From the moment Bryan Singer namedropped "Days of Future Past" as the story his next X-Men film will be based on, he made it clear that Twentieth Century Fox, producer Lauren Shuler Donner and he have plans to "broaden out" the X-Men film universe, taking a note from the Marvel Studios playbook. The X-Men universe is massive in its own right and Singer feels its time to do something bigger and bolder to take advantage of the Marvel Comics library that Fox holds the film rights to.
In addition to a story involving time travel and the largest superhero cast ever seen on film, we're going to start seeing a shared, cohesive Marvel universe from Fox much like we're seeing from Marvel Studios, and to help put their Marvel projects on the right track the studio hired Mark Millar as a creative consultant. From the sounds of it, he may not be too involved yet, at least on the X-Men side of things.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie told us that he had approached Fox and shared his desires to expand the X-Men movie franchise and at the time, no one seem interested. Not long later came the announcement that Mark Millar was being brought in to "oversee" (his own words) Fox's own Marvel cinematic universe, one which Millar hopes will work in tandem with The Avengers franchise so none of the films will contradict each other.
So we found it strange when Bryan Singer, while doing press last month for Jack the Giant Slayer, told Coming Soon the following:
"I think he's working with Fox to look at some other stuff. I guess they’re trying to figure stuff out. I have my own thoughts about stuff like that. X-Men: First Class is part of that, this will be part of that but we'll see. But perhaps he and I will discuss that in the future. I'm just really focused on this movie at the moment."
Due to timing and The Wolverine already being in production, touted as a "standalone" story, we knew Millar would have little to no involvement with that project. The assumption however, was that he'd be involved with X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that combines the casts of both the First Class prequel and the original X-Men trilogy, and would potentially serve as a launch pad to setup future projects and potentially tease the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four.
According to Bryan Singer however, in a more recent interview with Bleeding Cool, Millar's not involved at all with Days of Future Past:
"I've not spoken to Mark Millar at all. He’s not involved. I don’t know what his role is about. All I know is that I have my own specific beliefs about how to take this universe forward. I started with the first X-Men, then First Class and now I am combining them and I think it could go further than that and I have some ideas about that, so perhaps he should chat to me at some point."
With key figureheads in creative control of both X-Men: Days of Future Past (Singer, Matthew Vaughn & Simon Kinberg) and the Fantastic Four reboot (Josh Trank, Matthew Vaughn & Seth Grahame-Smith) we do wonder now what Millar's role is. Millar is friends with Vaughn, who's involved with both Days of Future Past and FF, but it does seem odd that Millar is teasing elements of Singer's X-Men - from time travel to the Sentinel robots - without have even chatted with Singer about it.
Millar did however, say that fans shouldn't expect Fantastic Four/X-Men crossovers until after Josh Trank's reboot debuts and his new team is established, so it's understandable that his work may actually begin there. Although when Singer says repeatedly that he has his own ideas for the future of the X-Men, it begs the question of whether or not the Fantastic Four and X-Men universes will ever merge on screen.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know what you want from the future of the X-Men series.
Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage and Omar Sy along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry and possibly, Alan Cumming. No word yet on Famke Janssen and James Marsden..
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014 and Fantastic Four on March 6, 2015.
Source: Bleeding Cool