Bryan Singer Officially Not Directing X-Men: First Class

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

We’ve got some good news and some bad news for fans of the first two X-Men movies. The good news is that Fox studios loves Bryan Singer’s story treatment for X-Men: First Class and what writer Jamie Moss has done with it, so much so that they want to kickstart this film into production right away. The bad news for many is that Singer won’t be directing the movie and instead will take a producer’s credit on the project.

The news that Singer may be pulled out of the director’s chair on his planned return to the X-Men franchise surfaced last weekend when HitFix learned that Fox was meeting with other directors to take over the job. The reason for this happening was that Singer was already under contract with Warner Bros. to helm Jack the Giant Killer which is shooting this summer and Fox is not interesting in waiting any longer to get to work on their next X-Men films.

With Singer still involved and more importantly, his ideas being utilized, that’s at least reassuring considering that the reason producer Lauren Shuler Donner wanted him back in the fold was to help redeem the franchise after its last two installments didn’t fare well amongst critics and fans of the books.

First Class follows Professor Xavier’s first group of mutant students as they form the X-Men and the movie acts as a prequel to the existing franchise films. Singer’s story ideas are based heavily on the relationship between Magneto and Xavier as they work together to start the school and begin to tear apart as their differing philosophies begin to clash.

They’re going to have to find someone who fans will get behind to take the reins of X-Men: First Class and the two ideas I fired out last week were Joss Whedon (who’s written some awesome X-Men comics in his Astonishing X-Men run) and Matthew Vaughn who’s getting a lot of respect from movie and comic book geeks alike for his work on Kick-Ass.

At the moment, it appears Fox wants the movie fast-tracked for a possible release next summer and hope to have this film launch a new trilogy. If Wolverine 2 is also able to start shooting in Japan later this year (after Hugh Jackman is done shooting Real Steel), we could see two X-Men films in 2011 with a Deadpool film starring Ryan Reynolds likely the following year.

There’s no official schedule on any of these projects yet and even though Wolverine 2 has a star and a script handed in, it has no director yet. With Singer becoming producer, we can easily assume Fox wants X-Men: First Class in production soon.

Singer is now a part of the franchise’s future even if he is only producing First Class. I expect they’ll be saving X-Men 4 for him as hinted upon in the large LA Times feature interview with him and Donner where they discussed the franchise and Singer’s involvement going forward. It’s too bad the timing of that coincided with him no longer being able to do the project.

If you’re a fan, check out our piece on What We Need From X-Men 4 and on What X-Men 3 Could Have Been.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes

Source: Deadline

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  1. As long as he's attached in same way, then I'm fine.

  2. Why do we automatically assume it will be good just because Singer is involved? X-men And X2 were pretty good movies, but could have been much more. Joss Whedon's vision of the team in Astonishing X-men was well… Astonishing (which makes him a viable candidate for director IMO).

  3. I just wonder if Whedon or Vaughn can tolerate the N.I.H. effect if they step into another persons vision? I'm not discounting synergy, in fact that can make or break a film. The thing is though, Vaughn doesn't care for Hollywood ways. So how much friction is such a highly independent creative individual going to create playing in a universe he didn't invent? I don't believe he would agree to do it. He has walked away from other Marvel properties and unless “Kick Ass” falls flat, I don't see him knuckling under to do Fox's bidding. Whedon on the other hand has a relationship with Fox, albeit a rocky one. How much vitriol has built up and how much money is on the table may make or break that deal but the outlook to me is dependent upon just how well Singer and Whedon can get along…

  4. What we want and what we'll get are two very different things when it comes to the X-Men franchise, as seen with both X-Men 3 and Wolverine, both directors weren't up the scratch and the result were messes (okay so X-Men 3, not that big a mess, but not nearly as good as it should have been).

    I'm not sure about Joss Whedon, I'd really rather he get as far away as Fox as humanely possible at the moment, for his own good.

  5. i dont know what you guys dont understand.wolverine 2 will shot at the beggining of 2011 for a 2012 release.i thought that was pretty simple to understand when it was reported about a month ago…

  6. Why you're saying this in response to me instead of to the author of the article is what I don't understand.

  7. This is the typical Marvel fanboy comment: hopefully Marvel will somehow acquire the complete rights to the X-men, and allow the movie to flourish where it rightfully belongs.

  8. I totally agree with Rob and that statement. Btw, I'm not a huge Xmen fan.

  9. It's funny, looking back at the LA Times article now, it's obvious they knew he couldn't direct First Class, seeing as the article never said he would! Plus all the “off the record” stuff.

    Hence the hints about X4 (or Wolverine?)

    Personally, I would LOVE to see him direct X4. Prof X is alive as we know, bring back Scott (who was only assumed dead), still powerless from his encounter (?), add one Nightcrawler, and hey presto, the team is back.

  10. Like “Chis Nolaning” Superman? Hopefully, but doubtful.

  11. Another great post there T.O.M, creative freedom is vital in this attempt for redemption on Fox's part. Will they be willing to give the freedom to the director who will want to supposedly do it ((right)).It could be just as good as or better than Singer's, as bad as or worse than Ratner's or they could have their own new Favereau or Nolan. It's hard to say but I could care less either way because i'll be watching all Fox related Marvel stuff on cable t.v. that's it. They aint getting my $10.50 or $19.95 for the dvd.

  12. I understand and respect where your coming from. I might be in the same situation. It's sad too. Like wielding the best tool ever made and not bothering to learn how to use that kind of tool, in a blind rush their actions ruin it.

  13. I would much rather prefer Joss Whedon as director anyday over Bryan Singer.

    I know I'm probably going to get flamed but IMO, I think Singer is an extremely over rated director.

  14. This is great news. keep him away from the project completely.

  15. I like this idea my friend !! Nightcrawler needs to make a return – HELL YA. Cyclops (who kills him off !! – whatever).. needs to come back and eventually get his powers back. Gene/Phoenix is gone – So be it.. was never a huge fan anyways. Bring back McCoy, Beast, and Give Iceman and Kitty some more time on the screen (as we finally got a shot of them in X3) doing they're thang ! LOL

    Presto – the team is back…

    I think Singer could have done a great job with this given the right story, although I'm not opposed to having them go get the directory for Batman Begins ! A dark story would be such a ray of light.. !!

  16. Exactly, apart from Jean Grey/Phoenix, there really is no real death in X3 that could spoil an X4.

    (I liked the Kitty/Iceman thing too, can't remember her real name but she was very good in the role)

    • @aaronite1 Her real name is ellen page. I think she was great as kitty pryde. She’s one of my favorite actresses. She’s hot. Im sorry to trail off.

  17. Too bad bryan is not directing. Would’ve been great though. He’s producing. That’s good.