Lauren Shuler Donner on X-Men: First Class

Producer, Lauren Shuler Donner on First Class, Deadpool and Magneto.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Lauren Shuler Donner on X-Men: First Class

It’s a weird time for X-Men: First Class. It’s was too soon to bring anything to Comic Con, but it’ll be released before next Comic Con. So you didn’t see any young mutants in San Diego this year, but we got their producer at the Saturn Awards. Lauren Shuler Donner previewed the X-Men prequel when she walked the red carpet at this year’s Saturns.


Q: How are things going on X-Men: First Class? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Really well, thank you.


Q: There must be a lot of factors to consider, both an actor on his own and who’s played the character before? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: There are a lot of factors to consider. There are two mostly. One is the best actor possible because it is a movie. Then the best actor that approximates everybody’s image of these characters.


Q: What made now the right time to go to First Class? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: It just felt like a good way to re-enter the franchise.


Q: Did you take any lessons from the Wolverine prequel? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Well, we have another Wolverine that we’re going to do, The Wolverine Saga, with Mariko, The Japanese Story, that miniseries. But that we pretty much follow the comic pretty closely, as closely, really closely.


Q: Has this franchise just gotten sprawling for you? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: I personally feel that the X-Men franchise is kind of like Marvel in that there’s a lot of characters, there are a lot of stories, 40 years of comics and that we can make multiple movies. It’s not like Spider-Man where there is a Spider-Man and you follow him. This is THE X-Men and there’s a world. In that world, we can tell many stories.


Q: Have you been happy with the fan reception to your casting anouncements? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: So far, I think so, yeah.


Q: Is it the reaction you hoped for? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: I hope when they see the movie, they’ll love it as much as we do.


Q: Can Matthew Vaughn bring anything he developed the first time he worked with you? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Well, I mean, we were starting to do a different movie. That was a different movie. He’s a fan of the franchise obviously. He’s a really good director. He brings a very stylish and sort of out of the box vision. He is also very set on casting the best actors possible so the characters become real and the story.


Q: Can he do practical effects like he prefers in an X-men movie? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: We’re going to try. Yeah, we are going to try as much practical effects as possible. Then only when we have to, use CGI.


Q: Is there still any heat on Magneto? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: No. You know, there’s internal discussions but probably not. It kind of got incorporated into this one, a lot of it.


Q: Things from the Goyer script are in First Class? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Magneto history. Stuff from the Marvel/Magneto history.


Q: With all your superhero movies, have you seen a change in 20th Century Fox in the last few years? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: You’re going to love Deadpool. You’re going to love Deadpool.


Q: How difficult is it to do that with Ryan being so busy? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: You know, Ryan is so committed to being Deadpool. He is Wade Wilson. Well, no, he’s Deadpool. He is so committed to it that he worked with the writers on the script. Even though he’s doing Green Lantern, he’s stayed involved in that project. I’m hoping we’ll get it off the ground next year.


Q: Does Ryan doing Green Lantern help Deadpool? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Oh, yeah, sure. It’s very different. It’s like Harrison Ford doing Star Wars and Indiana Jones. DC and Marvel are different universes with different movies. But sure, the more popular and well known he is the better.


Q: Bryan Singer’s involved with X-Men again. 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Yeah, it’s so great.


Q: Is he on set every day? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: No, he’s not on set every day but it’s just wonderful having him around and getting his input. It’s just great. It feels like we’re back in X1 and X2.


Q: When do you start filming? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: In August.


Q: Where? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: In London.


Q: Will you use a lot of studios or some locations? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Mostly studio and then location. We’re trying to do everything as practical as possible but sometimes we have to build it just to control it.


Q: With Fox, are they more hands off on this one? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: We’re partners.


Q: How is Matthew coming into this bigger budget project? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: Fine. It’s not that big. It’s not that big.


Q: It’s probably double, even triple what he had for Kick-Ass. 

Lauren Shuler Donner: He’s doing fine. You wouldn’t know.


Q: Are you designing the set pieces already? 

Lauren Shuler Donner: It’s going to be great. We always have to. We always have to raise the bar.