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  • Ability over Appearance: James McAvoy—who is well-known for his Pretty Boy looks and his thick, wavy brown hair—doesn't physically resemble Patrick Stewart (and Professor X in the comics was blond before he went bald), but the "Band of Brothers" featurette on the Blu-Ray/DVD makes it clear that the filmmakers' first choice for the role was McAvoy because he's a very talented thespian.
    Matthew Vaughn: James was the first actor we cast. I've always been a fan of James, I think he's a tremendous actor.
    Simon Kinberg: When initially somebody said, "What about James McAvoy for Charles?", I said, "That is the greatest idea I've ever heard, he'll never do it. Why would he take on somebody else's role which he is only going to be compared to Patrick Stewart?"
    Lauren Shuler Donner: James McAvoy, one of the world's best actors, he's just incredible.
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  • Ashcan Copy: The film was born because 20th Century Fox, the owners of the rights to the X-Men Film Series, didn't want to see the rights revert back to Marvel Comics, given that they now produce their own films (and are owned by Disney), making big bucks doing it with megahits like The Avengers (2012), and therefore won't be licensing out their properties in the foreseeable future. Proving that Tropes are Not Bad, the film was well-received by critics and moviegoers alike, and was a modest box-office hit.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Many of the actors were fans of the X-Men or superheroes in general — Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee) had auditioned without knowing which character he was up for, and he was simply grateful that they sought someone like him ("I've got red hair and freckles, I'm not gonna be Batman, Robin or Spider-Man").
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    • Hugh Jackman said he could not pass over his cameo as he was given a Precision F-Strike.
  • B-Team Sequel: Bryan Singer was the first choice for the director's chair, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Jack the Giant Slayer. Considering the success of the follow-up X-Men: Days of Future Past, it makes you wonder what his vision would've been like.
  • Bonus Material: Not many fans are aware that there are two rare featurettes which were only included on a very limited number of Blu-Rays: "Extraordinary Abilities" and "Magneto the Survivor." (The password to view both videos is xmfc.)
  • California Doubling: Englefield House in Reading, UK serves as the exterior for the Xavier mansion. The small island near Cuba is actually Georgia's Jekyll Island with some palm trees.
  • Creator's Favorite: Matthew Vaughn has made it very clear in interviews that Magneto is his favourite X-Men character, and he even dismissed Professor X as being sanctimonious and boring. As a consequence, Erik is the main protagonist in First Class despite the film being heavily advertised as containing two lead characters of equal importance. If Vaughn had remained as the director for the sequel, Magneto would once again be the central figure, but after Bryan Singer replaced him, Singer then gave the spotlight to the younger Xavier because Charles is his favourite.
  • Deleted Scene: The Blu-Ray contains 13 deleted and extended scenes.
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    • 1. Erik in Argentinean Airport
    • 2. Shaw with Cuban Generals
    • 3. Charles and Moira’s Tryst, Part 1
    • 4. Charles and Erik Recruit Angel (extended... featuring Magneto dressed as a woman in a skinny dress and a wig- it's one of Charles' mind tricks)
    • 5. The Russian Truck (extended)
    • 6. Erik vs. Russian Guards (extended)
    • 7. Shaw’s Plan (extended)
    • 8. Havok Training, Part 1 (extended)
    • 9. Banshee Training, Part 1 (extended)
    • 10. Havok Training, Part 2 (extended)
    • 11. Banshee Training, Part 2 (extended)
    • 12. Hank and Raven in the Lab (extended)
    • 13. Charles and Moira’s Tryst, Part 2
    • James McAvoy reveals in this interview that he and Michael Fassbender had a fight sequence with a very tall actor, but it was removed from the theatrical release (and it wasn't included as a Deleted Scene on the Blu-Ray) because it was deemed to be too corny.
      McAvoy: There was actually a scene in X-Men: First Class where we come up against somebody so dumb that I can't mind-bend him. We end up having a real deal fight with him, me and Magneto, because there was no metal in the room, either. And we just end up having a fight with this guy who was 7' 6" or something like that, it was hilarious. We kill him by shoving a bear's head over his head. It was weird. [...] we twisted it and broke his neck, and I said something like, "I couldn't bear that man." (laughs) It was a proper sort of ridiculous and fun as hell, but it was obviously silly and we cut it from the film.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • To prepare for the role, James McAvoy had shaved his head... and then was told that Charles was to have a full head of hair. For the first month of shooting, he had to wear hair extensions.
    • Nicholas Hoult underwent training in athletics, weight lifting and boxing to prepare, and also spent four hours in the make-up chair to become the Beast, which included a mask, contact lenses, a furry muscle suit and fake teeth.[.
    • Jennifer Lawrence went on a diet, had to work out for two hours daily to keep in shape, and like Rebecca Romijn, endured an eight-hour make-up that even caused blisters on her body. (on the sequels, Lawrence wore a scaly bodysuit to reduce the prosthetics from full body to just the head)
  • Fake American: Rose Byrne (Australian) as Moira MacTaggert (where the Scottish scientist of the comics is instead a CIA agent), and Nicholas Hoult (English) as Dr. Hank McCoy.
  • Fake Brit: Scotsman James McAvoy as the Oxford-educated Dr. Charles Xavier, who in this movie is revealed to be half-English through his mother.
  • Fake Mixed Race: Armando Munoz, aka Darwin, is half-Mexican and half-African American. He is played by Edi Gathegi, who has no Latino ancestry of any sort.
  • Fake Nationality: German-Irish Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (who according to the comics is either German or Polish, but definitely not Irish). Also, William "Bill" Milner (kid Erik's actor) is actually English.
  • Fake Russian: British Jason Flemyng as the Russian Azazel. Serbo-Croatian Rade Šerbedžija as the Russian general. Polish Olek Krupa as the commander of the Russian fleet. Of course, it's entirely possible that the general and the commander are supposed to be those ethnicities, while still being Soviet.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Mutant husbands": Charles and Erik before "The Divorce." It doesn't help that they have a Team Mom/Team Dad dynamic while training the teenage mutants.
    • "The Divorce": The climax at the Cuban beach wherein Xavier's and Lehnsherr's very close friendship is broken and the rivalry between Professor X and Magneto officially forms.
    • "Satellite Dish of Love": The emotionally intimate scene where Charles helps Erik achieve the point between rage and serenity.
    • "Dragneto" for the Deleted Scene in which Charles projects an image of Erik in drag to Angel. Hilarity Ensues.
    • "Bromance World Tour": Term often used for the time frame in which Charles and Erik traveled around America to recruit mutants. Alternatively called "The Honeymoon."
    • "ceiling!sex": Tumblr nickname for the rather popular scene wherein Erik pins Charles down on the surface of a spinning aircraft to protect him.
    • "Oliver Splat": Due to the unfortunate fate of Oliver Platt's otherwise unnamed character (who's only listed as Man In Black in the credits).
    • "Fassbending" for Magneto's powers.
    • "Mind-bending" for Professor X's telepathy. It should be noted that McAvoy uses this term in virtually every interview he does when he discusses his character's psychic abilities.
    • "Preppy Charles": Distinguishes the character's style in this movie from the other two entries of the First Class trilogy.
    • "Bae": It's an informal word on Tumblr for "baby," and when it's used for the X-Men Film Series, it specifically refers to James McAvoy's Xavier because he's depicted as The Cutie.
  • Follow the Leader: This was the first film made after the Marvel Cinematic Universe really began to take off (X-Men Origins: Wolverine was in pre-production beforehand), and it's closer to those films in tone and visual style than the other X-Men films.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: The set for the Xavier mansion was used in a TV series called Hex.
  • Inspiration for the Work: Matthew Vaughn cited X-Men, X2: X-Men United, Batman Begins, Star Trek: The Original Series, and the 1960s James Bond films as major influences on this film.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • The movie doesn't include an inspirational line of dialogue from Charles who tells Erik that "A new species is being born. Help me guide it, shape it, lead it."
    • There is no Meaningful Look between the two of them as they walk towards Alex's prison cell.
    • A close-up of Erik saying "Cheers" didn't make the final cut.
  • Name's the Same: Schmidt (German for "Smith") seems to be a common name for Nazi scientists with special powers in Marvel comic movies.
  • Non-Singing Voice: Banshee's screams are provided by Josh Ramsay, not his actor Caleb Landry Jones.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Alex Gonzalez, who played Riptide, had only really played good guys in Spanish cinema. He loved the chance to play a villain.
    • While it's not his only villain role, Kevin Bacon has rarely played an antagonist as calculated, repulsive or downright hateable as Shaw.
  • Production Posse: Matthew Vaughn brought his producer/writing partner Jane Goldman, costume designer Sammy Sheldon, and actor Jason Flemyng (who wanted to avoid make-up heavy roles after Clash of the Titans, but made an exception for Vaughn).
  • Promoted Fanboy: James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult were fond of the X-Men animated series when they were younger, and Hoult was also a fan of the original trilogy in the X-Men Film Series. When it comes to the comic books, Lucas Till is the most knowledgeable among the cast members.
  • Referenced by...:
  • Romance on the Set:
  • Star-Making Role: For Michael Fassbender, and to a lesser extent James McAvoy (whose career has had a much more gradual climb than most established actors). Also Jennifer Lawrence to a certain degree; she already had an Oscar nomination for The Winter's Bone, but this and The Hunger Games really helped make her a household name.
  • Those Two Actors: The CIA Agent who is the first to try and stop Shaw when he invades the CIA compound is Tony Curran, better known for playing Vincent van Gogh in Doctor Who, or being in the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie, along with Jason "Azazel" Flemyng. Curran also played a knight in an episode of Primeval when Flemyng was in it, making this at least the third thing they're been in together.
  • Throw It In!: Hugh Jackman's original line in the script was just "Fuck off." He improvised by saying "Go fuck yourself" instead, and the reactions of McAvoy and Fassbender to the different line are genuine. Amusingly enough, it does seem like both Jackman and McAvoy had forgotten about the improvisation while they were filming X-Men: Days of Future Past because Charles recalls Logan's rude reply as "Fuck off."
  • Typecasting: The young Charles Xavier is the ultimate example of this for James McAvoy, who portrays a Wide-Eyed Idealist for the umpteenth time, plus he's frequently associated with Period Pieces and intellectuals. This role is a triple whammy for the actor.
  • What Could Have Been:

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