There are some amazing and exciting things happening in the comic book movie genre with Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC Entertainment planning a large slate of big budget, big name epics over the next few years and plenty of other genre flicks sprinkled in between. Today alone we  saw our first ever official photo for Thor and have an idea of the release dates for Superman and Batman 3, all while Iron Man 2 is releasing and Green Lantern is shooting.

But what about the X-Men? Seeing and hearing all of the great things coming up from Marvel and DC really puts into perspective how far behind Fox is with their X-Men franchise. Both of their latest releases in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine have left a significant portion of  fans and critics highly disappointed and there are no X-Men movies currently shooting or set for release.

One project Fox is trying to set in motion is that of the franchise prequel about teen mutants coming to Professor Charles Xavier’s school for the gifted and learning about their abilities. That film of course is an adaptation of X-Men: First Class and features some of the most famous X-Men in the origins of the team and how they use their gifts for good.

X-Men: First Class was looking like a movie with some potential when it was officially announced that Bryan Singer and his own writer had signed on to re-work the story for the movie and to have Singer direct. Singer’s name is associated with the arguably only quality X-Men movies seen to date and this was an opportunity for him to take advantage of his unused ideas for X-Men 3.

Not long after this announcement, Singer was forced out of the director’s chair due to his previous commitment with Warner Bros. to helm Jack the Giant Killer. Of the speculated candidates that we heard were in talks with Fox for the gig, the most common name that popped up was that of Matthew Vaughn, director of the recent Kick-Ass.

So it is then not much of surprise that Entertainment Weekly reported earlier today that Fox offered the job to Matthew Vaughn. While he seems to be their top pick, they are still in talks with other directors. We also need to keep in mind that he was set to direct X-Men 3 years ago, before he dropped out due to what seemed to be lack of control and tight constraints on the project.

With Vaughn’s vocal words in recent interviews about creative freedom and news of other projects he has coming up, it wouldn’t be too surprising if he passed on the gig, knowing how Fox has handled their recent superhero movies. And according to Deadline, they’re hearing he may have passed on the job already so we’ll find out soon one way or another.

We’re also hearing about one of the other directors Fox is in talks with; Daniel Espinosa. Espinosa is mostly known for his European crime thriller Snabba Cash and according to Heat Vision, the Swedish director has been chatting with Bryan Singer about X-Men: First Class as well.

The sad part is, I’m a big X-Men fan and none of this excites me. It barely makes a mark in the shadow of Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern and all of the other movies coming out from home bases of Marvel and DC and Fox has a lot of work to do if they want to make the X-Men as awesome and as anticipated as those others are.

Bryan Singer is producing First Class but will get his chance directing eventually. I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs to direct X-Men 4 once his schedule clears up and Fox is back on track with a series of X-Men movies.

What directors would you like to see take on Wolverine 2, X-Men: First Class and X-Men 4?

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: EW