If you ever had any doubt about how the upcoming X-Men: First Class was to dovetail into the existing Fox X-movies, shrug it off now. We’ve learned that a crucial moment from the first picture has been restaged for the next one, with the new cast and a couple of dramatic new twists.
Picture this scene unfolding. Heavy rain drumming into a muddy puddle. Feet come splashing in from left of frame. A procession of people, none of them are in any kind of hurry… indeed, they seem to be just tumbling along, some of the people maybe even resisting, being pushed forwards. The camera pans up, fades through black and we’re climbing up a brick wall…
…the wall of a sentry station. The armed soldier within watches as a crowd progresses. A caption on screen reads Poland 1944. Cut to a tighter shot on the group, cowed, wet, broken, but always coming forwards.
Then we’re in a close up on a man, limping forwards. He turns to his right and the camera pans with his gaze. He’s flanking a teenage boy wearing fear and exhaustion on his face. The camera pans a little more to reveal a woman on the boy’s other side. The boy and woman exhange a look that lasts only a moment, before they look away, back at the ground, back where they are walking. Back at their fate.
It’s the very beginning of Bryan Singer’s X-Men, and it’s our introduction to the young Eric Lensherr, the boy who will later become Magneto, the mutant millitant leader.
According to Bleeding Cool’s sources, this sequence plays out shot-for-shot in the upcoming X-Men: First Class… at least, up to a point. They casting is different too, of course – this time around, the tremendous Bill Milner is playing Lensherr – and when the sequence does deviate, it’s with some very dramatic twists… which we’ll be keeping under our hats for now, I’m afraid.
Director Matthew Vaughn had video reference of the original sequence on tap for the cast and crew during their prep for shooting this sequence, and for the shots that are mirrored, the attention to detail is apparently quite exhaustive.
There we go. Yet another reason, if only a small one, that I’m looking forward to what First Class will bring us next summer.