It appears that upcoming prequel to the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class will begin shooting sometime after February 2010. Actor, Tim Pocock, who played a younger and imprisoned Scott Summer/Cyclops in this year's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has dropped this piece of news via Twitter.
"currently shooting Australian TV series till February 2010...then X-men first class ;)"
We've known for some time that the Josh Schwartz-directed film would be a prequel of sorts to the X-Men franchise. However, at this point it is difficult to determine exactly for WHAT X-Men franchise would it serve as prequel. We've seen continuity gaps galore in Wolverine, and besides a cameo from Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, there seems to be evidence that the film has in its own subtle way, served as a reboot.
Tim Pocock's reprisal of Cyclops may cement the fact that the X-Men films of Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner have essentially been "thrown out" as we see our X-characters embrace new fates in the film storyline. Why? Well, NOT because James Marsden is gone, but rather, in regards to the integrity of the storyline. Think about it -- Are we seriously going to invest all this time and energy into telling the story of a character who gets unceremoniously vaporized like some Star Trek Red Shirt in the first quarter of X-Men 3? I think not.
I am probably in agreement with most fans that Fox holding the X-Men license separate from Disney/Marvel does not serve the grand scheme of Marvel films, which would benefit greatly from having the ability to crossover, creating a single universe. However, given the reality that a consolidation will probably not happen (at least anytime soon,) I will take what is hopefully the continuity scrapping of the Singer/Ratner X-films (which, for what they were, had their highs and lows) as at least a step in the right direction.
UPDATE: It seems that Tim Pocock is asking for retractions in regards to the tweet in question. More details to come.