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X-Men producer Bryan Singer Empty Re: X-Men producer Bryan Singer

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:22 pm

Bryan Singer Spills The Beans On 'X-Men: First Class'; '60s Setting, Hellfire Club As Villains

Despite casting being mostly wrapped up this week, and filming kicking off any day now for a release date next June, surprisingly little has been known about the actual details of "X-Men: First Class." We were aware that it would pick up aspects of the abandoned "X-Men Origins: Magneto" script, featuring Professor X and Magneto as young men, friends and allies, facing a greater threat, but, considering the wide-ranging cast and ragtag group of characters, taken from various incarnations of the X-Men, we weren't quite sure what to expect.

Fortunately, Bryan Singer gave Harry Knowles at Ain't It Cool News a ring, and filled in some of the blanks. First of all, the film, as previously speculated, will take place in the 1960s -- the era of JFK, MLK and significant social change -- ensuring a civil rights undertone and for the story to tie in with the continuity of the existing films; hence why, aside from Beast and Mystique, who were theoretically older, or at least caked under enough make-up that it doesn't matter so much, none of the other mutants from Singer's films have been announced for the film (indeed, Singer confirms that Cyclops and Jean Gray won't appear at all).

Furthermore, Singer confirms that Kevin Bacon, who was announced as playing the film's villain, will, as rumored, be playing Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club. For those unfamiliar with the comic books, the club are a secret society, made up of influential members of society, with sinister plans, and Shaw, a mutant with the power to absorb kinetic energy and use it to increase his strength, was their leader (or at least, was most frequently the leader in the comics' tortured continuity).

Emma Frost, the role being taken by January Jones of "Mad Men," is also a member, although she goes on to become a key member of the X-Men. It's a little unclear from Knowles' report, but it seems like the villains will retain the 18th century costumes they've traditionally worn, something that perhaps makes more sense within a period setting anyway. (We'd heard reports that Bacon would be a CIA agent, and, while we're told that the CIA do play a part in the plot, it seems that Oliver Platt, as 'The Man in Black,' is in that role)

Singer also reveals that we'll see Xavier (the role that James McAvoy has taken) beginning as a young man at Oxford University, with hair and the ability to walk, removing (at least at the start of the film) the two most recognizable aspects of the character. Furthermore, the costumes will be closer to the comics than in Singer's films, and director Matthew Vaughn is being inspired by 1960s Bond movies in terms of the technology, so we'd expect a kind of retro-chic feel to the production design. There'll also be a Bond-esque globe-trotting feel, with the story taking place in England, the United States and the then USSR, with other countries also featuring in somewhere.

It sounds rather bold and ambitious, and certainly a risk which should see it standing apart from the legion of other superhero movies next summer ("Thor," "Green Lantern" and the similarly period-themed "Captain America" all open within a few weeks of the film). We're certainly looking forward to it more than we were yesterday, even if the still-in-flux nature of the script (which has changed hugely since Vaughn and co-writer Jane Goldman came on board) is a concern.

Filming kicks off on August 31st in the UK, with McAvoy, Jones, Bacon, Platt, Michael Fassbender, Caleb Landry, Nicholas Hoult, Lucas Till, Jennifer Lawrence, Edi Gathegi, Jason Flemyng, Rose Byrne, Zoe Kravitz, Bill Milner and Morgan Lily making up the extremely promising cast. If Vaughn can overcome the tonal uncertainty that's marked most of his work so far, this could well be one of the better superhero entries of next year.

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Post by Admin on Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:27 pm

Bryan Singer Shares Details on X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
by Brendan Bettinger Posted:August 21st, 2010 at 8:19 am

With the August 31st start date of Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class fast approaching, we’ve posted a ton of casting news recently. With multiple actors playing the same character at different ages (for instance: Jennifer Lawrence is Mystique, Morgan Lily is Young Mystique), the nature and setting of the how and when of First Class was a bit murky.

Thankfully, producer Bryan Singer came along to clear up some of the finer points. Because we’re entering spoiler territory, you can find what he had to say after the jump.

Here are the highlights of Singer’s conversation with AICN:

-The film takes place in the 1960s: John F. Kennedy is president, and it sounds like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X will appear on TVs in the background. The technology in the film is inspired by the James Bond films of the decade.

-Shooting will take place in England and the U.S., with other international locations (including The Soviet Union) represented.

-We will see how Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) met Erik Lehnsherr (aka Magneto, played by Michael Fassbender) in their late twenties. Together they envision a future in which mutants and humans are united, and lay out what they intend to achieve in assembling the X-Men.

-Xavier will have full use of his legs and a full head of hair at the beginning of the film. By the end of First Class, we will see how he ended up in a wheelchair.

-Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey are absent from the film. Scott’s brother Alex Summers (Havoc) is confirmed for First Class, as played by Lucas Till.

-Kevin Bacon will indeed be playing Sebastian Shaw in the film (pictured, right), as a key member of the Hellfire Club. When asked if Bacon would sport the ponytail and ribbon associated with the character, Singer laughed and remarked, “We’ll see.” I’m guessing that’s a yes.

-Singer suggests “this is not the conventional First Class comic, but rather a new beginning for X-Men.” The costumes will be “far more comic bookish” than the prior films. Singer promises sort of glimpse of the costumes and the look of First Class within the month.

With the exception of Rosamund Pike (rumored for Moira MacTaggert), Singer confirms that the cast as listed on IMDB is correct. Here’s how it stacks up:

* James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier
* Michael Fassbender as Magneto
* Bill Milner as Young Magneto
* Nicholas Hoult as Beast
* Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee
* Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique
* Morgan Lily as Young Mystique
* Kevin Bacon as villain Sebastian Shaw
* Edi Gathegi as Darwin
* Jason Flemyng as Azazel
* Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
* Oliver Platt as The Man in Black
* January Jones as Emma Frost
* Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore
* Lucas Till as Havoc

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Post by Admin on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:42 pm

Bryan Singer talks X-Men: First Class, addresses rumours of Wolverine cameo
By David Bentley on Nov 2, 10 04:59 PM

Bryan Singer at Valkyrie premiere.jpgBRYAN SINGER was the man who brought the X-Men to the big screen - and revived the superhero movie genre - back in 2000.

He went on to make X2, which has earned a leading place in the genre as well as among the X-Men series, and is now back with the franchise as a producer on the prequel X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

At a recent film screening, Bryan Singer spoke about First Class and his work on the X-Men as a whole.

Among other topics, internet rumours about Hugh Jackman having a Wolverine cameo in the film were addressed. Jackman was reported to be in the vicinity of Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, where part of First Class will be shot.

Singer also gave his thoughts on the new Superman film and on his planned remake of John Boorman's Arthurian classic Excalibur. In this first part, we'll focus on what he had to say about the X-Men.

Singer explained: "It's about how Xavier - if you know X-Men universe - how Professor Xavier and Magneto kind of met and became friends and how that friendship turned into something else.

"It takes place in the early 60s and it incorporates some characters I was able to bring back in time that are familiar, as well as some new characters, new mutants.

"Also, there's a new villain component, a really cool villain and villain group.

"It's a really cool and fun story. It will be the first Silver Age Marvel movie", he said.

The Silver Age of comic books refers to those between 1958 and 1970, after the Golden Age (1938-1950) and prior to the Bronze Age (1970-1985) and current Modern Age. It marked a renaissance for comics, with new codes of conduct introduced, after a decline when they were blamed for influencing juvenile crime. Among the titles born in this period were X-Men, Iron Man, Daredevil, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers.

The X-Men comic was an allegory for the socio-political climate of the time and it's against that backdrop of discrimination and the fight for equality that First Class sees Xavier and Magneto enter the scene as emerging mutants.

Magneto Xavier.jpgSinger elaborated: "We've set First Class in a time when the X-Men were conceived in the early 60s, up against political events that were happening - the early civil rights movement - and we have these kinds of events at a time when the world didn't know mutants existed."

Asked if Wolverine would make any kind of appearance in the First Class project, he dismissed the idea, stating: "He's not in the movie, he's in the Wolverine movies."

A Fox spokesman has since told us: "X-Men hasn't started shooting in Georgia yet and if Hugh was in Georgia, it wasn't for this movie."

Singer added that without his success directing 1995's The Usual Suspects, which cemented his status as a filmmaker, he wouldn't have been able to gather such a great cast for the X-Men films.

He also spoke about how he loves ensemble projects, which has allowed him to handle a large number of characters in the X-Men movies.

"I do love having peripheral characters that you can work with, particularly if you can find ways to make them relevant to the picture", he said.

"It also gives you more to cut to, there's more going on. I find ensemble films for me are easier, juggling the characters, than films that centre around a single character because you have nowhere else to go with your story, with the camera, so I enjoy ensembles a lot."

First Class, released on June 3, 2011, is currently in production at Britain's Pinewood Studios, with a cast including James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, January Jones as Emma Frost and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.

It charts Xavier and Magneto's earlier years and the events that led to them parting ways and forming the opposing forces of the X-Men and Brotherhood.

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Post by Admin on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:40 pm

Bryan Singer on ‘X-Men: First Class’: It’s got to be about Magneto and Professor X
March 18, 2010 | 12:58 p.m.


This is a longer version of a story that will appear in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and also on the cover of Brand X.
Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner

Through the years, comic-book films took audiences to all the predictable places, including the grim streets of Gotham City and the doomed spires of planet Krypton, but, a decade ago, a new type of comic-book film had the audacity to set its opening sequence in a truly unexpected place — the gates of Auschwitz, where Jewish families were being marched through mud on their way to death and despair.

From those first moments, “X-Men” set itself apart from the entire Hollywood history of comic-book adaptations and marked the beginning of this current era of fanboy cinema, which has dominated the box office and elevated San Diego’s Comic-Con International into something resembling a Cannes for capes.

“The opening, it really was a declaration of intent,” producer Lauren Shuler Donner said of that sequence, which showed a terrified young boy exhibiting mutant powers as his family was separated by German guards. “It said to the audience this is a serious film, grounded in the realistic and the historic and somewhat dark. It was so smart. And it was all totally Bryan.”

That would be Bryan Singer, the director of “X-Men” and its first sequel, who was sitting next to Shuler Donner in her office on a recent afternoon. The pair both had big smiles on their faces — they had been reunited by an invitation to reminisce about the legacy of the July 2000 release, which they were happy to do, but the conversation kept veering into giddy plans for the future. Singer is returning to the “X-Men” universe, it’s clear now, for a project called “X-Men: First Class“; it’s all just a matter of timing.

“I had lunch with Hugh Jackman today,” Singer said, and Shuler Donner, after asking for an off-the-record moment, pressed the 44-year-old filmmaker for details. A few minutes later, with the recorder back on, Singer said he is mightily enthused to work again with Shuler Donner, who has produced two X-films without him, the Brett Ratner-directed “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006 and the Gavin Hood-directed “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in 2009.
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

“I genuinely like the people, and my personality meshes more with this universe than it does with other universes, I think; I see that now at this point,” Singer said, no doubt referring to his defection to the DC Comics universe to make the oddly lifeless 2006 movie “Superman Returns.” “I feel a connection to the X-Men characters and also the ensemble nature of the films. If you look at ’Usual Suspects’‘ or my last film, ‘Valkyrie,’ I feel especially comfortable with ensemble juggling. In the space between all the characters you can disguise a central thought that’s hidden in all the discourse. I missed that with the singular relationship story of Superman. And, well, it always gives you something to cut to…”

More on the future of “X-Men: First Class” in a moment, but first let’s cut to the past — 1999, when the Hollywood approach to comic books was a far different one.

It was the year “Mystery Men” was released as yet another campy spoof of the masked-man sector. Still fresh in the public mind, too, was Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” (1997), which stripped away any psychological elements of the orphan-turned-vigilante tale and instead gave the world the questionable innovation of putting nipples on the bat-suits. Marvel Comics, meanwhile, was a joke when it came to the silver screen, with only three wide-release films based on its characters — “Howard the Duck” in 1986, “Punisher” in 1988 and “Blade” in 1999 (that last one was actually satisfying for movie fans but had very little in common with the comics and was based on a relatively obscure character from the “Tomb of Dracula” comics of the 1970s).

Considering all that, the plan for “X-Men” was nothing short of revolutionary. Singer and his team, working from a script credited to David Hayter, would take the mutant superheroes of the wildly popular “X-Men” comics and treat them as believable outsiders in a reality-based world. Instead of spandex suits, though, they were outfitted in black leather, following in the fashion-savvy footsteps of “The Matrix,” which hadn’t been a comic-book movie but certainly felt like one.
X-Men campfire

“Some reviews were brutal and some lovely, but we had a $21-million Friday, a record at the time, and we knew we had turned a corner,” Singer said.

The movie became the opening salvo in an onslaught of superhero movies that were like night-and-day when compared to the films of the 1990s and earlier. “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” three “Spider-Man” films, “Iron Man,” two “Hellboy” movies, two “Hulk” films and “Watchmen” all followed “X-Men” in tone and spirit. There are many, many more to come: “Iron Man 2″ arrives in May, “Thor” has just begun filming, and “Green Lantern,” “The First Avenger: Captain America,” a third Batman film and reboots of Spider-Man and Superman are gearing up. That’s just a few; there are three dozen other comics-based projects at various points in the Hollywood pipeline, which was unimaginable in the days after “Batman & Robin,” when the source material was considered radioactive in studio boardrooms.

Shuler Donner has watched the legacy of “X-Men” grow but she says that, at the time, in the closing days of the editing process she wasn’t sure what kind of movie Singer had on his hands.

“There wasn’t anything else like this; all the other superhero movies were made with a different tone and we were nervous,” Shuler Donner said. “You lose perspective, and now in hindsight it seems like the right choices were made but at time it was scary, believe me.”

Singer was feeling the fear for sure. In the editing bay, at one point, the director wondered if the train was about to leave the track. “I was in the cutting room and I got up and went for a walk with [Twentieth Century Fox executive] Peter Rice and I said, ‘When this thing fails critically and financially, I will never have the opportunity to make this kind of film again.’ I was very depressed. Peter said, ‘Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t fail. That was his advice.”

Singer was no comic-book fan growing up; his compass point for heroic tales was Richard Donner’s “Superman” film in 1978, which made it no surprise that he jumped at the chance to work with that director’s wife on “X-Men” and then jumped ship after two films — with the blessing of both Donners — so he could re-conjure Metropolis for a new generation.

Even without the comic-book passion of, say, Sam Raimi, the director of the three “Spider-Man” movies, Singer knew that “X-Men” would need to win over the true believers who had been reading the comics for years. The characters of Wolverine, Magneto and Cyclops were hardly household names like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, and the director believed that the Hollywood tradition of dismissing hard-core comics fans would be a disaster in this case.

“Ultimately, the comic-book fans are your first core audience, the ones that are going to embrace it and talk about it and embrace it or reject it,” Singer said. “They were the first people we worried about.”

Shuler Donner nodded. “If the fans didn’t embrace us, we knew we were in trouble. We wanted a wider audience, but it began with the comic book fans. The approach was to do a more realistic approach to the characters that the fans loved. They second-guess us a lot, still, but we did win them over.”

The film made a star out of Hugh Jackman, who was a late-in-the-game replacement for Dougray Scott, who was tied up on the set of “Mission: Impossible II.”
Bryan Singer and Ian McKellan

Jackman arrived on the set late in the day and Singer took a good look at him. “I thought, ‘Oh his face is rounder than I thought.’ It was important that Wolverine have a round face and I thought Hugh’s face looked longer in the tape I had seen. He also wasn’t as huge as I thought he would be. My opinion was, ‘Maybe this isn’t as impossible as I thought it would be.’ “

To make the final call, Singer had two cameras set up in the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall, where the crew had been shooting a U.S. Senate scene that day. Jackman and Anna Paquin, who played young Rogue in the film, were seated in two folding chairs put side-by-side so they could run through a scene where they are driving in a pickup truck together.

On the second take, Singer stepped away from the monitor so he could just filter everything out and listen to Jackman’s voice. A janitor working for the venue sidled up to the baby-faced filmmaker and, mistaking him for a production assistant, began whispering a question.

“He didn’t want to bother anyone important, so he sees me, this kid, and walked up and whispered, ‘Hey, is that the guy they got to play Wolverine?’ And I thought, ‘Hmm, this is the moment, take the leap.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ The first guy to know was the cleaning guy. And he said, ‘Cool.’ It’s a good thing he didn’t say, ‘Ugh, are you kidding me?’ “

Singer offered the role to Jackman then and there. It took a month, though, for the actor to really find the feral center of his character.

“He’s a real sweetheart,” Singer said. “He’s the most loving guy, and someone who came out of musical theater. I send some ridiculous note, ‘I need anger, that rage, that Russell Crowe side, get into a fight with your wife or something.’ The next day he came up to me and said, ‘Bry, I thought about what you said but if I ever got in a fight with Deborra, I would show up for work in tears.’ I realized that’s the other side of Wolverine and we didn’t want to lose that either — he’s a guy you wouldn’t want to get into a bar fight with but you’d let him babysit your kids.”

Jackman was the breakout star but the cast was an especially deep one. Paquin would go on to the success of “True Blood” and Halle Berry would a year later win an Oscar for “Monster’s Ball.” Ian McKellen (who had worked with Singer on “Apt Pupil“) was a year away from his signature role as Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and, along with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” veteran Patrick Stewart, he brought a gravitas to the superhero film that kept it from slipping into a camp affair.

“I was a big Trekkie, so I was excited to go see Patrick and meet him,” said Singer, who dropped by the set of Richard Donner’s “Conspiracy Theory” to make his pitch to Stewart. “He didn’t know much about the X-Men at all, we had to explain it all. As for Ian, he liked the idea of the movie because of the gay allegory — the allegory of the mutants as outsiders, disenfranchised and alone and coming to all of that at puberty when their ‘difference’ manifests. Ian is activist and he reality responded to the potential of that allegory.”

How did Fox respond to Singer’s plan to start a superhero movie with a Holocaust scene and infuse it with subtext about the struggle of homosexual teenagers in modern America? Singer said there were really no battles to be won. “There was no particular expectation, really, or pressure — it wasn’t an enormous budget — and there was no template because these characters were not Superman or Batman. There was no issue of content or even tone.”

The reviews were generally good (the film stands at an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) but not fawning. For instance, Kenneth Turan, writing in the Los Angeles Times, was supportive but not dazzled: “While ‘X-Men’ doesn’t take your breath away wire-to-wire the way ‘The Matrix’ did, it’s an accomplished piece of work with considerable pulp watchability to it. And having a self-referential sense of humor (‘You actually go outside in these things?’ Wolverine says when face-to-face with an X-uniform) makes the special effects go down that much smoother.”

The first “X-Men” film made $296 million worldwide, but its sequel, “X2: X-Men United,” with the benefit of a bigger budget and story elements already in place, rang up $408 million worldwide and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest win, though, was in the hearts and minds of Hollywood. As time went on, people began to see Singer’s “X-Men” films as special. David Denby, in the New Yorker, wrote in praise of “the liquid beauty and the poetic fantasy of Singer’s work.” Denby didn’t feel the magic with replacement director Ratner, however, whom he dismissed as “a crude synthesizer of comedy and action tropes.”

The third X-Men movie made the most money at the box office ($459 million worldwide) but many fans found it unsatisfying, and Shuler Donner, choosing her words carefully, made it clear that she is ready for Singer to come back to the mutant universe. “He has an authorship, I feel, and I love all of my directors but with Bryan I would send him e-mails saying ‘Where are you? You should be here.’ “
Lauren Shuler Donner and Bryan Singer

That’s why Shuler Donner went to Singer with “X-Men: First Class,” a prequel to the 2000 film that shares its name with the eight-issue comics series that began in 2006 and was written by Jeff Parker with art by Roger Cruz. Singer says the film will find its axis in the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the point where their friendship soured. It will also detail the beginning of the school for mutants and have younger incarnations of some characters with new actors in roles of Cyclops, Jean Grey, the Beast, etc. (He only shrugged when asked if Hugh Jackman might appear as Wolverine, the one character who doesn’t age at the same rate as humans.)
X-Men First Class

The premise has compelling elements to it, Singer said. “Just doing younger mutants is not enough. The story needs to be more than that. I love the relationship between Magneto and Xavier, these two men who have diametrically opposite points of view but still manage to be friends — to a point. They are the ultimate frenemies.”

Before Singer can dive into casting, he has a rather large problem – the fact that Warner Bros. has the filmmaker on the hook to direct “Jack the Giant Killer.” Fox, flush with money from “Avatar,” is eager to move forward with its mutant franchise in all of its permutations, so there are negotiations that need to be done.

Shuler Donner also has pitched Singer on doing a fourth installment of the previously established “X-Men” franchise and Jackman had that lunch with Singer to coax him into a project as well, which may or may not be a “Wolverine” film, which Jackman has said will be set in Japan and released in 2011. “I wish I could be four people,” the director said with a moan. “I could make everybody happy.”

Singer turned to Shuler Donner and said of “X-Men 4″: “Hold that one off for just a little, I’m fixated on the other one right now.” She nodded and answered, “I will, I will … I’m holding it open with high hopes. It’s totally different [from 'First Class'] and it will be so interesting for you.”

At that point, Singer and Shuler Donner asked for some more off-the-record time to talk about the future instead of the past. Then, with the recorder rolling once more, Singer was asked if he believed his first mutant movie would be remembered as a pioneering moment in Hollywood.

“I don’t know if people followed in our footsteps or maybe we were just the first of a group going down the same path together,” Singer said. “I can tell you this: I remember when Marvel Comics was in bankruptcy and I bought stock for a friend as a joke. That was before ‘X-Men’ and it was one of the reasons we had so much freedom. And now Disney paid $4 billion for the company. That sort of caught my attention. I just think we made some good movies. And now we’re going to make more.”

– Geoff Boucher

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Post by Admin on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:52 am

Accoridng to the LA Time's article that featured the first pictures as well as interviews with the cast and crew for X-Men: First Class They claim that Director Bryan Singer, who is producing first class and directed the first two instalments for the franchise is hopeful for a return to the directors chair...

In 2000 The X-Men Franchise became one of the first comic book movies to hit it big at the box office and started what by now seems like a revoloution of comics to the silver screen, The man behind the camera was Bryan Singer. The success of the first movie would lead to a sequel in 2003 with Singer again directing. Then when it came time for a third movie Singer dropped out and went on to direct Superman Returns.

After the fans got a piece of X-Men: The Last Stand most were begging for Singer to return. Then we had the prequel X-Men: First Class, which was going to see Singer return as dirctor. Then schedule conflicts forced Singer to take a smaller role as a producer with the original X-Men: The Last Stand, Matthew Vaughn taking the helm.

In a set report for X-Men: First Class by LA TIMES a paragraph stated that Bryan Singer was looking for a return as the dirctor for another X-Men movie:

Now he’s returning as a producer for this “X-Men” installment and still hopes to direct another X-movie in the near future. He praised Vaughn’s vision and attention to detail and said the problems the production is now facing are merely intriguing challenges that will be overcome.

X-Men: First Class hits theaters June 3, 2011 directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Kevin Bacon, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Platt, Morgan Lily, Zoe Kravitz, Bill Bilner

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X-Men producer Bryan Singer Empty Re: X-Men producer Bryan Singer

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:40 pm

Feb 12, 2011 by B. Alan Orange

Bryan Singer offers more details on Nicholas Hoult's Beast

20th Century Fox released the X-Men: First Class teaser on Thursday. Soon after, Michael Fassbender, who plays Magneto in this Marvel mutant prequel, offered an audio commentary for the footage.

Now producer Bryan Singer, who directed X-Men and X2: X-Men United, has come forward with his thoughts on the upcoming movie. And he quickly revealed that X-Men: First Class is being used to setup future sequels.

Bryan Singer began by discussing the connection between Alex (aka Havok) and Scott (aka Cyclops) Summers, who are brothers in the comic books, but because of the shift in era to the 1960s, don't have that same storyline on-screen.

"Yes, the timeline is different. It wouldn't physically fit for him to be the brother of Cyclops. We take some liberties on that. There are notions, but, um, I don't want to give away certain interrelations, but let's just say there are some things that do adhere to the comic books and do so in a way the fans will get a kick out of. And those things can, perhaps, move forward into the future.... That's one reason we wanted to call the film 'X-Men: First Class' even though it isn't the [Jeff Parker -penned story arc called] 'First Class' in the comics as fans know it. You couldn't really tell that story without going even earlier and explaining how they got there and how it came to be. I liked the title, so we kept it, but this is a prelude in a way that will eventually lead to the [scenarios] that fit in more clearly with the ''X-Men: First Class' comics and situations."

Bryan Singer then went onto talk about his favorite characters in the upcoming adventure.

"We have younger versions of Mystique and Beast, so I'm very excited about them and what they bring to the film. Jennifer Lawrence's work [as Mystique] and Nicholas Hoult's portrayal of Beast - these are characters that we've seen in the earlier films, but then these are very different portrayals and you have to bring a lot of attention to those. I'm also excited about Jason Flemyng as Azazel, which is a really cool character. It's like this sinister alter ego of Nightcrawler in a way, which again brings some of the things that we like about that character but at the same time has a different quality. And I really, really like [Lucas Till as] Havok, who we're bringing in [to the continuity] at a sort of a different time, relative to the comic book lore. It's an extremely cool character. What's great, too, about all of these characters is that they haven't honed their abilities yet. Havok is a danger to himself and everyone around him. That's where this movie is at - the recruiting of these mutants and bringing them together."

To read more from Bryan Singer about his thoughts on X-Men: First Class, Click Here!

X-Men: First Class comes to theaters June 3rd, 2011

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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Erickson A.
If you were a mutant what kind of power would u want to have and why?

I would like the power of Nightcrawler or Azazel; the ability to teleport anywhere.

Anthony C.
Who is your favorite x-men character and why?

Professor X because he is both powerful and vulnerable.

James S.
Was there a character from the old comics you would love to have seen in this movie that hasn't been in previous movies, and was not able to be put into this movie?


What made you choose Emma Frost to play a part in "X-Men: First Class"? Overall, what do you think of her character in the movie?

You can't have the Hellfire Club without Emma Frost. She is sexy and scary.

Filip E.
Does this movie fall in the category of prequel, reboot or bit of both? Nevertheless, I'm very open-minded for this movie!


Andy O.
What are your plans for the X-Men franchise after First Class?

I am just focusing on this one at the moment.

Justin G.
Is there less pressure producing this film as opposed to directing it (like X-Men 1 and 2), or are the pressures just different - with different things expected from you?

I can absolutely say from my standpoint that there is less pressure. There is no position with more pressure than directing. Hats off to Matthew.

Jake S.
What was the deciding factor on changing the origin story of the X-Men instead of going with the comic book?

I felt that to earn the First Class title, it was important to go back to the formation of the X-Men and the beginnings of Xavier and Magneto's relationship.

Michael B.
What about this period in history intrigued you?

It is a time of socio-political upheaval in the world. The height of the cold war period. The birth of the civil rights movement. And the birth time of the X-Men comic book.

Amy M.
Was it a conscious decision by the team to pick and choose which parts of previous movies would be canon to this movie? (White Queen already appearing in other movies, etc.)

We did our best to maintain continuity with the other films. But as sometimes happens for the sake of telling the most compelling story possible, we made a few concessions.

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X-Men producer Bryan Singer Empty Re: X-Men producer Bryan Singer

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:16 pm

X-Men: First Class - Bryan Singer Interview
The X-Men producer discusses volcanic clouds of ash, the Hellfire Club, and the potential for sequels.
UK, April 20, 2011 April 20, 2011 April 20, 2011

by Chris Tilly

We are ramping up our X-Men: First Class coverage in the run-up to the film's release, and following our on-set interviews with James McAvoy, who plays Charles Xavier in the film, and Michael Fassbender, who plays Erik Lehnsherr, we catch up with the movie's producer, Bryan Singer. The director of the first two X-movies, Singer explains how the volcanic ash cloud helped him find his First Class helmer, discusses the importance of the Hellfire Club to his story, and talks up the possibility of future instalments.

IGN: Why did you decide to make X-Men: First Class?

Bryan Singer: It was initially a title I liked. I knew that there was exploration of doing a movie based on the First Class comic book, but I thought that to earn that or to get there, it would be interesting to go back to the origin of the X-Men. The formation of the relationship and the schism between Xavier and Magneto. And yet I still liked the title First Class because it reflected that concept every bit as much as the comic it's based on, so I just decided that I would pursue that story of young Xavier and young Magneto but retain the title First Class as a sort of beginning of the X-Men and they could go from there.

IGN: So is the plot inspired by any of the First Class story or is it something entirely original?

Singer: Oh, something I came up with just based on... When I made the first two X-Men films, I was conscious of figuring out how to play the relationship between Magneto and Xavier and I was always very conscious of what their past must have been. What their friendship was like. So that back-story was always playing in my head whenever I was discussing scenes with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. So this was a chance to finally go back and explore the history that was always bouncing around in my mind when I was making those other movies.

IGN: How is Charles and Erik's relationship at the start of this film?

Singer: I think that because of their mutual respect for each other's intelligence and powers, they are attempting to build a friendship, but they both come from completely different backgrounds. Xavier is very privileged and wealthy and as a result a bit naive and a bit idealistic. Whereas, Magneto is a product of the holocaust, he's hell-bent on vengeance, and his view of humanity and his hope for mutant-kind is seen through a much narrower prism. They both care for the same things, but in this movie you see the different ideologies fermenting.

IGN: We talked with both James [McAvoy] and Michael [Fassbender] about their characters being like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X in their approach to human and mutant rights. Were you thinking that when you came up with the story?

Singer: Absolutely. That was what attracted me to the X-Men many years ago... that relationship. Two people who want the same thing want to achieve it in very different ways. Nobody wants misery and failure for themselves and the people around them, but sometimes in pursuing prosperity, that can happen if it's not done in the right way.

More X-Men: First Class Videos

IGN: Why did you decide to set your story against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Singer: I was bouncing around in my mind what time period would Xavier and Magneto be in their mid-20s. Because that's how I'd want to see them, so I started doing the math in my head taking into account the age of Patrick and Ian and when X-Men loosely took place in my mind so I back-tracked to the early '60s and thought about what was happening then, and you've got the Civil Rights movement, which is fantastic, and the birth of the X-Men comic book, which is interesting and ironic, and lastly the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis being at the centre of it. So suddenly I was struck by the idea that this movie that takes place in the past has to be at a time when no one knows that these mutants exist. So the fun is that on the surface there is this conflict happening between Russia and the United States, the building nuclear threat with the Cold War nearer developing into a nuclear war, and under the surface there is this whole other war brewing that no one really knows about. That intrigued me and I thought it would be really exciting to have those two things happening parallel to each other.

IGN: What made you decide to bring the Hellfire Club into the story?

Singer: The Hellfire Club is actually something that [producers] Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg had mentioned to me early on. It's something that we had discussed years ago, to incorporate them into an X-Men film, but we never quite found a way to do so. So Lauren brought it up again and I thought great, because it again plays into the idea of them being underground. Because the whole idea of the Hellfire Club is that they are an underground club, and that's perfect because we're dealing with a time when the world doesn't know that mutants exist. What better villain element than one that exists under the surface of society? And to have the mutants intertwine with the geopolitical events of the time.

IGN: When you're starting a story from scratch again like this, how do you decide which mutants to use and which ones to leave out?

Singer: You first freak out because you assume that the good ones have already been picked. Then you just pick up the books and start reviewing and researching. I felt like I was back in the late '90s again, going through all the character histories and biographies and the comic books and graphic novels, and trying not to violate the tableaux but at the same time trying to have mutants that service different aspects of your story. Where their powers move the story forward as opposed to just being there to be cool.

IGN: How much is the chronology of this film going to link up with the chronology of your previous films?

Singer: I think the chronology works; there are some liberties, but for the most part, it makes sense. The characters make sense. Which is why Beast and Mystique were the only two I could bring back because you don't really know how old they are.

IGN: What made you decide to go for James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender for the two leads and what did they bring to their respective roles?

Singer: They just felt very much like the characters. There's a brightness and a sweetness and gentility to James as a person that we knew would play well to this particular version of Xavier's character -- this younger, more idealistic, hopeful character, who's not in a wheelchair and who has the whole world at his feet. And then Michael Fassbender, as an individual, is more of an edgier guy. He's got a very sharp wit and he's got a lot of stuff brewing under the surface which was important for the Magneto character at this particular point in his life. When you look at the two of them and imagine them aging, you could really see them becoming [Patrick] Stewart and [Ian] McKellen.

IGN: What does Kevin Bacon bring to the role of Sebastian Shaw?

Singer: Kevin is just a fantastic actor and we've seen him be very charming and funny and we've seen some of his darker side in a couple of pictures, but he hasn't really done this sort of thing yet. He's quite phenomenal; he speaks multiple languages in the film flawlessly, and he's at that age now where his boyish charm can now be transformed into one of those seductive villains. And he plays it quite well -- it's fun to watch him on set.

Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr in action.

IGN: You clearly love this material, so why didn't you direct the movie?

Singer: I was committed to doing Jack the Giant Killer for Warners, and I also have a company and want to get more into producing. So I felt that this would be an opportunity to do that and put together a big movie. I've produced a number of things for television and smaller film stuff but nothing like this, so what better way to do it than with something I know, like X-Men. Then it was just a matter of finding a director, which was a stroke of complete good fortune, because of the volcano. He had been involved with X-Men 3 and then was not a part of it, so of all the directors we had on our lists -- and we had hundreds of names -- he was not on our list because we had already had that experience, and it didn't work out, so why would anyone think that either party would be interested again. And I had met Aaron Johnson, the star of Kick-Ass, the day before on a general meeting. Then the next day, because of the volcano ash cloud, all the Brits that were in the United States could not fly home, so they all went out to Soho House for dinner, and I happened to be there with a friend of mine. And I saw Aaron Johnson, and he says, 'Hey, how are you? Have you ever met Matthew Vaughn?' And although he had been involved in X-Men, I never had, so he introduced me to Matthew and he asked me about the new X-Men film. I was a little tipsy and I gave him the 20-minute idea and the next morning he texted me and I went over to his hotel and gave him the sober pitch, and in a matter of a couple of weeks he was onboard. And it was great because I was prepping Jack in London, so it enabled me to be there for both pictures last year.

More X-Men: First Class Videos

IGN: So what does Matthew bring to the movie?

Singer: He's incredibly good with ensemble casts, which was the most important thing. He can service many characters, each with their own separate characterisations, each driving a common story. And he already had a love of the X-Men universe from when he had been involved in X-Men 3. And he immediately took to the period that it took place. He's a huge fan of the Bond films, and he wanted to use some of that aesthetic in this film, and I thought that was really fantastic. He's a terrific director and he's a strong director, and he's also produced and has his own team. To dive into one of these movies can be very challenging -- all these things kind of going against you, and he was at a place where I knew he could take these things on and wouldn't be overwhelmed.

IGN: Speaking of that '60s aesthetic, everyone was talking on set about revisiting these characters in the 1970s and maybe the '80s. Is that something you would be interested in?

Singer: Absolutely. That would be a blast.

IGN: So do you have an over-arching story for a trilogy or was your mind just on this one?

Singer: Just on this one. I think that whenever people claim they have long-range plans for these things... I think what happens is you really have to see how the first one plays, how audiences respond, which characters and points of the story they respond to, and then reassess it and go from there. In my mind, that's the way I think about it.

IGN: Have you got your eye on other historical events to tie things around?

Singer: Oh, sure.

IGN: Are you going to tell me them?

Singer: No!

IGN: So what will set this film apart from all the other superhero movies hitting in the summer?

Singer: I think it's an edgier movie than the others. It's the first Silver Age marvel movie, so I think the period aspect of it, and this particular period, is really exciting. And a lot of these other superhero movies are driven by a single character, and what we have with X-Men is numerous characters, and each character is different and interesting. There isn't just one protagonist -- there's a group of protagonists, and that's what we have that none of the other pictures have.

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X-Men producer Bryan Singer Empty Re: X-Men producer Bryan Singer

Post by Admin on Sat May 28, 2011 2:30 am

X-Men First Class: Mutants with fresh faces
Director Matthew Vaughn tells John Hiscock why every role had to be recast for the fourth film in the X-Men franchise
By John Hiscock 5:15PM BST 26 May 2011

In a summer movie season that promises to be dominated by superheroes and special effects, a group of mutants and telepaths are set to rule the box office.

X-Men: First Class is not your average superhero movie, but following as it does the four previous X-Men adventures, which have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide, it has a built-in fan base eagerly awaiting its release.

Directed by Matthew Vaughn and set mainly in the 1960s, the latest story is a prequel going back to the X-Men’s roots, when they first came together under the leadership of Charles Xavier, played in the previous films by Patrick Stewart and in this one by the young British actor James McAvoy, star of Atonement and The Last King of Scotland.

It is intended as the first in a trilogy of films taking the franchise in a new direction. There are younger faces and a fresher feel, with a heavy British presence from the director down.

For those unfamiliar with the X-Men, they are a superhero team created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics in 1963. Young mutants with a variety of astonishing powers, they are trained by Professor Xavier to use their powers for the benefit of humanity while at the same time battling Magneto and his rival Brotherhood of Mutants.
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The latest movie not only uses the Kennedy years, the civil rights movement and the Cuban missile crisis as a backdrop for its adventure, but the story of two massively powerful mutants struggling against bitter prejudice has its roots in the lives of Malcom X and Martin Luther King.

“It’s X-Men meets the Cuban missile crisis meets James Bond,” says Vaughn. “It’s an interesting way of integrating the characters into recent history.”

It is not Vaughn’s first encounter with the X-Men. After making his directorial debut with Layer Cake, he was due to direct the third film in the series, X-Men: The Last Stand, but backed out at the last minute to direct Stardust instead.

A chance encounter in London with Bryan Singer, who directed the first two films and is executive producer of First Class, led Vaughn back into the fold, although the new movie had more than the usual problems. “We had to recast every role, recreate the Sixties and redesign all the iconic X-Men sets and costumes,” he says.

In the first X-Men trilogy, the mutants had long honed their abilities and were a smooth-running team, but, in First Class, the young mutants’ powers are still untamed and unfocused. Some of the mutants are fan favourites from the previous X-Men films, while others are heroes from the comics but new to the film series. Two of the original stars, Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Rebecca Romjin (Mystique), make blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cameo appearances.

McAvoy ’s Xavier is a lot more dangerous and reckless than Patrick Stewart’s. First Class also explores how the character becomes a peaceful revolutionary, leading a worldwide movement of mutants, although it’s clear that he hasn’t yet grown into the wise old man Stewart portrayed.

“Patrick Stewart’s Xavier was saintly, older and wise,” says McAvoy, “and I’ve tried to make him unsaintly, unwise and a little bit of a drinker and a ladies’ man. We couldn’t make him a bad guy, but we’ve made him sort of amoral.”

The emotionally-scarred Erik Lehnsherr, who becomes the militant mutant Magneto, and was portrayed by Ian McKellen in the previous movies, is now played by the German-born, Irish-raised and London-based actor Michael Fassbender.

Fassbender, who became known for his portrayal of hunger-striker Bobby Sands in Hunger and will soon be seen in Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus, screen-tested with McAvoy before landing the Magneto role.

McAvoy recalls: “It was very important that the actors playing Xavier and Magneto, who are at the emotional core of the story, got on together and when we first met we hit it off and I think we both thought, 'Please God, let it be us two.’

“We share a similar sense of humour and we knew we could push things a bit and not get too serious about it and keep a sense of humour. We had a great old time.”

In First Class, Xavier and Lehnsherr are still best friends and the focus is on their relationship when they first discover their powers and before they take the names Professor X and Magneto.

“It’s kind of a love story, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” says McAvoy. “This is the first time in their lives they’ve met someone who is an equal of sorts, someone who understands them.”

Fassbender, 34, considered basing his portrayal of Magneto on McKellen as a younger man but, he says, “Matthew wasn’t too keen on the idea. So I delved into the comic books and found a wealth of material there. Erik speaks German, goes to a concentration camp in Poland, ends up in Eastern Europe and then goes off to Israel. There’s so much there, and I tried to approach it freshly from the source material.

“I wanted to show there is a massive well of history in this character. He is a very damaged individual.”

The cast also includes British actor Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Raven, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as the demonic Azazel, Lucas Till as Havoc, and Zoë Kravitz as Wings.

Most of the cast have already been signed for two sequels, so, if First Class is the success Fox Studios expects, the X-Men mutants will be battling it out for years to come.

'X-Men: First Class’ opens next Fri.

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Post by Admin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:45 am

Bryan Singer Talks Future Of The X-MEN Franchise

Tim | Jun 09, 2011

I think that X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is by far the best film that has been released this summer. If you have not yet seen it, then do yourself a favor and check it out this weekend. The film is fun, energetic, and awesome to watch. And Michael Fassbender turns in a performance that will kickstart his career into getting more high profile roles. My hope is that he becomes the next James Bond when Daniel Craig completes the trilogy of films that he initially signed on for. So after bringing a new entry into the franchise that could possibly be the best one to date, what will we see next.

“I don’t know if every movie has to be a history lesson. But there’s a lot of history to cover. If we sequelized this, it could inhabit a whole world of the 20th century. When [First Class] happened, Kennedy had not been assassinated and the Vietnam War hadn’t happened yet. What’s really interesting about the ’60s setting is the civil rights movement.”

This is what Bryan Singer recently said to THE LA TIMES. I really liked that they tied the latest film into real world events. I wouldn’t mind if they continued this trend. I just don’t want it to feel to forced for the sake of the story. Regardless, as long as Singer stays actively involved in the continuation of this franchise then I will still have some hope that the films will be good.


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Post by Admin on Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:55 am

Bryan Singer Says X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Sequel Could Involve Civil Rights Movement

June 10, 2011 1:30 pm
Matt Holmes

X-Men 1 & 2 director Bryan Singer should get the kudos for the genius idea of setting X-Men: First Class during the 60′s Cuban Missile Crisis and having now been accepted back into the Fox family with open arms, he has made it well known he wants to once again direct a movie in the saga after he’s done with next summer’s Jack the Giant Killer.

Whether that’ll be a Wolverine story or an X-Men 4 (a sequel to Brett Ratner’s X3: The Last Stand) or X-Men: Second Class is not yet clear and I’m sure Singer doesn’t quite know himself as all the pieces haven’t yet fallen into place. But for now his interest lies in the 60′s timeline and he’s talking up future possibilities and seems excited about where the new characters could go next;

“I don’t know if every movie has to be a history lesson. But there’s a lot of history to cover. If we sequelized this, it could inhabit a whole world of the 20th century… When [‘First Class’] happened, Kennedy had not been assassinated and the Vietnam War hadn’t happened yet.

What’s really interesting about the ‘60s setting is the civil rights movement… You don’t need to hit people over the head with [a history lesson] in every movie or every scene… But having them at the core of the conflict is what I think makes it all work.”

When X-Men: First Class was initially pitched – the civil rights movement was said to be the big 60′s backdrop setting, even more so than than the Cuban Missile Crisis but somewhere along the line that idea was dropped. Indeed Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) were supposed to be reminiscent of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X but this never really panned out and black superheroes didn’t get much of a look-in.

We should also remember that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has said in the many interviews he has done for his movie that he would be interested in tackling JFK’s assassination for a sequel, probably in a Watchmen-esque fashion where his death was caused via the hands mind of Magneto. He told Hitfix;

“I’ve got some ideas for the opening for the next film. I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy Assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto… That would explain the physics of it, and we see that he’s pissed off because Kennedy took all the credit for saving the world and mutants weren’t even mentioned. And we could go from there, and I’ve got some fun ideas about what other mutants to bring in. I don’t want to tempt fate, though. If the film’s a hit, of course I’d be interested. I really enjoyed making it.”

In particular, Vaughn told Superhero Hype that he’s game for a sequel if Fox are;

“Yeah, if the film’s a hit, I’d be very interested in doing a sequel… I really, really enjoyed… the team I had on it were great, and the hard thing is creating a new franchise, so if it works, it would be fun. My ideas are much bigger for the next one. I’ve got some really big … I’m surprised everyone is calling this a really big epic movie, and I’m thinking, ‘Wait until you view the next one if you think this is epic, the next one you won’t believe what happens.’”

Vaughn said he would only want one new character introduced;

“We will only have one more new character. I won’t say who he…I won’t say who he or she is! But we will only be bringing one more new character in. Because, I think, as Professor X is in a wheelchair, Magneto needs to have a nemesis he can fight with. Someone that will be his equal. I know who it is. It would be nice if I could say something, but I can’t, mate!,”

Two of the credited screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz have name-dropped X-character Cable, who may or may not be who Vaughn was talking about and it’s interesting that the character’s co-creator Rob Liefeld wrote on Twitter a while back that he would love Stephen Lang to play the character;

“Dear 20th Century Fox, Please sign Steven Lang as Cable and put him in your next X-men film. Thanks, Rob,

We would also imagine both Vaughn and Singer won’t be able to help themselves adding Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in there somewhere.

But for either Vaughn or Singer to make an X-Men: Second Class it is all going to depend on how audiences take to the 60′s set movie. After a week on release in the U.S. the movie has hit $70 million on a $160 million budget ($144 million from worldwide tickets) which isn’t at all spectacular and way down on the previous films but this weekend’s percentage drop will be the key. Has word of mouth been strong enough for the film to endure? That’s the question going into the next few days and perhaps on Monday morning we will know whether a sequel is happening.

In my previous article on X-Men: First Class I called for Fox to sequelize X-Men: First Class with Matthew Vaughn and sequelize X-Men 3: The Last Stand with Bryan Singer and at the same time dropping the Wolverine saga after it’s forthcoming stand-alone film.

Stay tuned to OWF over the next week as we have a few X-special articles on the way….

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