Well this news is a bit random and out of the blue. Black Book Magazine sat down with Josh Schwartz to speak to him about The OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck. Nothing really interesting there. Fairly average interview. That is until we get to this:
Something he can talk about, however, is news that he will pen the screenplay for the next installment of X-Men, a prequel of sorts. “I’m very well aware that I’ll be bludgeoned by purists, but I love its mythology, and it comes with a pretty hefty paycheck.” Of the project, he beams with excitement about the opportunity to involve lesser known X-Men characters who haven’t yet been portrayed on film. It will center on teenage characters at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. “It’s not like I’m adding new characters like Toaster Head, or anything like that.” Despite his enthusiam, he’s cautious, given the double-edged sword inherent in the seemingly inexhaustible renaissance of the genre. “The Hulk looks like it’s going to be terrible. And why does he look like he’s fighting against the monster from Cloverfield? I mean, with Transformers, it’s not like fans were going to come back saying, ‘You used the wrong car.’ This, however, is a different story. Of his predecessors and their successes (or failures), he says, “Brett Ratner didn’t have a lot of credibility going in to the third X-Men movie, but I think Bryan Singer [who directed the first two installments] got a free pass on Superman Returns because of his work on X-Men.”
Wow! We have heard X-Men 3 writer Zak Penn talk about writing a young X-Men movie, but that all depends on the outcome of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It seems FOX have thought that the original cast were getting a bit expensive, as were the production costs. The best thing to do business-wise was to wait a few years, and then relaunch a new trilogy or set of movies featuring younger and less expensive actors. The fact that is has X-Men in the name will ensure that it is a box office favourite, as long as they do things right.
Now Marvel are making their own movies and not selling anymore of their characters, it seems studios like FOX are going to milk the comic book franchises they have already got. The Fantastic Four franchise is pretty much dead, so X-Men is really the only franchise that can benefit FOX.
Is going the OC and Gossip Girl route the right way for the X-Men franchise? Will it turn into a trilogy of teen problems, or do you think Josh Schwartz has something up his sleeve?