Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner Talk X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and Hopes to Direct WOLVERINE 2 and X-MEN 4

     March 18, 2010

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It’s been almost ten years since X-Men mutated superhero movies.  An interview today with Hero Complex has director Bryan Singer and producer Lauren Shuler Donner reflecting back on 2000 movie that saved and revitalized the superhero genre, but they also talk about Singer’s return to the franchise with X-Men: First Class.  Also, Hugh Jackman and Donner wanted Singer to direct Wolverine 2.  Oh, and Shuler Donner wouldn’t mind if Singer would direct X-Men 4 either.

Hit the jump for the scoop on Singer, Donner, and X-Madness

x-men_first_class_comic_book_cover_01.jpgMost of the article is a fond retrospective of the first X-Men movie.  I’ve watched it recently and it still holds up.  Also, the features on the X-Men 1.5 DVD or the Blu-ray are must-see.

But what you really want to know is what Singer has planned next for the franchise.  Well, here’s a juicy slice from the piece:

Singer says the film will find its axis in the relationship between Professor X and Magneto and the point where their friendship soured. It 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.  (He only shrugged when asked if Hugh Jackman might appear as Wolverine, the one character who doesn’t age at the same rate as humans.)

While I’m ecstatic about Singer returning to the series, I wouldn’t want to see Wolverine in this film as more than a half-second, throw-away cameo.  You can’t have him be a real character because that would involve him losing his memory again and there are only so many adamantium memory bullets to go around.

But Singer’s keeping his mind on the central conflict of the movie:

“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.”

We already knew about this conflict, but I admire Singer’s focus on it rather than “How many mutants can I stuff into this movie?” (*cough*X-Men: The Last Stand*cough*).  It also turns the film away from one designed to appeal to a broader, younger non-comic book fanbase (which looks like the direction they’re taking with the unnecessary Spider-Man reboot).  By turning the attention onto Magneto and Xavier, you can cast actors in their 30s as the leads and save the teenager/early-20s performers for the ensemble.

bryan_singer.jpgThen a couple bombshells drop at the end of the article.  First, Singer’s was courted for Wolverine 2:

Shuler Donner also has pitched Singer on doing a fourth installment of the previously established “X-Men” franchise and Jackman had that lunch with Singer to coax him into a project as well, which may or may not be a “Wolverine” film, which Jackman has said will be set in Japan and released in 2011. “I wish I could be four people,” the director said with a moan. “I could make everybody happy.”

It’s not terribly surprising that they’d want to bring Singer back with that film, but he mentions earlier in the article that he’s more comfortable with ensemble movies.  Also, if he’s still having scheduling conflicts over First Class, there’s no way he could have ever made it to Wolverine 2, which is scheduled to begin shooting at the beginning of next year.

But what about X-Men 4?

Singer turned to Shuler Donner and said of “X-Men 4″: “Hold that one off for just a little, I’m fixated on the other one right now.” She nodded and answered, “I will, I will … I’m holding it open with high hopes. It’s totally different [from ‘First Class’] and it will be so interesting for you.”

What would be most interesting for me?  Ignoring The Last Stand and making the third X-Men movie we were all excited for at the end of X2.  But as long as Singer’s back and they have a good script, I’m happy with whatever story they choose to tell with X-Men 4.

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