Matthew Vaughn NOT Directing ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past'; Bryan Singer Replacing Him?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm,

X Men Days of Future Past Director Matthew Vaughn Bryan Singer Matthew Vaughn NOT Directing X Men: Days of Future Past; Bryan Singer Replacing Him?

Fox has recently been trying to get their Marvel Comics properties (X-Men and Fantastic Four) in better order, so that the studio can hope to echo the success of Marvel Studios’ Avengers universe. That makeover has included bringing in Mark Millar as “godfather” of the Fox Marvel universe; locking down talent like X-Men director Bryan Singer and First Class director Matthew Vaughn; and making the sequel to X-Men: First Class a time-travel, sci-fi story that can (hopefully) fix the convoluted timeline of the X-Men movie franchise.

Well, prepare for the onslaught of fanboy skepticism and anger, because it is now sure to come: word is in that Matthew Vaughn is NOT directing the next X-Men film – X-Men: Days of Future Past – but will producer Bryan Singer be replacing him in the director’s chair?

Deadline broke the exclusive that Vaughn has dropped out of directing the project – though the reasons remain unclear for now. The Website is speculating (read: speculating) that Vaughn and Singer could simply switch roles, with Singer directing and Vaughn producing the film (Vaughn also wrote the story treatment for the sequel, which was co-scripted by his longtime collaborator Jane Goldman and X-Men 3 writer Simon Kinberg). In our recent Screen Rant Podcast Marvel Movie Debate, we discussed the situation over at Fox, and how – after many, many, missteps and stumbles – things were finally looking slightly hopeful. That early flicker of hope seems to be dimming now, with this latest development.

Just to recap a few historical events: Vaughn was actually who Fox selected to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, until the fickle director dropped out last-minute due to creative differences with the studio, thereby forcing Brett Ratner to step in at the eleventh hour, which resulted in an X-Men movie that few fans loved (to put it mildly). When Vaughn returned to helm First Class (under Bryan Singer’s guidance), it was seen as a second chance; however, a ridiculously short production schedule resulted in a film that wasn’t as great as it clearly could’ve been, had it been given proper time and polishing. When Vaughn opted to return for Days of Future Past, and was given a proper production timeline, fans were much more optimistic about the chances for a great X-Men film to be delivered. And now this…

This isn’t the only questionable development on the X-Men movie front: we just learned that the upcoming film The Wolverine is indeed not a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as the film will be set after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, rather than before X-Men 1, as pretty much everyone figured up to this point. That news has only inspired more complaints that the entire X-Men property has devolved into a mess of continuity confusion and missed connections – and Vaughn dropping out of  Days of Future Past isn’t likely to inspire much confidence. While Singer would be a strong replacement – having crafted two of the most beloved films in the franchise – in my own opinion, I think Vaughn outshines him in terms of crafting quality superhero action sequences.

Deadline speculates that Vaughn could end up helming the adaptation of Mark Millar and Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons’ comic book Secret Service (he previously adapted Millar’s Kick-Ass into a movie before bowing out of directing Kick-Ass 2 – sensing a pattern?). However, with Singer not yet locked in as a replacement, the future of… er, Days of Future Past is suddenly looking very uncertain.

It should be noted, however: Vaughn dropped out of First Class for a time, before ultimately returning to direct. Is this latest move a true departure, then – or just another round of hardball negotiations with the often-rigid executives over at Fox?

Be sure to stay tuned, as there is sure to be updates coming hard and fast in regards to this story.

The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013 and X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.

Source: Deadline

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  1. This is a total shocker to me, and anyone who listens to our podcast will see why.

    I said immediately at finding out that I expect Singer to direct. After all, he was originally meant to direct X-Men: First Class until WB blocked him with Jack the Giant (Killer) Slayer. AND he said in an interview with Lauren Shuler Donner that he wanted to direct X-Men 4 should it happen.

    So, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did this and used it to reset the universe so he can do his own take on X-Men 3.

    • It would be awesome if it were the case.

  2. sucks to see Vaughn go as he did deliver one of the best if not the best installment of the series, but even though Singer did not do a great job with superman he knows his x-men.

    • No he doesn’t.

      • Yeah he does

  3. Maybe he jumped ship to direct the justice league movie. Pretty sure WB repects their directors and the stories they want to tell more than Fox.

    • No Doubt, none of their projects compare to The Dark Knight trilogy.

    • Have you not seen GL, Superman Returns, Catwoman, etc etc etc ……

      • Good point too, lol.

        • Lol true. But when u pair a great director with a great script and let them do their thing, as stated above u get the dark knight trilogy. Granted GL, catwoman etc where not very good but thats on the team that made them. My comment was more to the enviroment that WB seems to try an foster as opposed to the inteference and compromises that are forced on the directors/scripts and rush jobs Fox always seems intent on doing. Thats all.

      • To be fair if you f*** up making a Batman film you know you’ve got problems. I mean it’s the damn batman, just adding him to anything makes something automatically good. Unless it’s Batman and Robin and well THAT NEVER HAPPENED.

  4. Damn can’t watt for the wolverine movie!!!!

    • Does that mean you can’t burn a fuse for the movie? Or you can’t power a small city for the movie? Why not, wolverine not good enough for you!

  5. bryan singer is a terrible director :(

    • Your a terrible judge of directors. I guess the only thing that matters is your previous film. Superman wasn’t great… But the man who directed Usual Suspects should never be called “terrible”

  6. Yeah I would love to see Bryan Singer come back to these films he really understood the whole fear and hate from Mutants and Humans.If Vaughn did come back that would be cool or even Ridley Scott or Chris Nolan but Singer did the best job at these so far in my Opinion and i am a huge x-men fan who does not mind a little change to characters and story as long as its not to drastic.


  8. Vaughn sure is a slippery one. I’m not a fan of Singer’s X-Men movies… at all, so I’d be weary of him handling Days of Future Past. I guess it’s good my expectations aren’t high. :)

  9. Fox should immediately revert X-Men’s rights back to Marvel. All these director flip-flops is not really helping in solidifying the franchise.

    • Yes, because it would obivously be a very smart financial decision for a company to just let go of their multi-million dollar franchise “just ’cause Marvel can do better than them with it”.

      This is business. That’s like saying Apple should just stop making iPhones and iPads and let Samsung keep doing their thing.

      • Ok, let me rephrase: Marvel should push Fox into a financial corner, take back what is theirs to begin with. Business aside, its pretty sad to see one half of the Marvel characters getting riddled with non-canon & continuity issues while others are steadily progressing.

        • Yeeeaah, Marvel/Disney won’t be buying back the X-Men any time soon.
          Fox can and will still make a lot of money out of the franchise, and at the price Fox would be willing to “sell back” the characters (if that’s even an option – remember, the contracts are very specific), I doubt Disney would go for it because chances are, it’ll be very overpriced.

          Like it’s been mentioned many, many times: Marvel Studios is only capable of making so many movies a year. Look at their production schedule… it’s packed tight till 2015, and they probably already have plans for 2016 and 2017 with so many other characters still waiting to get movie treatment (Black Panther, Dr Strange, Heroes For Hire, more sequels to the movies already out, etc.).
          Even IF they had the X-Men back, they’ll just be sitting there in Marvel Studio’s offices gathering up dust (figuratively speaking).

          • Lets not forget that Marvel just reacquired the rights to Silver Surfer and Galactica in exchange for Daredevil. You’re right, Marvel has a full schedule ahead of them.

            • Thought that fell through and Marvel now has Daredevil. Could have missed something but don’t think I did.

          • idk i think marvel could easily have introduced the x men and fantastic 4 teams in the current movies if they had the rights to them.

    • Agreed!

  10. Interesting Development.
    I cant wait to see what happens next !

  11. Thats it…that was the nail in the Coffin !
    Bury all your hopes for a AWESOME Sequel !
    F… you Fox !!

  12. Bryan Singer sucks! f*** HIM!

  13. Wow James, maybe your neighbour’s step-mother should direct the next X-Men movie then

    • lol

  14. I can’t tell why, but every news I read about FOX is making me lost interest to their Marvel movies… while the Marvel Studio’s ones work completely the opposite. I can just hope SONY will not follow FOX’s footstep *sigh*

  15. It is interesting how much heat Singer is getting here. But if you look at his resume, I suppose you can argue that he is somewhat overrated as a director. However his influence in directing the first two X-Men movies is huge in the revitalization of the comic book movie in the early part of the millenium along with the first two Spiderman movies from Sam Raimi. I think his choices of movies that he directed afterwards were mistakes more so than the actual direction of them. He controversially departed X-Men to direct Superman Returns. Some people liked it, and will defend his direction of the movie. I don’t think his performance is as disputed as his initial decision. If he had stayed with X-Men, perhaps the whole franchise would not be in quite the mess it has become. So many people blame him for that. Also, then, he allied with Tom Cruise to direct Valkyrie at a time when Cruise was at his most controversial and least-bankable. It seemed an odd and ultimately somewhat unsuccessful detour. The movie itself was actually quite good, an apparently very faithful and suspenseful depiction of true events. Having said that, one wonder what would have happened if he had made that approximate 3-4 year detour. He has since returned to the X-Men fold but after the damage was done. He can’t fend off all of the studio involvement, and given that it is Fox, he doesn’t appear to have much choice.

    • The argument that he is overrated can be made as it applies to work in the action/sci-fi genre. The first two X-Men movies were good for their time, and looked great in comparison to 90% of what had been released based on Marvel characters. In my mind he parlayed that into the Superman gig, which got mixed results depending on who you ask. It made good money, but for me it just seemed routine and kind of there (I am not a huge DC or Superman fan in general, but the film felt uninspired to me.)

      The Usual Suspects is a classic crime movie, and some of Singer’s other work is good. His recent forays into comic book and fantasy type projects have shown that he does not have a great grasp on that type of material to me. Jack and the Giant Slayer hasn’t been released yet, so he may have gotten a better hand on dealing with the different pieces that make up effects heavy films. Unfortunately if that Mockingbird Land pilot is any indication on how he frames and presents this type of content I am not holding out hope.

  16. This news makes me sad.
    I wouldn’t mind Singer directing it (I really don’t understand all the ahte he’s getting on this thread), but when a director drops, more times than not, there’s uncertainty and unbalance within the project.

    I really want to see Fox succeed wit the X-men and FF so that we can finally get great movies from them, but this roller coaster ride of good news/bad news is very unsettling.

    I hope everything works out.

    • Me too Avenger. I have faith in Singer as a director, and am such a fan of Usual Suspects. It’s hard to reconcile for me in a way, my feelings toward him directing this one.

      I think this may be the issue for me. Singer did wonders by introducing the X-Men to the world, and in a very grounded fashion, which is what the CBM industry needed at the time, to get some cred. And I think perhaps Singer may just be at his best when dealing with more grounded territory. Maybe why he’s Supes struggled to soar? Dunno.

      But these days, post Nolan’s uber-realism, I think Phase One has shown us the other side of the coin, which is where the X-Men really belong and can shine – a more ‘heightened’ reality.

      So I guess my ultimate hope would be that if Singer did take over directing duties, he is empowered by what Marvel have accomplished, and can raise the bar for his DOFP vision well beyond his first two films. Both great films, but a new bar has been set, and DOFP demands an epic treatment.

      • Maybe Singer could co-direct with Millar, could be good experience for the new shepherd (if he has any interest in directing), and the two of them could begin to set the tone for the new grander Fox-Marvel universe together.

        • Got to thinking about the Nightcrawler intro to X2.

          That was awesome.

  17. Not a big Singer fan either (shocker) at least with regards to superheroes.

    Is it possible that the people that lioke him are like the people that like Raimi?

    It was the best thing at the time? Meaning we wanted to see Xmen so bad we have placed Singer higher than what he really is just because he is the (first) and best so far?

    I enjoyed the first Xmen. However it was still lacking as an Xmen movie (IMO) even when compared to Spiderman. It still didnt seem…. like a comic book come alive like Spiderman and the Marvel films.

    Its no secret around here I want my comic book movies to view like a comic book coming to life. Spiderman has filled that bill as have the Marvels. Even Daredevil, Blade and to a degree Ghost Rider have. Xmen and Nolans Batman while the latter was good all around I still didnt see it as a ‘comic book’ movie.

    I toss DD and Blade in there as they were almost grounded in reality (like Bats) but still felt like a comic book. Batman and Xmen just seem like they try to be something they are not.

    • Hey Aknot. Yeah, I still tend to think of TDK trilogy as closer to graphic novels than anything. Totally get where you’re coming from.

      • Hey Sambo… whats with the name change?

        • In honor of Fringes final season, not turning into a calculator or anything. Love that show, regardless of its meandering ways (you may recall my obsession with anything time travel – it was inevitable).

          • ahh yeah waiting for Netflix to stream that.

  18. I didn’t like any of the X-Men movies (that includes X1 and X2) other than X-Men:FC, but I still think Singer has talent as a director.

    If he does end up directing, I hope he’ll take a very different course of action than he did with the other X-men movies.

    • Oh yeah, just realized I already knew that about you (only liking FC) from past posts, sorry bout that Avenger.

      • Hey man, different strokes for different folks. I still see where you’re coming from though.

  19. Seriously dissapointed, I loved First Class it is my favorite X-men film and to hear Vaughn isn’t doing Kick Ass 2 or a First Class sequel is very disheartening. Screw you Fox, just when I think you’re starting to give a crap about the properties you own this happens :(

  20. Ok so, here are my thoughts on this whole situation. First, the Franchise needs to be rebooted completely from the start.They can keep the Wolverine side and have it be its own thing seperate from the new X universe. They can build off of First class and discount the original trilogy if they want to but I was not impressed with First Class either. As a stand alone picture that has characters that are named after Xmen charaters it was ok, as an actual Xman film it was pretty far from the Xmen I know and love. As far as Mark Millar taking over as the shepherd of the FOx Marvel movies, this can be a good thing but at the same time does not mean that they need to push the FF and Xmen together. There are natural storylines that can bridge the gaps but it does not need to be forced.

  21. Sorry to hear that Vaughn has jumped the X ship. Think Singer would be a bad choice. Yes Usual Suspects is a really good movie and his X Men movies were OK, but Superman Returns was truly, truly awful. Now that First Class has put the X back on the map, Singer would be a disasterous choice.

  22. Wasn’t as great as it SHOULD have been? I beg to differ – reporting the news is one thing screen Rant and inserting your opinion as fact is not cool. First Class was great. I never heard one complaint about First Class – unlike X3 (which is STILL only hated by fanboy losers who didn’t get to see the full Dark Phoenix saga realized)…which IS NOT that bad a movie.

    You know back in the day we were just happy to have a super hero movie – it’s sad how upset people get over a comic book movie that ISN’T EXACTLY like the book. 2 different mediums people.

    • They are not that different when Movies like Ironman, Thor, etc and the Avengers can disprove that.

      I concur I was overly excited (read that as you will) for Spiderman. Regardless of the organic webshooters, Power Ranger Goblin, etc. However it was still a comic book come to life.

      So while they are two different mediums it has been proven they can mesh as one. Just depends on who is writing/producing/etc. it and what point they are trying to bring across.

      I have found that when a director/producer/writer wants to tell his oir her side they tend to stray away from the comic immensely bringing it further away from that medium we all (?) knwo and love.

    • When you have to say a movie “is not that bad” it’s usually pretty bad.

    • Some people just feel like First Class was a weak movie, it has nothing to do with following the comics. For me the movie was just a similar set-up as the first X-Men movie with a change of time period to make it look different.

      And I don’t know how far back in the day you are going, but way back in the day comic fans were lucky to get a decent cartoon let alone a movie. But at this point in the game has it become quantity over quality ?

    • i would say x3 was bad (im a fan of the x men animated series but have never read any comics) i was very excited to see this movie but there were things that just were plain bad.
      for example, when jean kills the proffesor and magneto did nothing and actually didnt feel anything was a pretty bad scene, supposedly magneto and xavier were very good friends regardless of their point of view, so if magneto saw what jean had done to xavier he wouldve just break down, he wouldve realized what he had done and not after

  23. Bryan Singer movies are too soft too PG for my liking

  24. Why not give Mark Millar a shot at the title?

  25. I would love to see what david fincher could do with xmen.

  26. Well, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and probably be crucified for doing so but The Last Stand, as bad as it was, was still the best film in the original trilogy. In terms of action sequences, it was far superior to the Singer directed X1 and X2 (we actually got to see Storm in action as opposed to just Wolverine, Wolverine, f****** Wolverine. Or should that be Jackman, Jackman, f****** Jackman – there are way better choices to play Wolverine and I think Hugh Jackman has kind of just highjacked the character. As long as he holds on to Wolverine you can forget about a true, faithful reboot of the franchise). I know X3 kinda screwed the whole Dark Pheonix saga but X1 and X2 already deviated too far from cannon anyway. Cyclops wasn’t the leader he’s supposed to be, he was just annoying and whimpy and…there. X3, to me, is far more enjoyable than the first two in terms of repeat viewings. I also don’t understand why they had to write the whole Cuban Missile Crisis into First Class. Why couldn’t they just make a good X-Men movie? Why? Because Singer was involved. Pleas, Singer is the last person you want helming any future X-Men films. I remember seeing the first X-Men film and thinking how cool it was but it was only because of the lack of any other comic book based films. Now we’ve had Phase 1 and The Avengers. The only sensible thing Fox can do is to completely reboot the X-Men franchise, piss Singer and Jackman off, bring in a new creative team and give us a REAL X-Men movie. Of course, they won’t do that because unlike Marvel, Fox doesn’t give a s*** about the property. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. X-Men are my fav comics next to Batman. You can forget about the rights reverting back to Marvel, it’s not gonna happen. The only two things standing in the way of a great X-Men franchise are Bryan Singer and Hugh Jackman.

  27. I also don’t understand why X2 is regarded as one of the best sequels of all time. Is it because the first one was a piece of s***? Not much improvement needed there. The ending was so anti-climactic and the only good action sequence was Nightcrawler’s scene at the start. Magneto using the iron in the prison guard’s blood was also cool. But as a whole, X2 was just s***. Singer’s X-Men films were BORING. Too much focus on Wolverine and not the TEAM. And sorry but Hugh Jackman as Wolverine going berserker was just cringe worthy. Didn’t buy it at all. There is SO MUCH potential for the X-Men, it is f****** disappointing to have X1 and X2 regarded as the definitive X-Men films. Such a waste.

  28. An X-Men movie should be about the X-Men – NOT Wolverine.

    So disappointing.

  29. Bummer I really liked X-Men first class thought Vaughn would be the perfect director for the sequel. But hey Singer gave me two great X-Men films maybe hell make an even better one