Josh Schwartz to Write X-Men: First Class

20th Century Fox has hired “Gossip Girl” creator Josh Schwartz to write X-Men: First Class. He’d also been offered a chance to direct the film, but declined.

Schwartz, the creator and executive producer of The CW’s hit as well as Fox’s “The O.C.” and NBC’s “Chuck,” is expected to inject a next-gen sensibility into the superhero series.

The studio has been leaning toward using the younger characters introduced in the previous films in future installments –teenagers with powers taught at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.

Resulting film would likely draw from elements of the Marvel Comic of the same name, launched in 2006, and enlist such characters as Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, who have appeared prominently or made cameos in prior pics.

Lauren Shuler Donner, who produced all three “X-Men” pics, as well as next summer’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is producing “First Class” alongside Mr. & Mrs. Smith scribe Simon Kinberg.

Source: Variety