Twentieth Century Fox has set Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz to write X-Men: First Class. He had the option to direct the superhero feature as well, but opted out.

According to Variety, Schwartz (The O.C. and NBC's Chuck) is expected to inject a next-gen sensibility into the superhero series, which has earned $1.2 billion worldwide.

Fox is keeping quiet on plans and declined to confirm details of the project.

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Fox has been leaning toward using the younger characters introduced in the previous pics in future installments -- teenagers with powers taught at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.

Resulting film would likely draw from elements of the Marvel comic of the same name, launched in 2006, and enlist such characters as Iceman, Rogue, Angel, Colossus, Jubilee and Shadowcat, who have appeared prominently or made cameos in prior pics.

Given Hollywood's penchant for reboots with new actors playing familiar roles, the film could also reintroduce characters. The comicbook revolves around the Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Professor X.

No production date has been set.