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Exclusive: Bryan Singer Talks X-Men, Superman Sequels

The Days of Future Past director says this new film is his chance to fix the mistakes of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Exclusive: Bryan Singer Talks X-Men, Superman Sequels

Today we got a chance to speak with Bryan Singer by phone about his new movie, Jack the Giant Slayer. We’ll bring you the full interview next week, and we waited until the end to ask about his next film. However, his next film is X-Men: Days of Future Past. A lot of X-Men fans are still smarting that he didn’t get to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, and that the ultimate director of that film, Brett Ratner, made some choices with which fans perhaps disagree. Perhaps I am also being diplomatic.

We’re two films removed from the close of the X-Men trilogy Singer began, but the plot of Days of Future Past involves combining the generations of X-Men: First Class and Singer’s present day trilogy. So could this be a chance to not only do the X-Men 3 Singer would have wanted to do, but to fix things?

“Yes, Singer said. “That’s the answer to your question. And a lot more because this combines the stories and the casts of both X-Men: First Class and my original X-Men films, so I get to do a little bit of that kind of fun stuff, but I also get to do a lot more. It’s a very epic story. It takes place in multiple times and a crazy, crazy cast.”

Matthew Vaughn established his own distinct X-Men world in First Class, a gritty reality of the ‘60s, yet with the classic yellow X-Men suits Singer famously ditched for the black. However, Singer has remained involved with the franchise so it’s not weird playing in Vaughn’s world.

“It would be [weird] if I didn’t write the story for X-Men: First Class. I wrote the story to that movie and I produced it and I was instrumental in the casting, in design and involved in the post-production, so I was part of that movie. I initiated that movie and originated it so in that way, and worked with Matthew and I was the one who actually hired Matthew so in a way I feel like I’m not completely entering someone else’s franchise. I’m entering one that he executed wonderfully, but one that I was also part of.”

Singer also acknowledged the cinematic history of directors laying claim to individual entries in movie franchises. He’s just distinguishing that that’s not what’s happening here. “It would be different if I was doing a sequel to Star Trek where somebody else cast everybody, somebody else designed it, somebody else created a look and a mood and a story and then I’m just coming in, which can be done. James Cameron did it beautifully with [his sequel to] Alien but it’s just a different thing. I’m returning to my [world]. The only thing that will be a unique and exciting thing for me is I get to finally direct Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve already directed Nicholas Hoult, but Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, who are phenomenal actors, and I get to work with them as a director as opposed to producer.”

Earlier in the interview, we also mentioned Superman, and the sequel to Singer’s Superman Returns that never was. Singer was in good spirits about the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel.

“I’m so distant from that movie that I’m just anxious to go see the new one and knowing that I didn’t have to make it. Those are hard movies. He’s a character to service, I’ll tell you that. Especially when a lot of the stuff we did on that movie hadn’t been done before with flying and a cape and the whole thing. So I’m happy to watch someone else go through it.”

We’ll be back with more from Bryan Singer on Jack the Giant Slayer, which opens March 1 (USA, Can.), March 21 (Aus) and March 22 (UK).


Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind The Shelf Space Awards. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.