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Kevin Bacon

by Ryan Rigley

Now that Mark Millar has signed on as creative consultant for 20th Century Fox's upcoming Marvel projects, comic book fans all across the country can sleep a little easier at night. With credentials ranging everywhere from "Kick-Ass" to "Wanted" and ample experience on both the "Ultimate X-Men" and "Ultimate Fantastic Four" ongoing series, it's quite clear that Millar has a firm grasp on the source material.

This, of course, comes as even more great news for the highly anticipated "X-Men: First Class" sequel, "X-Men: Days of Future Past." In fact, the only foreseeable downside to the sequel is that Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw won't be making an appearance. Absorbing mutant energy in order to enhance his own, Bacon's Shaw practically stole the show in the first film.

But how did he stack up against his comic book counterpart? Click past the jump to find out in today's Rogue Report!

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X-Men

The first sequel is the important one. It’s where a director, having established the rules of the game in the first movie, is given the chance to push outward and explore the world. Connections are followed up on; characterization is deepened; giant plots are put into motion now that the origin story is out of the way. For comic book movies, the first sequel is where classics are defined. It’s no small coincidence that three of the superhero films universally considered to be among the best over the last decade — "The Dark Knight," "Spider-Man 2," and "X2: X-Men United" — were first sequels that vastly outpaced their predecessors.

The "X-Men: First Class" series is about to commit to its first sequel. Last week, producer Bryan Singer announced to some surprise that the subtitle for the follow-up would be "Days of Future Past," referring to the comic arc that's widely considered to be among the best stories ever laid down in the X-pages. The story, for the uninitiated, involves a dystopian future in which mutants have been rounded up into Sentinel-patrolled concentration camps, and a former member of the X-Men who travels to the past to stop things from going wrong.

While Singer was predictably mum on details, writer Simon Kinberg told Collider that "it’s extraordinarily ambitious. It is unlike the other X-Men movies and yet very much a celebration of the X-Men movies."

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

We no longer have to call it "X-Men: First Class 2" or "X-Men: Second Class" or "X-Men: The New New Class" or whatever it is we were calling it — Matthew Vaughn's "First Class" sequel is officially going by the evocative title "Days of Future Past."

Speaking with IGN, producer Bryan Singer officially let the cat out of the bag about the "First Class" sequel's title, with filming beginning in just a few months.

"It's going to be very ambitious. It's called 'Days of Future Past,' and it deals with aspects of that comic, and also some very new things," said Singer. "I don't want to give anything away, but Matthew Vaughn is directing it, and we're very excited about it."

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Second Class

Of all the nerdy movies being teased at Comic-Con this year, the "X-Men: First Class" sequel is not one of them. But even with that being the case, Simon Kinberg was willing to talk very vaguely about the upcoming Fox movie and how it will follow up on its blockbuster predecessor.

SuperHeroHype had a chance to catch up with the sequel's screenwriter and "X-Men: First Class" producer while he was promoting "Elysium," and teased the shape of his as-yet-unfinished screenplay. Kinberg wouldn't say what will for sure be in "First Class 2," but he did tease it would be similar to what worked in the first movie.

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File this story under awesome things that never were: Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" fame was almost the world's most evil mutant!

The Emmy-winning actor, who stars on "Breaking Bad" as increasingly loathsome cancer-stricken meth cook Walter White, alias Heisenberg (yes, it's a mouthful), almost had the chance to star in "X-Men: First Class." Speaking on the set of "Total Recall" with numerous outlets some months ago, Cranston revealed that he was briefly up for the part of Sebastian Shaw.

"I read for the Kevin Bacon role in 'X-Men: First Class,'" said Cranston. "And it was like, 'Ah, there’s a possibility.'"

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Though "X-Men: First Class 2" is due out in theaters in July 2014, there's little we know about the upcoming project. What new villains will the movie introduce? New mutants? New powers? And just how at odds will Charles Xavier and Magneto be this time around?

He might not have had those answers, but "X-Men: First Class" star Lucas Till had his own set of suggestions for the sequel's plot. IGN caught up with the actor (who played Havoc in Fox's "X-Men" reboot) at E3 last week, and Till admitted that he wanted his comic book love interest to make her way into the second film.

"I want Polaris in there. I want a sexy green-haired girl to fall in love with," he said. "That's all I'm asking for."

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Professor Xavier and Erik Lensherr's philosophical and physical battle over mutantkind's place in our world is far from over. "X-Men: First Class" set the stage for a spectacular showdown between the X-Men founders, and they'll be back on the battlefield in just two years from now.

Fox has announced a slew of new additions to their upcoming release schedule, including the highly awaited "X-Men: First Class" sequel. According to a press release, the Matthew Vaughn-directed sequel will hit theaters on July 18, 2014. It's not as soon as next summer, no, but the fact that we can mark down an official release date for more Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy adversarial goodness is enough of a win for one day, I'd say.

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An "X-Men: First Class" sequel is scheduled to begin shooting next January, with director Matthew Vaughn back in place to tell the next chapter in Professor Charles Xavier and Erik "Magneto" Lensherr's lives. The original "First Class" surprised many fans with high-caliber performances from leads James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, a compelling villain played by Kevin Bacon, wonderfully imaginative uses of mutant powers and the film's 1960s setting. It's no wonder that Fox is eager to return to that well — though fans won't get to see the fruits of their labor for quite some time.

"We're going to start shooting January 2013 for [a release date of] either Christmas 2013, or Summer 2014," Fox chief Tom Rothman told MTV News at CinemaCon this week. "The script is in development now. Matt, Simon Kinberg and Jane Goldman are working on it now."

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X-Men

Jennifer Lawrence is a certified all-star now. Not only is she the leading lady in the top-grossing movie of the year, but she also has movie studios filming their upcoming blockbusters around her schedule.

At least that's the case according to The Hollywood Reporter. Their Heat Vision blog is reporting that 20th Century Fox is planning the shooting schedule for the "X-Men: First Class" sequel around Lawrence's commitment to "The Hunger Games" sequel, "Catching Fire." Take that, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender!

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First Class

Ever since "X-Men: First Class" made a splash in last summer's blockbuster scene, there's been plenty of talk about what direction the sequel will take the franchise in. It seems a guarantee that leading lady Jennifer Lawrence will make a return in the as-yet-untitled follow-up, but it turns out that she knows little more about the project than we do.

"I don't know, I mean...if they write me in, then I'm in," Lawrence told HitFix. "But I don't even know if there'll be...I've only heard what everybody else has heard, just whispers. I haven't heard the official word yet."

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