel. You can buy it in editions that don’t have Charles’s wonderful illustrations in it, that didn’t have to change a word.


  5. “Graphic novel” might not be the best term for the copiously illustrated edition of Stardust, but then, “graphic novel” isn’t the appropriate term for a collection of comic books, either. The publication of Stardust by DC as a four-issue miniseries complicates things:

    Stardust was originally conceived by Gaiman and Vess as a “story book with pictures,” created by both, to be published by DC Comics. [. . .] Initially it was released in 1997 in what is known in the medium of comics as a prestige format four-issue mini-series. This means it came out once a month in a square-bound high-gloss comic, with high grade paper, high quality color and no advertisements.

    The Library of Congress cataloger who processed the book was a bit confused:

    955 __ |a pb18 12-15-98 to hlcd.; lk24 02-05-99; lh06 02-08-99 (it is published by DC Comics, and it is similar to a comic book in general appearance, but it is not a comic book in format, just a conventional text with an illustration on almost every page, but not every page; not juvenile: it says “Suggested for Mature Readers, even though the main character is a “seemingly simple village boy”); lh37 02-10-99; lg25 to lk24 02-24-99; bk. 4 added lh02 04-02-99 to SL; lk19 received August 16, 1999 11:12 to add v. 1; forwarded for shelflisting August 17, 1999 13:06; lh09 1-3-00, v. 1 to BCCD |c lg27 2003-06-12 (v. 3./closed) |e lg27 2003-06-12 (v. 3) to BCCD

    The LoC itself has a catalog record for the 1998 edition of Stardust which does catalog it as a graphic novel, although LoC didn’t create the record.

    The topic of whether Stardust is a graphic novel has been tackled elsewhere. In the absence of a specific term for a book written for adults which has many pictures but is not sequential art, “graphic novel” seems to be the best term available.


  6. Don’t really understand the point of a First Class movie other than to waste a few million, honestly will the general public see an X-Men movie not featuring Wolverine? I doubt it.

  7. I don’t know if it’s implied in the article, but…the “haste” to which it’s been put together is to prevent the rights from shifting back to Marvel Studios, which they’d love to happen.

    So I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that 2011 release date holds, and things are sure to be done really hastily. Though as I’ve noticed isn’t Matthew Vaughn’s speed, he likes to take his time with movies…so he could put the kibosh on the film all by himself by dropping out at a crucial time if he’s unhappy with being rushed. (and I couldn’t fully blame him)

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