Bryan Singer had originally planned on getting Jack the Giant Killer before cameras this past summer, but concerns over the special effects and a script revamp prevented production from moving forward. Singer's been biding his time with producer duties on X-Men: First Class, but now it looks like he's all set for his trip up the beanstalk.
The film is a darker version of the classic Jack & the Beanstalk fairytale that starts with a shaky truce between humans and giants being broken. The title character leads an expedition into the giants' kingdom in the hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.
When it was decided that the original script by Darren Lemke and Mark Bombak needed work, Singer contemplated directing X-Men: First Class for Fox in the meantime. Warner Bros. recognized that similar circumstances lead to the acclaimed filmmaker abandoning the X-Men franchise back in 2004 so that he could direct Superman Returns for them - and they weren't about to let Fox get even.
The studio locked Singer into a holding deal, which meant he was relegated to producer status on First Class. Matthew Vaughn later landed the directing gig on the X-Men prequel.
With the film officially underway, attention has turned towards casting the lead role. Initially, we were told that Singer had combined auditions for Jack the Giant Killer and X-Men: First Class. Rumors pegged Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson as a young Cyclops in Vaughn's film, but ultimately they were just that – rumors.
Turns out Johnson's name may not have been tossed around for nothing - Singer is evidently quite enamored with the young actor and very interested in bringing him on board Giant Killer. It probably wouldn't be a bad career move – now that Andrew Garfield has nabbed the part of Spider-Man in Sony's reboot, the lead in Singer's film has apparently become the role for Hollywood's young actors to land.
I was already pretty intrigued by Jack the Giant Killer's concept, and hearing that the latest draft by Christopher McQuarrie is what finally afforded the film the go-ahead only makes me that much more excited.
McQuarrie previously collaborated with Singer on The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie. I've also heard his script for the upcoming Wolverine 2 (another film Singer was attached to at one point) is pretty amazing. They didn't exactly knock Valkyrie out of the park, but The Usual Suspects was so impressive that anything they team up for automatically piques my interest.
The whole fantasy/fairytale angle is territory Singer hasn't really explored before and I'm anxious to see him try something different. The X-Men franchise is in good hands, so I say bring on Jack the Giant Killer.