MATTHEW VAUGHN | 20TH CENTURY FOX
MAIN ON END TITLE | TYPOGRAPHY
Marvel Comics reboot of the X-Men franchise launches with X-Men: First Class. Based during the tense era of the Cuban Missile Crisis, director Matthew Vaughn tells a superhero origin story woven into an alternate history. First Class follows Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr before they became Professor X and Magneto. The film explores the early stages of their relationship among other young mutants, and the events that lead to their detrimental severance.
Producer Bryan Singer recruited Prologue for the job of delivering a main and end title sequence for First Class, the first of three franchise collaborations with Prologue (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse).
The main title begins with a young Magneto holding a Nazi Regime coin in his palm. Standing in the same room is his mother, and the evil mutant Sebastien Shaw, also known as Dr. Klaus Schmidt (Kevin Bacon). Shaw kills Magneto’s mother in front of him, after the young boy fails to demonstrate his powers. We zoom into the coin, as it becomes the lone object in a sea of black. The specie rotates to reveal the X-Men: First Class logo on the opposing face, which animates out to a present day Magneto, levitating the Nazi coin in and around his fingers. The coin is an exemplum of the unimaginable horrors Magneto faced as a child, illustrating the pain he endured from the roots of his existence. The Nazi coin also acts as a transitional device to bring us from World War II to the present day in the story: the beginnings of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In his initial briefing to Prologue, director Matthew Vaughn stressed simplicity in regards to the main on end title sequence. Where the film takes place primarily in the 1960’s, Vaughn’s vision was to have an authentic sequence that matched the period of story. Drawing inspiration from world-renowned designers Maurice Binder and Saul Bass, Prologue created a poetic dance of several kinds of DNA models from the 60’s. In the X-Men universe, mutations in the X chromosome result in ordinary people possessing extraordinary abilities. We explored these rare and potentially precarious metamorphoses in the sequence, allowing this reboot and its title sequence to stand in a class of its own.