by Josh Starnes, CMRO Editor
Fans who were … let’s go with ‘disappointed’ … by “X-Men: The Last Stand” cheered loud and long when director Bryan Singer was announced to be returning to the franchise as one of the producers and writers of “X-Men: First Class.” Those fans now have reason to cheer even louder and longer as Deadline reports today that Singer has confirmed he will be taking over directing duties for the next film in the series: “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
“X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn had been in negotiations to return to the director’s chair for the film which is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2013, but on Friday it was reported had passed on the offer. This marks the second major comic sequel he has passed on, also giving up the director’s chair on “Kick Ass 2” due for release next year. It’s unknown what project he passed on “Future Past” for though the rumor is he may be re-teaming with “Kick Ass” partner Mark Millar for an adaption of one of the comic writer’s other creative owned properties.
The move completes the tangled flip flop of creative talent which has engulfed the “X-Men” franchise since the mid-2000s when Singer was passed over for “X-Men 3” after agreeing to helm “Superman Returns” for a 2006 date. At the time Fox had already announced a May, 2006 date for “X-Men 3” and would not wait for anyone or anything, including a finished script. Originally Vaughn was scheduled to take Singer’s place but eventually passed due to the tight time table with no clear story intact and was eventually replaced by Brett Ratner. The end result was the most expensive, highest grossing and least liked of the series and after a pause and a re-think the series was restarted with the “First Class” prequel, with Vaughn finally taking the helm.
Singer, who had initially passed on directing “First Class” to focus on his adaptation of “Jack the Giant Killer”, has been vociferous about plans for the next film in the series.
“It’s going to be very ambitious,” Singer said in August. “It’s called ‘Days of Future Past.’ It deals with aspects of that comic, but also some very new things — I just don’t want to give any of it away. I think there’s a strong desire to broaden out the universe. I mean, the X-Men Universe is every bit, on its own, as big as the Marvel Universe, and I think it’s time to reach out and explore it, and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films — as Marvel has done so well.”
“First Class” stars Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are all scheduled to return for the sequel, which will focus on the “Days of Future Past” storyline from the “X-Men” comics.