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Old 05-06-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Electrix
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Default Writers Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talk First Class

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How did you guys end up on Fox's radar for First Class?

Zack Stentz: We had one of those great general meetings you have where the executive says "I have to find something for you guys". And you expect to never hear from him again
Ashley Edward Miller: We were standing around in the commissary one day. They saw us and they were like. "You there, shiftless writers. We have a task."
ZS: There are just a small number of writers in Hollywood who know comic books backwards and forwards and are not daunted by skipping all of the usual feature writing "screwing around."
AEM: They knew we worked on Thor, knew we knew the universe, they liked our writing, and thought we could bring something to it that was compatible with Bryan Singer's vision.

What is Bryan's vision?

ZS: Pretty good, I think did he have laser surgery at some point?
AEM: You see it in X-Men and X2: Character first.

Like the USA Network.

AEM: Exactly. This is basically a big episode of Burn Notice with mutants. Bruce Campbell should play every role. He would make an amazing X-jet. Who doesn't want to see the X-Men fly to the rescue atop Bruce Campbell at mach 3?

"You know mutants: a bunch of *****y little girls." Had either of you read Jeff Parker's First Class comic before landing the assignment? Did you lean on it at all, or was the idea of "X-Men: Freshman Year" enough to run with?

AEM: Nope. all we had to hear was Bryan's take.
ZS: That sold us immediately. It felt so of a piece with the emotionalism and drama of the first two films.

What were your first meetings with Bryan Singer like?

AEM: Bryan is a great collaborator. He's very smart, he knows what he wants and he's great with the back-and-forth of designing cool scenes and moments. And when you get into the superheroics, he wants to understand how and why things work.
ZS: In TV terms, it was like meeting with a great showrunner he absolutely knows what he wants, but is interested in your opinion and enjoys means-testing all of the ideas that come out.

How difficult was it to settle on the story to tell? There are so many firsts the X-Men had...how do you choose just one?

AEM: Step One: You can't think of it that way. You have to let go of all of that.
ZS: Yeah, that way lies checking boxes on a list instead of just finding a great story.
AEM: So you ask the same questions you'd ask on any other script: Who are these characters? What do they want? What's in their way?

True. but with so much to choose from, are there conscious decisions of the things you know you want in there?
AEM: Sure, but it has to feel organic. If it doesn't emerge naturally, you should never ever force it. (And yes, that's what she said.)

Did you feel any pressure/desire/necessity to "reintroduce" us to the X-Men?

ZS: In some sense you should be reintroducing your characters in every film.
AEM: The thing is, we've been here before. We did it on Terminator for two seasons. We did it on Thor. You learn how to approach the material as something you can live in and not just nod at.
ZS: Well, look at Star Trek (2009) that's a film that did a great job of acknowledging that its characters are part of the culture, yet treating them as fresh and new to the audience.
AEM: I would also argue that if you're telling a story where your characters can no longer surprise the audience, you're telling the wrong story. These characters surprised us at every turn, sometimes in really wonderful and emotional ways. Those moments are what make movies great.

How accelerated was the process? It all seems like it's moving pretty fast from here on the sidelines...

AEM: It's a very accelerated process. I don't think that's a secret.
ZS: They've eliminated the usual screwing around and waiting two to four weeks when you turn in a draft. It's amazing how much fat there is in the feature development process. And how quickly you can make it happen if you cut it out. TV proves that.

What's it been like working with Matthew Vaughn?
AEM: Honestly, we haven't spoken to him yet.

Are you guys done with your First Class responsibilities?

AEM: Hahahahahahahahahaha.
ZS: Oh, no....
AEM: Of course, there's a complete script. but these things are never done until they're shot and edited. All we know is we throw ink where we need to throw ink and we do it until they say stop.

It feels a bit like you're Marvel's go-to writers. Not a bad position to be in.

AEM: That's an interesting way to look at it. I think there are three Marvel comic book adaptations coming out next summer. And we wrote two of them. That blows my little fanboy mind.
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Interesting.

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Doesn't reveal much, but nice nonetheless. I am a bit confused about whether this movie is a reboot of some sort or a prequel. Heat Vision Blog said this film is being looked at as a Star Trek style reboot and other places have said it's a prequel. Which is it?

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

I think it will be a bit off both.

Entirely new cast, same timeline.

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Originally Posted by Electrix View Post
I think it will be a bit off both.

Entirely new cast, same timeline.
Same here... I think only Patrick could return, the others wouldn't look the age they seem to be in the movie... let's just hope that they cast good actors

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Originally Posted by batman44 View Post
Doesn't reveal much, but nice nonetheless. I am a bit confused about whether this movie is a reboot of some sort or a prequel. Heat Vision Blog said this film is being looked at as a Star Trek style reboot and other places have said it's a prequel. Which is it?
Just my opinion, but I think they are going to sell this as a prequel(though not acknowledge it widely) and if audiences take to it, they'll eventually categorize it as a new timeline.

Once Jackman's stint as Wolvie ends, they'll fold him back into the main one and act like it was a new timeline all along.

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Old 05-06-2010, 03:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

A prequel, I would imagine...

First Class will probably take place in the universe Singer created and might acknowledge continuity from the previous films, as opposed to Batman Begins or the upcoming Spider-Man Reboot, which wiped the slate clean and more or less ignored what had come before.

Star Trek was a different beast. It was a prequel that acknowledged Roddenberry's universe but it used time travel to reboot past continuity.

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Old 05-06-2010, 04:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Hmmm,...another Zack/Zak in the mix...

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Bryan Singer has stated Star Trek as the model of the kind of film this Is.
Remember Star Trek was a different kind of beast than most because It had time travel from the post Star Trek The Next Generation era cause a chance In
timeline.This Is Prequel.However based on hints we may see a structure similar to Star Trek.Only Instead of showing Kirk from being born to Captain of the Enterprise and SPock from boyhood to becoming Kirk's right hand we will see Xavier and Magneto meeting and becoming friends to opening the
school together to facing down the villian and falling out due to their different
world views.Inless they are prepared to spend more to de age patrick
Stewart Via CGI and/or stick In a Hugh Jackman Cameo this could be a
entire new cast.So It could be called a qursi reboot but still In some contunity.

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

PLEASE no Wolverine!

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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PLEASE no Wolverine!
If this is a prequel of Singer's X-Men films and not a reboot, then we probably won't see Wolverine at all. I doubt Jackman would sign up to do First Class, anyway.

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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If this is a prequel of Singer's X-Men films and not a reboot, then we probably won't see Wolverine at all. I doubt Jackman would sign up to do First Class, anyway.
With Fox, you never really know. Before X3 and Wolverine I would not feel like this but once again, it's Fox.

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Singer when asked about Wolverine just shrugged.Suggesting Wolverine Is Not In this.
However I would not totally dismiss the Idea of a cameo to set up Wolverine II being In Japan.Perhapes Wolverine watching In bar TV coverage of public battle or aftermath.I am
not advocating that just saying there may be pressure by Fox on Singer and Vaughn to
at least include a brief apperance of Wolverine.

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Doesn't reveal much, but nice nonetheless. I am a bit confused about whether this movie is a reboot of some sort or a prequel. Heat Vision Blog said this film is being looked at as a Star Trek style reboot and other places have said it's a prequel. Which is it?
It's a prequel.

If it were a reboot, then Singer wouldn't be involved.

But, in any case, it's definitely a prequel.

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Old 05-06-2010, 08:10 PM   #15
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

A cameo by Hugh Jackman is not out of the question most likely...

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Old 05-09-2010, 10:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

I wish there was more detail. Everyone there talking too just say oh this is going. brilliant characters interesting to develope them... but there not exactly saying what.

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Old 05-10-2010, 05:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Jonathan Ross, the husband of Jane Goldman who co-wrote Kick-Ass, tweeted this today:

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G;night all. The wife is away writing X Men 4 so I am off to bed with little Sweeney alone. He will keep my feet warm and my spirits high.
Looks like Matthew Vaughn has brought her in to do some re-writes for him.

I actually met her once. Very nice lady with very pink hair. I met Vaughn once also and spoke with him briefly. The fact that they are both working on an X-Men film makes me geekgasm.


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Old 05-10-2010, 06:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Originally Posted by marvelrobbins View Post
Bryan Singer has stated Star Trek as the model of the kind of film this Is.
Remember Star Trek was a different kind of beast than most because It had time travel from the post Star Trek The Next Generation era cause a chance In
timeline.This Is Prequel.However based on hints we may see a structure similar to Star Trek.Only Instead of showing Kirk from being born to Captain of the Enterprise and SPock from boyhood to becoming Kirk's right hand we will see Xavier and Magneto meeting and becoming friends to opening the
school together to facing down the villian and falling out due to their different
world views.Inless they are prepared to spend more to de age patrick
Stewart Via CGI and/or stick In a Hugh Jackman Cameo this could be a
entire new cast.So It could be called a qursi reboot but still In some contunity.
Perhaps. With 2009's Star Trek, the film utilized a plot device that essentially created a new timeline. That said, they may also use this as vehicle to retcon some of the disaster we witnessed in X3, i.e, the deaths of THREE critical X-Men players that should never have happened.

Very interesting possibilities.

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Old 05-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Perhaps. With 2009's Star Trek, the film utilized a plot device that essentially created a new timeline. That said, they may also use this as vehicle to retcon some of the disaster we witnessed in X3, i.e, the deaths of THREE critical X-Men players that should never have happened.

Very interesting possibilities.
What's funny is that I'm watching the original Star Trek series on blu-ray and there's an episode where they end up in the 1960s and beam up a pilot, and Spock insists he cannot be sent back because his knowledge of the future will screw up all future events...which is exactly what Spock wound up doing in the new movie.

I think there are so many possibilities for retconning certain grevious errors of the last film. Enough time has passed at this point that I don't think anyone will call them out for changing it, especially if they change it for a better film.

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Old 05-10-2010, 08:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

A time travel element would be awesome to see...

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Old 05-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #21
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

So when all is said and done it's essentilly still more or less Singer's vision we are burdened with.

Sigh.

I have to admit, I felt some glimmer of hope that this was a reboot and that the X-men might finally get the big screen comicbook treatment like the other properties are enjoying, but damn...what a dissappointment.

Who would have ever thought the X-men property would wind up in this type of convoluted predicament.

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

Oh, it's not that bad at all.

The fact is, that without X-Men, we wouldn't be where we are now with the other properties. The first X-Men movies were a very good primer for where we are today because they played it straight, especially in X-Men 1.

With the X-Men franchise currently still profitable and somewhat still flourishing, I don't think it was worth going down the same route as Hulk/Fantastic Four with a rebooting.

I think this is a perfectly adequate compromise and I see no reason why this "prequel" can't be taken as a reboot, only set within a different timeline. You can still easily create a trilogy here if First Class does well.

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Old 05-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller talks First Class

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Same here... I think only Patrick could return, the others wouldn't look the age they seem to be in the movie... let's just hope that they cast good actors

TheVelvetOnion: A cameo by Hugh Jackman is not out of the question most likely...
I heard Stewart has retired from this franchise, which completely makes sense and can be worked around cleverly. In the trilogy's timeline, if they were ever to go forward with an X4, Patrick is off the hook from playing Xavier because of the whole body-switch story, which means the Professor can still be around, but they could add a new actor to play him. Probably not a popular idea, but it'd work. In First Class, it makes sense for a younger actor to play him, so at very least maybe if Stewart has any younger relatives who can act, that would be a nice way for Fox to pass on the torch without having an actor who looks completely different from Stewart (think Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where the young Tom Riddle was played by Ralph Fiennes' nephew to give some family resemblance to the character).

There are definite ways around including Wolverine in the series, but if he's going to cameo, I'd very much like it to be something in secret. I suggested in another thread that Sabretooth can definitely appear in these movies (and should, since Xavier knew about him to begin with), so maybe we're introduced to him while he's trying to track down his brother to ensure he never forgets him. He gets a better offer, and since he was so enraged that he wasn't eligible for getting adamantium, the idea of being an important mutant is something he likes. Either that or while Magneto and Xavier are recruiting students, they come across Logan and Victor before deciding that Sabretooth requires their help much more than Wolverine, so they leave Logan to his own devices.

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