X-Men Meet The O.C.? Sign Me Up!

Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C. and Gossip Girl (two fantastic night time dramas that I watched and watch respectively) is rumored to be in negotiations to write X-Men: First Class, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The article doesn’t say it specifically, but I’m assuming this is for a movie treatment of the Marvel Comic that has been written by Jeff Parker. A comic that has captured the adoration of both myself, as well as my fellow iFanboy Conor, which is no small feat. 

X-Men: First Class is the telling of slightly modern day, kinda in continuity but also kinda not, stories of the original X-Men team, featuring Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel as teenagers and novices at the superhero gig, as they’re being trained by Professor Xavier. The comic book has consistently been a good read that is unmarred by the continuity of the X-Men that often scares off many. We’ve said in several articles and episodes of our video show, that X-Men: First Class is not only one of the best X-Men comics out there, it’s a super pick to hand to a new reader to get them to enjoy one of the best groups of characters in comic history (in my humble opinion of course.)

So what is the reaction to this news? Simply awesome. I hope it totally pans out. I’ve been a fan of Josh Schwartz after I fell in love with watching The O.C. after it’s first 6 episodes. Admittedly I’m a bit of a whore for the night time teen drama on FOX or The CW (or the WB as it once was called). Starting my obsession with Beverly Hills, 90210 in the early 1990s, The O.C. followed in that modern day classic style of telling serial, episodic stories with a recurring cast, not unlike comic books. Sure the problems were different and maybe a bit melodramatic, but it should really be no surprise to anyone that while I enjoy comic books as much as I do, that I would enjoy these kind of television shows too. On many levels they’re quite similar. That said, the work Schwartz did on The O.C. (at least early on) was nothing less than spectacular. That show was able to take a bit of a tired genre and spin it just enough to make it unique and fresh. I miss the fact that it’s not on the air anymore. When I heard that Schwartz was back with a new show last year, Gossip Girl, I cringed a little for various reasons. But after giving it a shot, it has the same bit of magic. The shows Schwartz develops and works on seem to have a sincerity and level of kind wit that make them special. The characters are relatable and the stories are told in a way that pulls you in. 

The news of this kind of freaks me out because a couple of weeks ago, I appeared on a radio show in Illinois and the talk radio show host asked me what kind of super hero movie would I like to make or see made? My answer was quick and surprised myself as I said it, that I would like to see a movie or TV show of the original X-Men as teens (Which is essentially X-Men: First Class). I though the combination of learning to use their powers, the awkwardness of teenagers combined with the drama of their relationships would make for something awesome. Looks like I’m not alone in that thinking.

Now we all know how Hollywood works, and there’s a better chance of this project never happening as opposed to it actually making it to production, but after the third X-Men movie and the upcoming Wolverine movie, I think this would be a great way to get the X-Men back in the movie world in a new way. Part of me wishes this was an ongoing TV show project, purely in that I think if Smallville could find success, so could a project of this nature, but I’ll take whatever I can get. 


  1. I’m not a huge fan of teen drama, but if it could have interesting character dynamics and good action, I’ll be there day one. 

  2. They should have Jeff Parker consult, then it would be off the hook!!  I just hope they don’t try marketing this too much to the OC/Gossip Girl/Twilight kids.  That would irk me.  But hey, if its a good movie, then who cares right!

  3. Ron is the only person in the world that I would think this is good news.

    Having The O.C. writer on X-Men? I have one thing to say to that:


    *vomits uncontrollably*

  4. This could be a really interesting project.  Schwartz has a real love for comics.  I’m all for this and have my fingers crossed that they actually go with the first class and not just random young X-Men.

  5. You know, as soon as I heard this news my instant reactions were "This sounds like a terrible idea" followed immediately by "But Ron will be so happy."

    Seriously, though I love the X-Men:First Class comic, I seriously doubt that this project will share anything but the title.  I think that there are a lot of good, bad and logistical reasons you couldn’t actually make a movie about the original team.  Good reason: These are 5 white kids, including 4 boys; a new movie aimed at a younger audience should be more diverse than that.  Bad reason: would Fox really try to sell an X-movie without Wolverine?  Logistical: It’s pretty soon for a reboot of a successful franchise to star different versions of characters we’ve already seen — since Iceman and Angel are from a different generation than Cyclops and Phoenix in the movies already out there, and some of the backstory — like Magneto starting the school with Xavier — is a lot different than what you have in the comics. 

    I suspect that this project is basically an ‘X4’ focusing on some of the younger characters who have been in the movies already — maybe adding some New Mutants characters if we’re lucky.  If it turns out to star Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, and be directed by Joss Whedon, that would be awesome, but I’m not hoding my breath.  

  6. I think it would be a great idea to do a full-on reboot of the X franchise, but as ohcaroline mentions, that might not be the most likely option.

    I also haven’t ever seen the OC, so I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the writer. 

  7. Its not adapting the comic, just grabbing the title. Its supposed to be starring the younger X-men already intorduced in the previous movies, Like Iceman, Rogue, Shadowcat, Colossus, and Angel.

    And I’m pretty sure this guy does stuff for Chuck as well, so That makes me happy

  8. Yep, Josh Schwartz is an Executive Producer and writer on CHUCK.  He’s quite talented.

  9. yeah, and althoght i never watched it, I heard the first season of the O.C were actually pretty good, once you got passed the melodrama, (which, lets face, there is a lot of that in x-men) so I’m not too worried, just as long as they make Iceman more Iceman like.

  10. @greendart32 is correct Josh Shwartz is also known for his fantastic work on Chuck and it’s spy/geektacular series. Also, as mentioned before it’s using the comic title but using the young characters from earlier X-films( I hear the are eyeing the team of Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, then maybe adding others who had cameos for small parts) and giving them the prominent roles.  I twittered this news to my friends when I found out a few days ago, because of The O.C. and Chuck. Also, the same day I found out that Captain America has it’s writers in the two guys writing the Narnia films.

  11. I love X-Men First Class and Gossip Girl so this sounds like all kinds of awesome to me. Schwatz is an excellent writer and gives his characters depth and wit. Seriously, if you haven’t watched Gossip Girl yet, give it a try. It’s one of the best shows right now on TV.

    However, Schwartz is also known for taking liberties with original source material – the Gossip Girl books differ greatly from the TV show. That said, I’d love for this project to get the go ahead, I remember reading the British reprints of the original X-Men stories waaaaaay back in the seventies and I still love these old characters.

    Yes, I’m that old….  

  12. If there was an X-Men: First Class headed by that OC guy and stays true enough to the comic book, I’d watch that.

  13. Keep in mind that, as Caroline said, it’s *probably* not going to be an adpatation of the comic book, but a movie using the young X-Men characters from the pre-established movie universe (although the article says it’s possible they will make it a prequel about when the older X-Men from the movies were teens).  They’ve been talking about making that particular movie since X3.  I wish this was a Marvel Studios-led reboot.

    We really won’t know what it is for a while… if it even gets made… and IF Schwartz signs on, which he has not yet, he’s just in talks.

  14. Wait… Ron is talking about this as a movie, when to me, considering the talent involved and title involved, that this would be a natural to be the Fox version of "Smallville".  Wouldn’t they aim to put this on TV?  It would work far better on TV than as a movie.

  15. @RaceMcCloud  I’d also be much more interested in this as a TV project than a movie, but the news reports so far have said ‘movie.’  I think the cost is the main thing that would weigh against it being television.  I’d think the effects budget for a weekly X-men series would have to be pretty high, and there seems to be a trend away from expensive shows getting made. 

  16. Jeff Parker says this on his blog (which for some reason I can never link to): "To be clear, I don’t think [the film] will resemble the book that Roger Cruz, Colleen Coover and I did much beyond the name, it looks like it would follow the movie timeline and be more a New Mutants kind of thing."

  17. I don’t understand how someone can be mad about someone associated with the OC writing a comic based movie.  Allan Heinberg was part of the writing crew and Young Avengers is easily one of the best books I’ve read since I got back into comics.

  18. I’ve never seen The OC or Gossip Girl. I’ve not got anything against teen dramas (I loved Buffy, Veronica Mars, Angel, even a soft spot for early Dawson), I just had too many shows on the go to get into them. But the fact that OC and Gossip are so popular shows the guy knows what he’s doing.

    And man of man, do I love Chuck! That show’s funny, action packed and cool. If he can work some of that magic in the X-Men universe, I’m behind this 100%.

    Thanks for posting this, Ron, I hadn’t heard this news.

  19. Perfect match.  The X franchise works best when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s a quintessential soap opera.  Thumbs up.  

  20. @PaulMontgomery  I dunno, I’d like the X-Men to be more Freaks & Geeks and less Gossip Girl.  But I say this with no actual knowledge, just a generalized hatred of shows about rich kids.

  21. The emphasis is on OC, not Gossip Girl.  Seth Cohen is a worthy geek.  

    Although, as the founder of a popular Judd Apatow Facebook group, I can’t deny the allure of a Feig/Apatow X-Men locker drama.   

  22. Also, CHUCK.  Don’t discount CHUCK admist all the OC and GOSSIP GIRL hoopla.

  23. But I think me and Ron prefer the OC and Gossip Girl to Chuck.  

  24. Right, but the point being he has shown he can oversee three different shows that appeal to different people.  He’s not a one trick writing pony.

  25. @conor  This is a good point.  Good writing is good writing, and if they are going after a teen demographic, they could have made a lot worse choices.

  26. Like Stephenie Meyer (TWILIGHT) for example.  

  27. Bless you, Paul.  You just put this in so much perspective.

  28. The girl from Twilight could be the flamebird girl from the X-Men.  Cyclop’s ex from before the blonde one.  

  29. Awesome news. This guy has yet to make a bad show.

  30. @Paul   And now I hate you again.

  31. I think I undersold Chuck when I said it was "funny, action-packed and cool". It is that, but it’s surprisingly more. In fact, it’s better than it has a right to be. The writing is solid, often inspired. And it really gets what it’s supposed to be – entertaining. Yet it still throws a few surprising beats in there to throw off the viewer who thought he was watching throw-away TV.

  32. i cant wait i mighjt jump on this comic now

  33. The comic series got canceled (or reformatted to a series of minis) but you can pick up the trades.

  34. This movie should be a reboot of the whole fox X movies.  But I digress in my wishful thinking.  I’ll go watch this just like I went to see all the X-men and the up and coming Wolverine.  I think my main problem is that this movie is being done by Fox not Marvel.

  35. Okay just because the guy did The O.C. shouldnt make me worried too much. It’ll get noticed since everyone including their grandmother loved that show….well except me of course.

    If the film starts of with ‘California! California! Here we commmmeeeee!!!’ then I will go find this man and punch him in the face.

  36. I only ever saw half of the first episode of The OC, but I did give them credit for mentioning The Cramps and Stiff Little Fingers.

  37. TNC – HEY!  Max Fischer is on drums for that song.  RESPECT!  

  38. @Paul: That song got so overplayed cause of the Damn O.C. I dont care who is on drums.

    It’s weird cause I actually liked the song before it became the theme. But now it turned into the O.C. theme song and it got overplayed too much…..I want to kill whoever is the singer of that band.

    Although the way The Simpsons made fun of The O.C. is a highlight.

  39. Max Fischer’s on drums for that? Seriously? Almost instantly I hate it less now.

  40. I’m also a fan of the teen drama, but I’m very selective. I like The OC specifically because it was written well, and the stories were engaging. I’m happy to hear this news, but I’ll be even happier if I found out it was being written for a TV show instead of a movie. A TV show can recover its steps in a few episodes if ever it messes up the first few. We’re then granted a longer viewing experience. A movie is just too short for me, even if it were a three-hour epic movie. I think the X-Men characters as teens would need time to develop their relationships and their voices for the drama action to escalate properly, which means it is perfect for a tv show.


    Re: "California" I used to hate that song when it first came out, but after hearing so many versions of it through The OC’s soundtrack, I actually started liking it.