Matthew Vaughn To Direct 'X-Men: First Class,' Release Date Set For 2011

First ClassFollowing reports earlier this week that "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn was back in the running to helm the next "X-Men" film, Fox has officially announced that Vaughn will direct "X-Men: First Class."

"X-Men: First Class" will be released on June 3, 2011, according to Variety. While casting has not yet officially begun, The Hollywood Reporter is also speculating that "X-Men: First Class" producer Bryan Singer has already started to look at potential candidates for Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey while casting his next film, "Jack The Giant Killer."

Back in December, it was announced that Singer would return to the "X-Men" film franchise and direct "X-Men: First Class." However, Singer's commitment to Warner Brothers' "Giant Killer" forced him to step down as director, paving the way for Vaughn to take the film.

"I've been a fan of [Vaughn's] since 'Layer Cake,'" Singer told Variety. "He has a deft hand with multiple characters and storylines, and a great love of the X-Men universe. I feel the combination of this story and his vision will make for an exciting and original 'X-Men' film."

"X-Men: First Class" is set to take place early in the team's history, with Professor X and Magneto still working side-by-side before events ultimately drive them apart and spark a personal war between them.

Following Singer's original departure from the third "X-Men" film, Vaughn was one of the finalists to direct "X-Men: The Last Stand" before the job ultimately went to Bret Ratner.

Prior to signing with Fox for "X-Men: First Class," Vaughn had been rumored to be considering "Kick-Ass 2" and "Bloodshot" — based upon the Valiant Comic of the same name — as his next film project.

What are your thoughts on "X-Men: First Class" coming out so quickly? Is Matthew Vaughn your first choice for the director? Who should be cast as the young X-Men? Build your own Cerebro and let us know what you're thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!