It’s been a busy couple of weeks for X-Men fans – especially anyone eagerly anticipating the next mutant team-up (and time-hopping) installment, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Last week we reported that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn was no longer attached to the follow-up film – with the possibility that former X-Men franchise architect (and Days of Future Past producer), Bryan Singer, could take-over the director’s chair.

While no official reason has been given for Vaughn’s departure from the project (he’ll stay on as producer), we do now have confirmation that Singer will be stepping in as director on the film – news that should be pleasing to longtime fans of the X-Men film series.

Coming Soon was first to confirm that Singer is officially set to helm Days of Future Past. Longtime X-Men movie fans will remember that the writer/director/producer has been sitting on the franchise sidelines since X2 in 2003 – passing up X-Men: The Last Stand in order to direct Superman Returns only to return to the X-Men universe in a limited capacity for X-Men: First Class (as producer).

Despite Singer’s past success with X-Men films, reactions to the announcement will still be mixed – especially given the filmmaker’s unstable box office clout in recent years. As mentioned, Singer followed-up his hit X-Men films with an underwhelming and melodramatic take on the most iconic superhero of all time – Superman. For many, Superman Returns failed to bring the same mix of super power action and intriguing character drama that Singer had found in his X-Men films, resulting in a movie that alienated both casual filmgoers and Man of Steel die-hards. Admittedly, Superman is a hard character to bring to the big screen (we’ll know soon enough if Zack Snyder is up to the task) and, a few years later, Singer successfully released the competent (and profitable) Tom Cruise-starring, Valkyrie, in 2008.

Singer was initially assumed to be directing X-Men: First Class but he opted to helm the upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer instead. Despite a March 2013 release date, we’re still curious about the potential quality of Jack the Giant Killer – given that all we’ve got is notice of the film’s delay (from June 15th 2012 to March 1st 2013) and the first teaser trailer. That said, expect Warner Bros. to give us another look at the film soon – with a new trailer likely attached to The Hobbit.

Regardless of how Jack the Giant Killer performs, there’s no doubt that Singer has a soft spot (and sweet touch) for the X-Men franchise – and many fans who were unimpressed by Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand still blame 20th Century Fox for letting Singer walk away from the third installment. Despite his Superman stumble, comic book (and movie) faithfuls still appear eager to see what Singer can do with the X-Men universe. Similarly, given the heavy crossover potential in Days of Future Past (which will bend time and tangle with prior X-Men movie events), who better to simultaneously carve-out a new story – while at the same time revisit moments and characters from past (or future if we’re talking chronology) movies?

Since Singer was already serving as a producer on the project, it’s unlikely that he intends to tinker with Vaughn’s script – so fans can still expect to see plenty of returning faces as well as full scale Sentinels. In fact, the more X-Men: Days of Future Past information we receive, the more it seems like Singer could actually be the only person truly capable of tying all of the different X-Men films together into a cohesive shared universe (not to mention explain away some of the canon conflicts in Ratner’s installment). Of course, Singer will have his work cut out for him – especially since we now know The Wolverine takes place after the original X-Men trilogy. Days of Future Past, indeed.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.

Source: Coming Soon