Having repaired some of the damage caused by X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine with the 2010’s ‘pre-boot’ X-Men: First Class, 20th Century Fox’s plans for the X-Men franchise have been dealt a blow today with the surprising news that that British filmmaker Matthew Vaughn has chosen to pass on the upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.
According to Deadline, Vaughn will instead take on a producing role on Days of Future Past (similar to what he’s done on Kick-Ass 2, which is currently filming under new director Jeff Wadlow), while his next project is likely to be an adaptation of The Secret Service, a comic book series from Fox’s ‘Marvel creative consultant’ Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen). On a more positive note, it’s also being reported that Fox’s number one target to replace Vaughn on the sequel is none other than Bryan Singer, who of course originally launched the franchise with the first two instalments, X-Men and X2: X-Men United, before returning to the franchise as producer on First Class and Days of Future Past.
An adaptation of the classic comic book storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, X-Men: Days of Future Past has been scripted by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand) and Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class), with James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) so far confirmed as reprising their roles. Meanwhile, given the time travel element of the storyline, there’s also been a tonne of speculation surrounding possible appearances from members of the original X-Men cast, with both Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Famke Janssen (Jean Grey) having already hinted at potential returns.
Considering the speed that Fox replaced Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt with Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) on another of its upcoming sequels, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, expect the studio to move fast in securing a replacement for Vaughn, especially with Days of Future Past currently slated for release on July 18th, 2014.