By Michael Slezak
Updated December 20, 2019 at 11:35 AM EST
Credit: Janssen: Kerry Hayes; Meester: Eric Liebowitz/The CW
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I’m a huge fan of the X-Men movie franchise — well, at least the first two Bryan Singer-directed flicks — but not so much of The CW’s icky Gossip Girl (I know, blasphemy alert). And that’s why I’m more than a little perturbed by the news that Josh Schwartz (exec producer of GG, as well as The O.C. and Chuck) will be writing (and possibly directing) the fourth installment of the film franchise, X-Men: First Class, with plans to “inject a next-gen sensibility into the superhero series,” according to Variety.

My colleague Jeff Jensen informs me that “X-Men: First Class is the name of a best-selling 2007 X-Men mini-series imagining the very early adventures of Professor Xavier’s first group of mutant students: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel, and The Beast.” But I just worry Schwartz might be more interested in outfitting these heroes in Prada capes and imagining them (under-aged-ly) sipping martinis at oak-lined hotel bars than in exploring how they’ll navigate the treacherous territory of what it means to be a mutant teenager kicking ass in an unforgiving world. I mean, even those of you obsessed with the comings and goings of such mythical creatures as a Blair Waldorf or a Nate Archibald can’t tell me you’d want to see the fearsome Jean Grey (played by the fabulous Famke Janssen) pushed aside in favor of, say, Platform, a character who sports a variety of precariously crafted shoes (“Ohmigod, I’m gonna betchslap you, J.G.!”), or (Lord help us) Smoking Jacket, a dude who shoots fire from beneath his array of vintage velvet sports coats.

Then again, perhaps my passage from the advertiser-coveted 18-34 demographic renders completely irrelevant my take on the marriage of Schwartz and X-Men. I just hope Fox doesn’t forget the franchise has already raked in $1.2 billion worldwide, despite starring a couple of oldie olsens in Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. What’s your take, PopWatchers?

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