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<i>Gossip Girl</i> Creator to Send X-Men Back to School

If you like your comic books with a little primetime soapy action that the Parents Television Council disapproves of, prepare to get excited: Josh Schwartz, the creator and executive producer of Gossip Girl, Chuck and The OC has just been tapped to write the next film in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class. Though 20th Century Fox is keeping mum on details of the project, word has it that the film will focus on the students of Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning and could bring back some prominent characters from some of the previous X-Men films, like Rogue, Iceman, Angel and some not-so-prominent blink-and-you'd-miss-them characters like Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat.

Though upcoming features like spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine will feature the familiar face of Hugh Jackman as the title character, it has been suggested that some of the parts of the Xavier students may be recast for a rebooting of the franchise. Which I hate. I mean, I understand that the characters are kids and that actors age, but as I've mentioned recently, I really hate it when parts in series get re-cast, almost as much as I love it when they don't. That said, you just never know what can happen in the world of casting (just ask Quentin Tarantino!), and with Lauren Schuler Donner, who produced all three of the past X-Men films as well as Wolverine, back to produce First Class, maybe there's hope there.

[Personally, I think there's room for a young X-team within the movie continuity, if we flashed back to a teenage Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Beast and others. Rebooting the entire franchise because of Ratner's misstep seems drastic, especially since Wolverine looks awesome. - Zach]

No director is yet attached to the project, though it was offered to Schwartz, who has so far declined. As long as they don't bring in Brett Ratner to ruin helm another X-Men property, I'll sleep well. And after an absolutely abysmal summer, Fox probably will too, provided all things X continue to bring in the mountains of box-office cash.

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