It’s been just over 3 months since Bryan Singer announced he would be returning to the X-Men franchise to direct X-Men: First Class, which he said will focus on the friendship between Xavier and Magneto and the formation of the X-Men. Before things can gear up Singer has to direct Jack the Giant Killer for Warner Bros, which is expected to go into production later this year.
Singer still has the X-Men in his conscious though, as he is working on the First Class script with Jamie Moss, and in a recent interview with Hero Complex both he and producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke about the past and future of the X-Men franchise.
The article begins by looking back at the release of X-Men in 2000, commenting on how it has spawned the current superhero genre we have today and how during production they weren’t sure if it would be a success or failure. It then goes over the trilogy trivia, Singer leaving to direct Superman Returns, X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine being disappointments etc. Then the interviewer turns the attention back to the present, and what Singer and Donner have in-store for the future.
First they addressed why Singer chose to return to the franchise:
“I genuinely like the people, and my personality meshes more with this universe than it does with other universes, I think; I see that now at this point,” Singer said. “I feel a connection to the X-Men characters and also the ensemble nature of the films. If you look at ‘Usual Suspects” or my last film, ‘Valkyrie,’ I feel especially comfortable with ensemble juggling. In the space between all the characters you can disguise a central thought that’s hidden in all the discourse. I missed that with the singular relationship story of Superman. And, well, it always gives you something to cut to…”
Singer then briefly discussed the story for First Class:
The premise has compelling elements to it, Singer said. “Just doing younger mutants is not enough. The story needs to be more than that. I love the relationship between Magneto and Xavier, these two men who have diametrically opposite points of view but still manage to be friends — to a point. They are the ultimate frenemies.”
Now that Singer is back with the X-Men it seems people are keen to have him make as many X-Men movies as humanly possible:
Shuler Donner also has pitched Singer on doing a fourth instalment of the previously established “X-Men” franchise and Jackman had that lunch with Singer to coax him into a project as well, which may or may not be a “Wolverine” film, which Jackman has said will be set in Japan and released in 2011. “I wish I could be four people,” the director said with a moan. “I could make everybody happy.”
Singer turned to Shuler Donner and said of “X-Men 4”: “Hold that one off for just a little, I’m fixated on the other one right now.” She nodded and answered, “I will, I will … I’m holding it open with high hopes. It’s totally different [from ‘First Class’] and it will be so interesting for you.”
With Singer’s commitments to both Jack the Giant Killer and X-Men: First Class he won’t be able to direct Wolverine 2, which he would be quite suited too considering X1 and X2 were when Wolverine was at his best. 20th Century Fox are aiming to shoot the Wolverine sequel in January, and it looks like they are still looking for a director.
While I would be interested in seeing an X-Men 4, I think they should stick with First Class and make a trilogy of it rather than hopping from prequels to distant sequels within the space of a few years. Fox won’t be letting go of the X-Men rights anytime soon, so heading back into the future after all these prequels and spin-offs may be their best move.