Deadline reports that X-Men and X-Men United director Bryan Singer (Usual Suspects) has signed on to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer had been originally wanted by 20th Century Fox to direct X3, X-Men First Class and The Wolverine but had conflicts stepping back to allow others to direct instead. Matthew Vaughn recently announced he was going to leave the First Class sequel to another director. Possibly focusing on an adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbon’s comic The Secret Service which is also setup at 20th Century Fox. It will be interesting to see the direction of this sequel as there had been talk of it planting seeds for X-Men 4.
A bombshell for X-Men fans has been reported by Deadline as director Matthew Vaughn is leaving X-Men: Days of Future Past. He had been very vocal on making a sequel to the point he signed on along with developing the story/script with writing partner Jane Goldman. The relationship with Fox seems still intact as Matthew will stay on as producer of the film. Vaughn is actually looking to direct The Secret Service for Fox instead. A film concept originally hatched by both Mark Millar and Matthew that came out as a comic book series.
His replacement just might end up being Bryan Singer. However, I really hope Singer doesn’t direct considering how terrible his post-X2 films have been. There has even been talk of how much of a disaster Jack The Giant Slayer (not killer) might be. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine Fox might look to hire someone new to direct. Considering Singer still has to promote/edit Jack The Giant Slayer. The problem stems from setting the release date of this massive film before post-production, which to be fair would scare any director. I’d love to see someone like Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods, Cloverfield) get the gig but you never know with Fox.
Mark Millar has spoken to SFX (via CBM) about the upcoming production of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Millar will tag-along as Fox’s new creative head on their Marvel films with Matthew Vaughn (First Class, Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass) heading up the film’s direction. The pair previously worked together on Kick-Ass and have another batch of film projects in development. He states that the film will be bigger and better, not mention comparing it to Terminator.
“[Matthew] Vaughn is going for a big sci-fi style thing with X-Men: Days of Future Past….(it’s) X-Men meets The Terminator. You’ve got robots, you’ve got time travel, you’ve got superheroes – it’s got everything in one film. He also said that it is “no spoiler on [his] part” to say that the film goes into an apocalyptic future. Cost-wise it’s going to go up, and ambitious-wise it’s gone up. But Vaughn can handle it. Vaughn made Kick-Ass for $28 million.”
The Terminator part of the quote gives me the impression besides sentinels we could also be seeing Cable and Bishop finally making their debut. Bishop had been set back in time to assassinate Xavier (McAvoy) preventing a mutant holocaust in the distant future. Millar seemingly confirms the time-travelling and robots (Sentinels) aspect of the film. Not to mention that both Cable and Bishop are the best known characters sent from the future, it’s easy to believe they’ll be the new mutant additions.
HeatVision has official word from Lionsgate that Jena Melone (Sucker Punch, Hatfields & McCoys) has landed the role of tribute Johanna Mason in Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Collider was able to speak with producer and co-writer Simon Kinberg on the untitled X-Men First Class sequel. He gives little detail but gives the impression the studio is allowing Matthew Vaughn the creative freedom to give the franchise the scale and mythology he wants. Kinberg says the new film is “extraordinarily ambitious, epic and mythic”. Time will tell which direction the film will be going but Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are returning. Simon also confirms the film will begin production in the Spring which was bumped from January. The release date is still aiming for July 18th 2014.
“I wish I could tell you about it, but literally, it’s like the most guarded state secret I’ve ever been around. I can tell you that it’s going really well, and I can tell you that I’ve been working closely with Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman on the script of the movie and that we hope to be shooting in Spring of next year to come out in July of 2014 and that I’m really excited about it, because the only thing I can say, because I have to be extraordinarily vague about it, because the last time I talked to anybody about it, I got in trouble…big trouble…what I can tell you is [that] it’s extraordinarily ambitious. It is unlike the other X-Men movies and yet very much a celebration of the X-Men movies.”
“I don’t know enough of what he [Vaughn] has or hasn’t talked about. I can tell you it’s been a very fluid process in the sense of we really went into it, Matthew, Jane and myself, just wanting to create a movie that was as…I’m very proud of First Class…as dramatic as that movie, I think it is as dramatic as that movie, but more epic, mythic in a way as well. So, there are ideas that we’ve started with that haven’t survived, there are ideas that we started with from conversations we had from making First Class that are going to be in the sequel. So, it’s vague but…”
“It’s one of those movies that, because it’s such a big deal for the studio, they have some sense of what it is that we’re writing and they are ambitious about the movie, too. I don’t know what the budget’s going to be, we’ve got to finish the script before we have a budget, but I would assume that it is a bigger movie than the last in physical scope, and that we have the license to do that because of the success of First Class. And because I think Fox has had success with interesting movies in the last couple of years in the genre, like Planet of the Apes was a really good movie, Chronicle was a cool movie, First Class, they’re just narratively or creatively a little bit more ambitious. So they’ve encouraged us to do that with the sequel.”
Avengers seemingly has changed the level of action a comic book film franchise can handle. We could see the next X-Men installment double it’s scale and action sequences. 20th Century Fox has been slowly making their films to meet the demands of audiences. We’ve seen this with Prometheus earning an R-rating and excellent handling of Rise of The Planet of The Apes and original project Chronicle.
Rumors have been pointing to seeing the Sentinels becoming a major element of the sequel with the inclusion of Days of Future Past being the inspiration for the new film. It could really expand the franchise now that mutants are finally now in the open. Leading to an extremely large sandbox for the characters to play in. Bringing in time travelling and giant robots hunting mutants could help usher this in bridging a lot more of the X-Men heroes/villains. Not to mention including more fan favorite mutants instead of wildly obscure ones.
There is breaking news via Variety that an offer from Lionsgate has gone out to Philip Seymour Hoffman (MI3, Boogie Nights, Big Lebowski, The Master) for the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire. The Hunger Games sequel has Francis Lawrence set to direct this summer with a release date of November 22nd 2013.
AICN (via ThePlaylist) has learned that 20th Century Fox registered Days of Future Past with the MPAA. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you discover it’s attributed to one of the most well-known X-Men storylines. We know for sure this won’t be used for Japanese set The Wolverine, so it only leads to X-Men First Class 2. Chris Claremont’s story takes place between present time and a possible future where all mutants are hunted/killed like animals. The biggest revelation here is that the sequel could involve Kitty Pride (Shadowcat), the infamous Sentinels and even see the return of Wolverine. It would be interesting to see two different X-Men teams from different eras in a single film.
One of my little birds Weapon X recently dropped me some information that 20th Century Fox had recently registered the title DAYS OF FUTURE PAST with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. The Bureau exists for studios and productions companies to stake their claims on certain titles that they intend to release and distribute, so that others can stray from using a similar title.
The Sentinels had been teased in X3 in the danger room scene but ultimately have never been used as the main villains. You might remember that The Wolverine is taking it’s influence from the classic Japanese saga written by Claremont and Frank Miller. It wouldn’t be a stretch for Fox to mine the other important Chris Claremont comics for more movie goodies. We’ve also seen glimpses of these alternative futures in First Class when Sebastian Shaw planned to wipe the humans in a global nuclear war for the rise of the Children of The Atom (mutants).
Writer/director Matthew Vaughn has previously stated he wants to include an assassination attempt by Magneto on the life of President Kennedy. Perhaps, the X-Men foiling this act could cause the Sentinels to be created sparking the mutant holocaust which Magneto and Charles have been fearing their whole lives. It will be interesting to see what direction Matthew and the studio will ultimately go. As it’s going to hard to sell a story that has the anti-hero killing a non-fictional President on screen. This would also be a way to transform Raven (Mystique) and Magneto full-fledged X-Men villains.
The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men’s failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future. (The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005 gave the numerical designation of “Days of Future Past” Earth as Earth-811).