X-Men: First Class was a successful film in almost every regard. Not only did it assemble an excellent cast to deliver one of the best comic book superhero movies to date, it also pulled down huge amounts of cash at the box office (Box Office Mojo has the total take pegged at $350 million worldwide).
Given this success, a sequel seemed assured, and Hollywood responding by jumping on that plan with gusto. Matthew Vaughn, who had directed First Class was tapped to again direct the follow up, and a script was written based on one of the most famous X-Men comic book stories ever written. For those of you oblivious to Marvel’s comics (or that awesome mid-90s Fox cartoon), the Days Of Future Past storyline is something of a blend of X-Men tropes and ideas similar to those seen in James Cameron’s Terminator films. Time travel (and all its ensuing paradoxes) are a big part of this story, and fans have always had a soft spot for the tale’s futuristic incarnations of classic X-Men characters.
Before we launch into a lengthy explanation of why seeing Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton suspended in a futuristic vat of fluid is one of the coolest moments in the history of comic books, let’s get back to the film’s behind the scenes issues. In a report published earlier today, Deadline reveals that Vaughn “has decided not to direct the sequel.” Deadline claims that Vaughn will most likely instead helm a film called Secret Service, based on a comic book of the same name written by Kick-Ass scribe Mark Millar.
That however is not the interesting part of this news. According to Deadline, with Vaughn’s departure, executives at 20th Century Fox have begun searching for possible replacement directors. Topping the studio’s list is none other than Bryan Singer, director of 2000’s X-Men, 2003’s X2 and 2006’s disappointing Superman Returns. That choice makes a lot of sense, not only because Singer has an unprecedented level of experience in making movies about Marvel’s most lucrative mutants, but also because Singer served as producer on X-Men: First Class. On paper at least he seems like the perfect selection.
Before you get too excited though, know that there are additional elements in play here. First, as Deadline points out, prior to X-Men: First Class entering production Vaughn told executives that he would be leaving the project to pursue other directorial work. He eventually returned to helm the movie, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we might still see Vaughn in the director’s chair for this sequel. Second, regardless of who happens to be yelling “ACTION!” on set it should be remembered that this film will feature the fantastic cast assembled for the original X-Men: First Class. This includes acclaimed actors like Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, so that alone should go a long way in ensuring the sequel’s quality.
Expect more information on X-Men: Days Of Future Past as it becomes available. Both because that’s our job, and because we’re utterly psyched for this film. Did we mention that skeleton-in-a-vat scene? Man, that was rad.