Bryan Singer has been doing the press rounds this week to discuss his upcoming fairytale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer, but with the director gearing up for his return to the X-Men universe in April , much of the talk has revolved around next year’s time-travelling mutant epic X-Men: Days of Future Past.
So far, Singer has assembled a number of cast members from the original X-Men trilogy to join X-Men: First Class’ James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magento), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and his Jack the Giant Slayer leading man Nicholas Hoult (Beast), with Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) all signing on to reprise their roles in the sequel.
“I don’t want to say [who the protagonists are] yet, or talk about that yet, but I will say that every character has a very important function in the story,” Singer told MTV, with regards to how he plans to juggle the ensemble cast. The story is designed and catered to the combined cast. It’s not just throwing in people to occupy the screen, occupy the billboards. The story Days of Future Past, and our version of Days of Future Past is geared very much toward the mass cast and all their relationships and all their foibles and their achievements.”
“I can’t say,” said Singer, when asked if Halle Berry could be set for a return to the X-Men universe as Storm. “I don’t know yet. And it’s not necessarily a deal making aspect at all. I want to make sure it’ll make sense. But I love working with her.” The X-Men and X2 director also remained coy when asked by The Huffington Post if there was any chance of Alan Cumming reprising the role of Nightcrawler: “I don’t know. We’ll see. You know … we’ll see. I don’t want to … sometimes you don’t want to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something that may not be a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’ or anything. I haven’t decided yet, a few things. I’m still, you know — there are certain aspects of the script that I’m still toying with.”
One ‘character’ who is set to feature in Days of Future Past is disgraced U.S. President Richard Nixon, whose last comic book movie appearance saw him pushing the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen: “Part of [the film] takes place in the 1970s,” stated Singer in an interview at Collider. “And Richard Nixon’s in it, that’ll be an interesting casting choice… There’ll also be some more science-fiction-type aspects to the story and, without giving it away, some technology that we haven’t seen yet in the X-Men universe.”
Singer went on to reveal to Coming Soon that he’s yet to meet with 20th Century Fox’s Marvel consultant Mark Millar about the possibility of expanding the X-Men universe post-Days of Future Past: “I think he’s working with Fox to look at some other stuff. I guess they’re trying to figure stuff out. I have my own thoughts about stuff like that. X-Men: First Class is part of that, this will be part of that but we’ll see. But perhaps he and I will discuss that in the future. I’m just really focused on this movie at the moment.”
During the various interviews, Singer also dropped a few more nuggets of information, stating that he plans to shoot the film in 3D (but not in 48fps), and that he’s currently working on a final pass on the screenplay with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand) before sending out the script to the cast. Principal photography will get underway on X-Men: Days of Future Past on April 15th and run through until October, with the film currently scheduled to arrive in cinemas on July 18th 2014.
And finally, with Zack Snyder set to reboot the Superman franchise this summer with Man of Steel, Total Film asked Singer if he felt any disappointment over missing out on the chance to continue the franchise following 2006’s Superman Returns: “If this was a few year ago, I might have [felt disappointed] – but so much time has passed. I’ve done two movies [since Superman Returns], I’ll be on my third movie now in the [X-Men] universe… so whilst it would have been nice then, now I’m actually genuinely looking forward to seeing Zack’s movie.
“At my heart I’m a fan. I’ve always been a fan. The original Superman movie was the one that educated me – the first act of Donner’s Superman was what inspired me to take X-Men so seriously. Now I get to go see a Superman movie and I don’t have to f*cking make it! [laughs] They’re not easy! He’s not an easy character! I got very nostalgic with my movie but even if you take it in another direction it’s very challenging… inherently he’s such a good guy… what’s easier about X-Men is that they’re all so conflicted.”