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‘X-Men: First Class’ Sets and Locations Spotlighted in ‘Architectural Digest’

Architectural Digest released this week a series of images — some of them never-before-seen — of sets and locations from X-Men: First Class. Based on the classic superhero Marvel Comics team, the film is meant to be set in the early 1960s, and AD spoke to First Class Production Designer Chris Seagers about the period flourishes seen in the movie. You can see those images after the jump.

“They’re not screaming,” Seagers said of the sets and locations of X-Men: First Class, acknowledging the observations of many who’ve not felt a strong ’60s vibe from the footage and imagery released thus far. “Rather than becoming their own characters in the film, they create a mood and serve as wallpaper for the actors and the story.”

The following photos were taken by Murray Close, and the accompanying text was written by AD’s Samuel Cochran.


Englefield House, an Elizabethan manor in Berkshire, England, doubles as the X-Mansion-the home of Charles Xavier and his nascent training center for mutant youths.

Several scenes were shot in the estate’s wood-paneled library to which Seagers added extra books and furnishings. Preexisting artwork, meanwhile, was removed in order to circumvent copyright issues. James McAvoy, left, stars as the young Charles Xavier opposite Michael Fassbender, right, as Erik Lehnsherr (a.k.a. the future Magneto).

Seagers oversaw the creation of a Soviet general’s boudoir at England’s Pinewood Studios-a legendary soundstage built in 1976 for the James Bond thriller The Spy Who Loved Me and reconstructed in 2007 after a devastating fire. The ersatz bedroom features emerald walls painted with a red base coat to create tonal depth on screen, gilded furnishings, and a custom-made canopy bed.

The Australia House, a 1918 London landmark, was transformed into the Kremlin’s war room using simple, architecturally noninvasive touches, such as a rounded conference desk and a freestanding Cold War–era map.

A wind tunnel at Farnborough Airport-once a British aviation research center-became a laboratory and workshop for the mutant Beast (played by Nicholas Hoult, pictured here with Jennifer Lawrence as the shape-shifting Mystique). The interior façade and suspended airplane were constructed out of foam to protect the existing structure.

What appears in the film as the bunkerlike basement of the X-Mansion is in fact a fireproof plywood structure erected on the Pinewood Studios lot. Pictured is Lucas Till as Havok.

A composite set of several rooms was built to serve as the mod submarine of playboy villain Sebastian Shaw, played by Kevin Bacon (with January Jones as arm candy Emma Frost). Abstract artwork, streamlined furniture, and graphic wallpaper inject the necessary dose of ’60s style.

The reflective surfaces of the submarine’s nuclear-reactor chamber were achieved using a combination of real mirrors and computer-generated imagery.

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