Bryan Singer Talks About X-Men: First Class and His Return
Back in December of last year, on the "blue carpet" for Avatar, director Bryan Singer confirmed that he would definitely be returning to the franchise he created for yet another superhero movie - X-Men: First Class. A few days later it was discovered that Singer's First Class would be focusing on younger versions of Professor X and Magneto. But since then we haven't heard much from Singer or 20th Century Fox about what's going on, but Hero Complex has an update. Like that Chris Nolan update from a few weeks back, Geoff Boucher drills down into some in-depth topics with Singer, including his return to the mutant world.
A majority of the article is spent recapping the beginnings of Singer's big screen X-Men franchise, looking at how that first movie even got made. It's a fascinating read and I highly suggest you check it out, but let's get back to what's coming up. One big question is why return, especially following the highly disliked X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine movies. Well, it just sounds like Singer feels more at home working in the X-Men universe and he wants to return to work with those same people again. He explains:
"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…"
Although you may think that everyone at Fox and all of the people who worked on X-Men: The Last Stand believe it was a huge hit that everyone in the world loved (it did make $234 million), even producer Lauren Shuler Donner hesitantly admits that it wasn't the best movie. Or at least she admits that she would've rather had Singer back, and that's how we got to where we are today - he's now back. Donner simply says:
"He has an authorship, I feel, and I love all of my directors but with Bryan I would send him e-mails saying 'Where are you? You should be here.'"
One of the most interesting parts of the update is that it mentions that Singer has been offered not one, but three upcoming X-Men-related movies, including what seems like the job of directing the Wolverine sequel set in Japan. The other one is the fourth sequel to the X-Men series that Singer created. Unfortunately, he can't do all of them, and is focused on First Class for now. "Hold that one off for just a little, I'm fixated on the other one right now," Singer said. "I'm holding it open with high hopes. It's totally different [from First Class] and it will be so interesting for you," Donner responded with. If only he could just direct all three of them, as I wouldn't mind seeing someone like Singer directing instead of other worse directors (e.g. Ratner).
Singer also talks a little bit about what we can expect with First Class. As we mentioned earlier, it will be about the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and focus on "the point where their friendship soured." Well damn, I'm already in. I always thought the relationship between Charles and Eric was one of the best parts of this cinematic series anyway and I always wanted to see more. The movie will also "detail the beginning of the school for mutants and have younger incarnations of some characters with new actors in roles of Cyclops, Jean Grey, the Beast, etc." Hugh Jackman isn't confirmed to return as Wolverine yet, but Singer did just meet with him for lunch, where he was offered to take the Wolverine spin-off sequel.
As was reported previously, Singer wouldn't return "until he found a storyline that would stand on its own." But what is it about the Xavier/Magneto relationship that made him craft a story that focused on that again?
"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."
I'm personally very excited to see Singer return. I know some people really want to see him move on, but I love the X-Men franchise so much, I'd rather have Singer come back, clean it up, and take us back to where things were with X-Men 2, than let in continue to flounder. One of my only concerns is that this franchise is just going to become a mess of disconnected characters, different actors and different stories. We already saw a younger Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and we even saw Professor X in that, too. I just hope that Singer can actually clean up the universe and bring things together again in a way we've all been hoping we'd see. Only time will tell. For now, I'm quite thrilled, I just hope it doesn't take too long to get underway.