Bryan Singer left Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men: The Last Stand just before production began so he could direct Superman Returns for Warner Bros., and what came of X-Men 3 was something critics and fans didn’t find as praiseworthy as its predecessors. The studio, with the help of X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner, brought Singer back to helm a quasi-reboot/prequel in X-Men: First Class after X-Men Origins: Wolverine was also poorly received (critically), but he had to take a producer role due to his other obligations.
With its sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer is hopping back into the director’s chair once again to not only work with the team behind X-Men: First Class but to craft what could be also considered X-Men 4, or dare I say it, another (read: his own) take on X-Men 3.
Speaking with Bleeding Cool recently, Bryan Singer was directly asked about whether or not he’d consider introducing a character such as the villainous and incredibly powerful Apocalypse into the X-Men film universe, and he awkwardly dodged the topic, giving rise to more speculation and theories on just how big the scale and scope of X-Men: Days of Future Past really is.
The rest of that interview has since been published and includes Singer addressing the visual style(s) of the film, his thoughts on X-Men: The Last Stand, and how he’ll use the time travel plot device to rectify some of the continuity errors the franchise has become infamously known for since Singer left after X-Men 2.
Singer’s latest project, Jack the Giant Slayer, is currently in theaters and knowing that the giant, mutant-hunting robots known as the Sentinels will play a part in Days of Future Past, it would seem that Singer now has experience on directing and crafting action set pieces with characters of vastly differing sizes.
“I might have use for some of Jack the Giant Slayer’s motion capture techniques [in Days of Future Past.] I don’t want to say how because that would give away what’s going to be in the movie, but I’ll be using that and perhaps simulcam technology for certain things. And I will be shooting stereo, true stereo.”
Singer’s secrecy on how he’d use motion capture techniques – when the Sentinels have been namedropped by Fox’s Marvel movie consultant Mark Millar on multiple occasions – may lend more credence to the possibility that Apocalypse is in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Singer continues, explaining that cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel (The Usual Suspects, Jack the Giant Slayer) will be shooting each time period in the film with a different style, and that he wants the entire movie to have its own “specific look.”
“There are parts of X-Men 3… it isn’t what I would have done, but parts of it, I liked. Ellen Page was something I liked in X-Men 3 and I’m bringing her to Days of Future Past. Certain things are different. There was a lot going on in it and I wasn’t so happy with so many people dying, but then there were some really sweet moments with that kid, the cure kid.”
In addition to the next X-Men team-up seeing the return of so many franchise faces, from both the First Class prequel and the original trilogy, the most exciting and intriguing element of Days of Future Past is how it will justify the two sets of characters coming together using time travel. It not only serves as a device to bridge the gaps between the existing films, but it can be used to rectify some of the more notable continuity issues (see: X-Men Origins: Wolverine) or character arc missteps (see: X-Men: The Last Stand).
“I said I’ll ‘fix a few things’ [with Days of Future Past]. It won’t be its primary function but there will be some fixing. It’s a really cool story, and incidentally, it facilitates all of these characters. They weren’t just thrown in there. And they all play a fun role.”
With principal photography beginning in Montreal next month, the actors have finally begun receiving Simon Kinberg and Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: Days of Future Past screenplay, a script the cast didn’t even need to read before agreeing to return. James McAvoy, while promoting Trance, confirmed to IAR that he now has the latest draft and has read it.
“It’s great. It’s really good and strong. I think fans will love it. I think people who have never seen any of the X-Men films before are going to be really into it. I think it’s satisfying and giving people what they want, while at the same time being challenging and giving them something different, new, and unexpected.”
Are you optimistic about X-Men: Days of Future Past?
Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart and Fan Bingbing, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Daniel Cudmore.
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014 and Fantastic Four on March 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.