|X-Men: First Class|
|Writer(s):|| Ashley Miller|
|Running Time:||131 min|
|X-Men Movie Chronology|
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X-Men: First Class was released on June 3, 2011 and was directed by Matthew Vaughn. It stars James McAvoy as the young Charles Xavier, and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, who becomes Magneto. It is a prequel focusing on "the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where their relationship took a wrong turn." The villains of the film are the Hellfire Club, featuring Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, and January Jones as Emma Frost. Bryan Singer signed on to direct X-Men: First Class in December 2009, however, in March 2010 Fox revealed that Bryan Singer would be producing X-Men: First Class instead of directing. X-Men: First Class began principal photography in September 2010 in London. It was released in the summer of 2011. It received positive reviews upon release.
At a German concentration camp in occupied Poland during 1944, young Erik Lehnsherr is separated from his parents by Nazi guards. The child's desperate mind remarkably bends a metal gate until a guard knocks Lensherr unconscious (the same footage that's in the first X-Men movie). Scientist Sebastian Shaw, who has observed this through a window, calls Lehnsherr up to see him. While making a friendly chat, he places a metal coin on a desk, he orders Lehnsherr to use his magnetism power to move it. When Lehnsherr cannot, despite his best efforts, Shaw shoots and kills Lehnsherr's mother in front of him. In his rage, Lehnsherr's out-of-control magnetic power kills the two guards and destroys two rooms, to Shaw's delight.
Around this same time, in Westchester County, New York, a young Charles Xavier meets a young, shape-shifting girl named Raven in his family's mansion, disguised as his mother, who is looking through the fridge for food. Xavier accuses his "mother" of being an imposter, and asks what it has done with his real mother, as she would not make him a sandwich or hot chocolate, at which point, Mystique shifts back to her normal, blue-skinned form. Overjoyed to meet someone else "different" like him, he says she can come live with his family.
In Switzerland in the movie's present-day of 1962, Lehnsherr forces a banker (by ripping out one of the metal fillings in his mouth) to trace a bar of Nazi gold to Shaw's address in Argentina. In a tavern there patronized by former German soldiers, Lehnsherr kills three men as he learns that Shaw has a yacht in Florida. Meanwhile, in England, Oxford University graduate Xavier is publishing his thesis on mutation; his foster sister Raven, a waitress, lives with him. Simultaneously in Las Vegas, Nevada, CIA agent Moira MacTaggart follows U.S. Army Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club, where she sees Shaw, Emma Frost, Riptide and Azazel. After Shaw threatens Henry, Azazel disappears with the officer; moments later he is in the War Room, advocating that U.S. install nuclear missiles in Turkey.
Shaw meets with Colonel Hendry on his yacht, and refuses to give Hendry his money, at which point Hendry pulls out a grenade and threatens to pull the pin, but Shaw takes the grenade and pulls the pin himself, and absorbs the blast (at which point we now learn that Shaw is a mutant, and absorbs energy, which also keeps him young), then taps Hendry, expelling the grenade's energy into the Colonel, blowing him up.
MacTaggart seeks Xaviers advice on mutation, and takes Xavier and Raven to the CIA to convince the chief that Shaw is a threat. After convincing them that mutants exist they are to be taken to a covert facility, but first Xavier tracks down Shaw. Lehnsherr attacks Shaw, and when Shaw escapes in his submarine Lehnsherr tries to stop him, but Xavier stops him so that he does not drown. Lehnsherr joins Xavier and Raven at the CIA facility, where they meet Hank McCoy, another mutant that Xavier accidentally outs. McCoy and Xavier use a prototype Cerebro to locate mutants and recruit several of them to train to stop Shaw. Upon the recruiting process, we also see Xavier and Lehnsherr walk up to Logan (Wolverine) in a bar and introduce themselves. Logan tells them to go to hell, and they walk off.
Shaw plans to meet with a Russian general, but sends Frost instead, who is then captured by Xavier and Lehnsherr. The facility is attacked by Azazel, Riptide and Shaw, with all the guards being killed. Shaw recruits Angel and kills Darwin by forcing him to ingest a massive amount of energy. When Lehnsherr and Xavier return they begin to train the mutants, though Raven is conflicted about hiding her natural form.
President Kennedy institutes a blockade. Shaw travels with the Russian fleet to ensure that the missiles get to Cuba. Xavier, MacTaggart and Lehnsherr fly to the blockade to stop the fleets from engaging. Shaw uses a nuclear core to charge himself up and a helmet to block Xavier's telepathy. While Azazel kills the crew of the Russian missile ship, Xavier uses his powers to make a Russian ship destroy the missile ship before it crosses the line.
Lehnsherr pulls Shaws submarine from the water, but an attack forces the jet and submarine to crash. Lehnsherr finds Shaw and removes his helmet and Xavier takes control of Shaw. Lehnsherr puts on the helmet, then kills him by slowly forcing the coin that Shaw taunted him with through his brain.
The two fleets fire their missiles at the mutants, but Lehnsherr, now fully in control of his abilities, holds the missiles in the air, then turns them on the fleet. In the ensuing fight Xavier manages to distract Lehnsherr, but when MacTaggart fires at Lehnsherr he deflects the bullets, with one paralyzing Xavier. Enraged of his friend's paralyzation, Lehnsherr attempts to strangle MacTaggart using his abilities but Xavier convinces him to stop.
Lehnsherr takes Raven, Angel Salvadore, Riptide and Azazel and says a goodbye farewell to Xavier before he leaves. Xavier, now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and the mutants return to the mansion, where he will open a school. He wipes MacTaggart's memory, and Lehnsherr breaks Frost out of the CIA headquarters, and in his new uniform he tells Frost to call him Magneto.
- James McAvoy as Professor X
- Michael Fassbender as Magneto
- Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique
- Nicholas Hoult as Beast
- January Jones as Emma Frost
- Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw
- Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert
- Caleb Landry Jones as Banshee
- Lucas Till as Havok
- Zoë Kravitz as Angel Salvadore
- Edi Gathegi as Darwin
- Jason Flemyng as Azazel
- Alex Gonzalez as Riptide
- Oliver Platt as The Man in Black
- Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (cameo)
- Emma Frost is in the movie, while a similar character was also in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is set in the end of the 1970s. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine she is only a teenager. Though the Emma in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is never referred to as Emma Frost in the film and does not show any telepathic ability, she is also the sister of Kayla Silverfox, so it can be assumed she is an original character based loosely on Emma Frost and thus they are different characters.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand show Charles Xavier being able to walk in the 70s and 80s, but First Class shows that he lost his ability to walk in the 60s. It’s possible he found a way to walk again in the 70s and 80s and lost it again before the first X-Men film but this is unlikely. It might be possible he created an illusion of himself (with the ability to walk) to meet and guide Scott while he was elsewhere, much like Emma Frost did in the bedroom.
- The X-Mansion is not the same as the Mansion in the first three movies. The mansion may have been destroyed and rebuilt before X-Men.
- In X-Men Charles tells Logan that he met Erik when he was 17 years old. In the movie they met when they were in their 20's. It is possible that they briefly met when they were younger, and that Charles remembers this because of this telepathy, but Erik forgot about him.
- In X2 "Mr. Shaw" is seen debating with Dr. Henry McCoy about the mutant phenomenon. X2 is set in the 2000s, while this movie is set in the 1960s (40 years earlier). In the movie McCoy is already transformed, while he is a 'normal person' in X2. This could be explained by an image inducer or a reverse mutation, something that has been done numerous times in the comics. Also Sebastian Shaw died in this film but possibly appears in a very brief cameo in X2. Although it was supposedly intended to be Sebastian, the makers of First Class probably didn't know of this and put Shaw in the movie. However, it can be reconnected as the man on the TV could have been a descendant of Shaw or even a totally different character, as his first name was not seen. The same thing can be said about X2's Dr. McCoy. However, McCoy has been shown in his young "human" self in the second trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, suggesting that the reverse mutation is the one that comes out on top.
- Beast has blue eyes in X-Men: The Last Stand, while in X-Men: First Class he has yellow eyes and a less human countenance in furry form than Grammer's version. This is possibly the result of a further-enhanced mutation, something that has already been suggested to have happened to Sabretooth.
- In X-Men, Xavier says he worked with Magneto to build Cerebro, and Magneto recounts the same in X2, while in First Class Hank McCoy builds it. It could be that Xavier and Magneto constructed the second Cerebro inside Xavier's mansion.
- Charles and Erik have not yet visited Jean Grey, while they did in X-Men: The Last Stand. In The Last Stand it is revealed that they visited her in about 1980, while X-Men: First Class is set in the 1960s. However, Erik and Charles split at the end of the film so unless they call a truce or become allies once again, which according to Michael Fassbender is very possible (likely in the upcoming Days of Future Past film), this cancels out The Last Stand's flashback.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Moira MacTaggert is portrayed as being a British Doctor while in First Class she is an American CIA agent. After the incidents of First Class, she could have left the CIA and become a doctor.
- In X-Men, Xavier states that Cyclops, Jean and Storm were among his first students. In First Class, Havok, Beast, Banshee and Mystique are the first students taught by Xavier. It could be that Xavier simply did not have many more students after these before he got Cyclops, Jean, and Storm, somewhat making them among his first students.