Scribe tutors 'X-Men' kids

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Josh Schwartz, creator of "Gossip Girl" and "The O.C.," is in negotiations to write "X-Men: First Class," a project that continues the "X-Men" franchise for Fox.

"First Class" will focus on a younger set of superpowered mutants than the first trilogy or next summer's Hugh Jackman-starring prequel, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

"First Class" could serve as a prequel and focus on certain X-Men characters but as teens, or it could focus on students at the mutant school introduced in the "X-Men" movies. Marvel Comics ran a short-lived comics series with the same name several years ago.

Given the teen-centric approach to the project, Schwartz seems a perfect fit, as the Endeavor and Fuse Entertainment-repped showrunner has emerged as a figure with his finger on the pulse of the younger generation and the fluid nature of pop culture.

Lauren Shuler Donner, who produced the "X-Men" movies and "Wolverine," is back for "First Class" along with Simon Kinberg, who was a writer on "X-Men: The Last Stand."

In its "X-Men" development slate, Fox, who would not confirm the negotiations, also is working on a "Magneto" prequel and a potential "Wolverine" spinoff focusing on the character named Deadpool. These projects might hinge on the success of "Wolverine," the most popular X-Men character during the course of its 30 years.
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