Matthew Vaughn is a frustratingly great director. He is great in regards to his four feature films all being excellent, and he is frustrating because the man seems to take great pleasure in agreeing to do awesome projects and slipping away from them so close to production.
For those of you who don’t remember, Vaughn was the original choice to direct X-Men: The Last Stand after Bryan Singer jumped ship to his Superman snore-fest. Everything seemed great in the X-Universe until, at the last-minute, Vaughn dropped out and Fox was forced to call in Brett Ratner who has a history of bringing in projects on time and on budget. Now X3 had an extremely mixed reaction (I actually loved it, ask me to defend it to a hater some time for raucous debate) but one thing is certain, the film suffered from Vaughn’s departure.
Fast forward a handful of years and Vaughn finally made his X-Film and it ended up being the best of the franchise and single-handedly saved the struggling mutants from an impending cinematic reboot fate. Now we stand at the precipice of another X-Film production with Vaughn at the helm and, wouldn’t you know it, the man bows out.
Deadline is reporting that Vaughn is stepping away from the director role for the upcoming sequel, but he is not leaving the project all together, he is staying on as producer. The news goes from disappointing to intriguing in a hurry once you realize what Fox’s next step might be:
Atop the studio’s replacement short list is Bryan Singer, who launched the X-Men feature franchise with the first two superb films and who has been a guiding influence in this spinoff by writing the treatment and producing.
The brain boggles at the musical chairs being played behind the scenes in the X-Men movie world right now. However, as deep and learned fans of the X-Men and their feature films, we don’t actually think this is really all that bad a turn of events. Vaughn now seems to be treating X-Men: Days of Future Past much like he is treating Kick-Ass: Balls to the Wall, he is still shepherding that project while handing the reigns over to some one he trusts.
And make no mistake about it people, Singer is a name that should breed trust from X-enthusiasts. The man might have a spotty recent track record, but the first two X-Films set the early bar for the comic book movie golden age we are currently enjoying. He has also been on board with the First Class production since very early on, meaning there would be some continuity of style even though the director and one of the producers swap hats.
Another angle that makes this potentially exciting news is the likelihood of old favorites from Singer’s era of the X-Men could pop up in this new series of films. It was always assumed that the time travel aspect of Days of Future Past would allow the filmmakers a chance at bridging the two sets of films. Having Singer step up as director looks like a move that would almost guarantee that would happen. Meaning Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and probably Hugh Jackman (who already had a cameo in First Class) could be interacting with James McAvoy, Micheal Fassbender and the gang.
At the moment the best we can say is don’t panic X-Fans, Vaughn is not jumping ship like in The Last Stand days, and all indications are that Fox is looking to maintain the basic core that nailed First Class so well. If Bryan Singer does take on the duties of Director the could even turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Also don’t forget that Vaughn is a formidable producer in his own right, having made his name producing several of those early and awesome Guy Richie films.