Fox planning young X-Men spin-off

20th Century Fox is ramping up development on younger X-Men tale First Class, commissioning OC creator Josh Schwartz to write the script.

Variety has no exact word on what the plot will be, but it’ll focus on the younger characters from the series, which means wiping out the hefty fees from more established stars such as Hugh Jackman.

And it’s not like the studio is dragging this idea out of nowhere – Marvel launched the First Class comic in 2006, featuring such X-typed as Rogue, Angel, Colossus and Shadowcat.

Ellen Page?

Schwartz – who is also behind Gossip Girl and Chuck on TV – was offered the directing gig, but he’s turned it down because running two TV shows and directing a big film would likely kill any normal human.

Somewhere, Brett Ratner is quietly plotting his return to the X-franchise, we can just tell.

On the acting front, one of the bigger names that made an early appearance (as Kitty Pride) is Ellen Page, and she’s likely to be the sort of name Fox will be hunting down. It’s doubtful she’ll want to return to big blockbuster work after indie success.

Looks like that X-shaped money train won’t be shunted off to the siding anytime soon…

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