[UPDATE: Check out Part Two of this feature where Bryan Singer talks possible Wolverine 2 involvement and directing X-Men 4!]
While the media world has been heating up along with the production of several films for both Disney’s Marvel Studios and Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment, it’s been a little cold on the X-Men news front for Fox Studios. This changes today as the LA Times Blog posted a segment of their lengthy editorial on the X-Men, featuring an interview with Bryan Singer and X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner. The full version will appear in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times.
The article focuses on the history of the X-Men film franchise and how Bryan Singer’s risky (at the time) take on the superhero genre helped re-define what comic book movies could bring to moviegoers, setting the stage for the major franchises we see lighting up the box office today. It’s a definite must-read for any X-Men fan, but we’ll discuss the most interesting bits here – namely, the hints of what we may see from the future of the franchise and Bryan Singer’s possible involvement with X-Men 4 and Wolverine 2, in addition to his helming of the prequel X-Men: First Class.
It’s been no secret that Singer and Donner have a strong working relationship and for quite some time prior to Singer signing back up to direct the First Class prequel, there was no holding back from either side on their desires to work together again for another X-Men movie. Back in October, I said that he would likely be back and if he did, he may direct X-Men 4 which Donner hinted at as one of the projects she really wants to develop. The good news is that from this LA Times post, that may actually happen – more on that later.
For obvious reasons, Singer’s return is beneficial to all parties involved; Fox has a chance to bring back the quality expected from the franchise after the well-received first two installments and redeem themselves for the critical disappointments in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine – in the interview, it’s made clear that Donner realizes this (as we’ve seen before) and on Singer’s side of things, he realizes that he’s better suited for the X-Men and their team dynamics as opposed to the solo hero we saw in Superman Returns – here’s his explanation:
“I genuinely like the people, and my personality meshes more with this universe than it does with other universes, I think; I see that now at this point… I feel a connection to the X-Men characters and also the ensemble nature of the films. If you look at ‘Usual Suspects” or my last film, ‘Valkyrie,’ I feel especially comfortable with ensemble juggling. In the space between all the characters you can disguise a central thought that’s hidden in all the discourse. I missed that with the singular relationship story of Superman. And, well, it always gives you something to cut to…”
Presently, we know Singer is signed to helm X-Men: First Class and that Josh Schwartz, who was picked up to do the script, finished a draft, but is no longer in the picture since Singer came on board with a new writer and his own story ideas. While it’s being kept secret as to what Schwartz was going for with his story, I am very confident with Singer having creative control to bring his own story for the project going forward.