A few days ago it was confirmed that Bryan Singer would not be directing, but producing, X-Men: First Class as he is deep in pre-production on Jack the Giant Killer and won’t be available until 2012. 20th Century Fox liked the script he wrote with Jamie Moss and are aiming to begin filming later this year for a possible 2011 release, and in order to do that they will need a director. Fox are busy talking to a few people now and we will probably get an announcement over the upcoming weeks, but until then let’s speculate!
(In no particular order)
He co-wrote X-Men 2 and Superman Returns with Singer so he already has a working relationship with him and knows the X-Men well (click here to read what he planned for X-Men 3 before Singer left). Dougherty has only directed one film, Trick ‘r Treat, which took 2 years to be released and when it did it went straight to DVD. That was mainly because Warner Bros. didn’t know what to do with it (could really only be released around Halloween), however it is 86% positive on Rotten Tomatoes and did relatively well on DVD.
The Layer Cake and Stardust director was hired to direct X-Men 3 after Singer left, although he too left soon after because he didn’t think he could create the movie he wanted with the time and creative restrictions 20th Century Fox had in place. Since leaving he worked on Thor for Marvel, but they bailed because of the budget. Vaughn eventually landed himself a comic book movie with Kick-Ass, which he made himself because no studio would make it. With a budget of $28 million and rave reviews it looks like Kick-Ass will be a critical and financial success, which means he’ll probably begin work on a sequel. In the unlikely event of Kick-Ass bombing I think he would be a suitable candidate for X-Men: First Class.
Ninja Assassin may not have been one of the best reviewed movies of last year, but V for Vendetta still remains in IMDB’s Top 250 movies of all time (#167). McTeigue would have been a good choice to direct Magneto, and he seemed to like the idea too, but seeing as though that won’t be getting made anytime soon (if ever) he could work on X-Men: First Class instead. The only problem is The Raven which may film at some point this year with Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor (who would have been a great candidate to play a young Magneto).
Children of Men remains one of my favourite movies after all these years for obvious reasons, and Prisoner of Azkaban is probably the most visually stunning Harry Potter movie made so far. It is also the best reviewed. Alfonso Cuarón can work with teenagers, which the X-Men will be, and he would be a solid choice to direct First Class. Unfortunately he will be making Gravity with Robert Downey Jr. this summer, so it is unlikely that he will be free.
The man behind Serenity, Buffy and Dollhouse has been a fan favourite ever since he wrote the Astonishing X-Men comic books. Whedon’s ‘Cure’ storyline from the comics was the main storyline in X3, and he is also responsible for the “Do you know what happens to a Toad when it gets struck by lightning” line from the first film (not exactly the best selling point). Whedon doesn’t have anything big lined up to direct in the near future, so it just depends on whether Fox are interested in getting him on-board for First Class.
20th Century Fox are planning for X-Men: First Class to be the first in a planned trilogy, so they may be looking for an up and coming (cheap and controllable) director who can stick around for all three movies. The directors above are just a few that were on my radar and have connection with the X-Men, but its unlikely Fox will be going after them.
What do you think of the suggestions above, and who do you think should direct X-Men: First Class?