Bryan Singer on ‘X-Men: First Class': It’s got to be about Magneto and Professor X

March 18, 2010 | 12:58 p.m.

EXCLUSIVE

This is a longer version of a story that will appear in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and also on the cover of Brand X.

Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner

Through the years, comic-book films took audiences to all the predictable places, including the grim streets of Gotham City and the doomed spires of planet Krypton, but, a decade ago, a new type of comic-book film had the audacity to set its opening sequence in a truly unexpected place — the gates of Auschwitz, where Jewish families were being marched through mud on their way to death and despair.

From those first moments, “X-Men” set itself apart from the entire Hollywood history of comic-book adaptations and marked the beginning of this current era of fanboy cinema, which has dominated the box office and elevated San Diego’s Comic-Con International into something resembling a Cannes for capes.

“The opening, it really was a declaration of intent,” producer Lauren Shuler Donner said of that sequence, which showed a terrified young boy exhibiting mutant powers as his family was separated by German guards. “It said to the audience this is a serious film, grounded in the realistic and the historic and somewhat dark. It was so smart. And it was all totally Bryan.”

That would be Bryan Singer, the director of “X-Men” and its first sequel, who was sitting next to Shuler Donner in her office on a recent afternoon. The pair both had big smiles on their faces — they had been reunited by an invitation to reminisce about the legacy of the July 2000 release, which they were happy to do, but the conversation kept veering into giddy plans for the future. Singer is returning to the “X-Men” universe, it’s clear now, for a project called “X-Men: First Class“; it’s all just a matter of timing.

“I had lunch with Hugh Jackman today,” Singer said, and Shuler Donner, after asking for an off-the-record moment, pressed the 44-year-old filmmaker for details. A few minutes later, with the recorder back on, Singer said he is mightily enthused to work again with Shuler Donner, who has produced two X-films without him, the Brett Ratner-directed “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006 and the Gavin Hood-directed “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” in 2009.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

 

“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, no doubt referring to his defection to the DC Comics universe to make the oddly lifeless 2006 movie “Superman Returns.” “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…”

More on the future of “X-Men: First Class” in a moment, but first let’s cut to the past — 1999, when the Hollywood approach to comic books was a far different one.

It was the year “Mystery Men” was released as yet another campy spoof of the masked-man sector. Still fresh in the public mind, too, was Joel Schumacher’sBatman & Robin” (1997), which stripped away any psychological elements of the orphan-turned-vigilante tale and instead gave the world the questionable innovation of putting nipples on the bat-suits. Marvel Comics, meanwhile, was a joke when it came to the silver screen, with only three wide-release films based on its characters — “Howard the Duck” in 1986, “Punisher” in 1988 and “Blade” in 1999 (that last one was actually satisfying for movie fans but had very little in common with the comics and was based on a relatively obscure character from the “Tomb of Dracula” comics of the 1970s).

Considering all that, the plan for “X-Men” was nothing short of revolutionary. Singer and his team, working from a script credited to David Hayter, would take the mutant superheroes of the wildly popular “X-Men” comics and treat them as believable outsiders in a reality-based world. Instead of spandex suits, though, they were outfitted in black leather, following in the fashion-savvy footsteps of “The Matrix,” which hadn’t been a comic-book movie but certainly felt like one.

X-Men campfire

 

“Some reviews were brutal and some lovely, but we had a $21-million Friday, a record at the time, and we knew we had turned a corner,” Singer said.

The movie became the opening salvo in an onslaught of superhero movies that were like night-and-day when compared to the films of the 1990s and earlier. “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight,” three “Spider-Man” films, “Iron Man,” two “Hellboy” movies, two “Hulk” films and “Watchmen” all followed “X-Men” in tone and spirit. There are many, many more to come: “Iron Man 2″ arrives in May, “Thor” has just begun filming, and “Green Lantern,” “The First Avenger: Captain America,” a third Batman film and reboots of Spider-Man and Superman are gearing up. That’s just a few; there are three dozen other comics-based projects at various points in the Hollywood pipeline, which was unimaginable in the days after “Batman & Robin,” when the source material was considered radioactive in studio boardrooms.

Shuler Donner has watched the legacy of “X-Men” grow but she says that, at the time, in the closing days of the editing process she wasn’t sure what kind of movie Singer had on his hands.

“There wasn’t anything else like this; all the other superhero movies were made with a different tone and we were nervous,” Shuler Donner said. “You lose perspective, and now in hindsight it seems like the right choices were made but at time it was scary, believe me.”

Singer was feeling the fear for sure. In the editing bay, at one point, the director wondered if the train was about to leave the track. “I was in the cutting room and I got up and went for a walk with [Twentieth Century Fox executive] Peter Rice and I said, ‘When this thing fails critically and financially, I will never have the opportunity to make this kind of film again.’ I was very depressed. Peter said, ‘Well, let’s just hope it doesn’t fail. That was his advice.”

Storm

 

Singer was no comic-book fan growing up; his compass point for heroic tales was Richard Donner’sSuperman” film in 1978, which made it no surprise that he jumped at the chance to work with that director’s wife on “X-Men” and then jumped ship after two films — with the blessing of both Donners — so he could re-conjure Metropolis for a new generation.

Even without the comic-book passion of, say, Sam Raimi, the director of the three “Spider-Man” movies, Singer knew that “X-Men” would need to win over the true believers who had been reading the comics for years. The characters of Wolverine, Magneto and Cyclops were hardly household names like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, and the director believed that the Hollywood tradition of dismissing hard-core comics fans would be a disaster in this case.

“Ultimately, the comic-book fans are your first core audience, the ones that are going to embrace it and talk about it and embrace it or reject it,” Singer said. “They were the first people we worried about.”

Shuler Donner nodded. “If the fans didn’t embrace us, we knew we were in trouble. We wanted a wider audience, but it began with the comic book fans. The approach was to do a more realistic approach to the characters that the fans loved. They second-guess us a lot, still, but we did win them over.”

The film made a star out of Hugh Jackman, who was a late-in-the-game replacement for Dougray Scott, who was tied up on the set of “Mission: Impossible II.”

Bryan Singer and Ian McKellan

 

Jackman arrived on the set late in the day and Singer took a good look at him. “I thought, ‘Oh his face is rounder than I thought.’ It was important that Wolverine have a round face and I thought Hugh’s face looked longer in the tape I had seen. He also wasn’t as huge as I thought he would be. My opinion was, ‘Maybe this isn’t as impossible as I thought it would be.’ “

To make the final call, Singer had two cameras set up in the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall, where the crew had been shooting a U.S. Senate scene that day. Jackman and Anna Paquin, who played young Rogue in the film, were seated in two folding chairs put side-by-side so they could run through a scene where they are driving in a pickup truck together.

On the second take, Singer stepped away from the monitor so he could just filter everything out and listen to Jackman’s voice. A janitor working for the venue sidled up to the baby-faced filmmaker and, mistaking him for a production assistant, began whispering a question.

“He didn’t want to bother anyone important, so he sees me, this kid, and walked up and whispered, ‘Hey, is that the guy they got to play Wolverine?’ And I thought, ‘Hmm, this is the moment, take the leap.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ The first guy to know was the cleaning guy. And he said, ‘Cool.’ It’s a good thing he didn’t say, ‘Ugh, are you kidding me?’ “

Singer offered the role to Jackman then and there. It took a month, though, for the actor to really find the feral center of his character.

“He’s a real sweetheart,” Singer said. “He’s the most loving guy, and someone who came out of musical theater. I send some ridiculous note, ‘I need anger, that rage, that Russell Crowe side, get into a fight with your wife or something.’ The next day he came up to me and said, ‘Bry, I thought about what you said but if I ever got in a fight with Deborra, I would show up for work in tears.’ I realized that’s the other side of Wolverine and we didn’t want to lose that either — he’s a guy you wouldn’t want to get into a bar fight with but you’d let him babysit your kids.”

Jackman was the breakout star but the cast was an especially deep one. Paquin would go on to the success of “True Blood” and Halle Berry would a year later win an Oscar for “Monster’s Ball.” Ian McKellen (who had worked with Singer on “Apt Pupil“) was a year away from his signature role as Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and, along with “Star Trek: The Next Generation” veteran Patrick Stewart, he brought a gravitas to the superhero film that kept it from slipping into a camp affair.

“I was a big Trekkie, so I was excited to go see Patrick and meet him,” said Singer, who dropped by the set of Richard Donner’s “Conspiracy Theory” to make his pitch to Stewart. “He didn’t know much about the X-Men at all, we had to explain it all. As for Ian, he liked the idea of the movie because of the gay allegory — the allegory of the mutants as outsiders, disenfranchised and alone and coming to all of that at puberty when their ‘difference’ manifests. Ian is activist and he reality responded to the potential of that allegory.”

How did Fox respond to Singer’s plan to start a superhero movie with a Holocaust scene and infuse it with subtext about the struggle of homosexual teenagers in modern America?  Singer said there were really no battles to be won. “There was no particular expectation, really, or pressure — it wasn’t an enormous budget — and there was no template because these characters were not Superman or Batman. There was no issue of content or even tone.”

The reviews were generally good (the film stands at an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) but not fawning. For instance, Kenneth Turan, writing in the Los Angeles Times, was supportive but not dazzled: “While ‘X-Men’ doesn’t take your breath away wire-to-wire the way ‘The Matrix’ did, it’s an accomplished piece of work with considerable pulp watchability to it. And having a self-referential sense of humor (‘You actually go outside in these things?’ Wolverine says when face-to-face with an X-uniform) makes the special effects go down that much smoother.” 

The first “X-Men” film made $296 million worldwide, but its sequel, “X2: X-Men United,” with the benefit of a bigger budget and story elements already in place, rang up $408 million worldwide and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The biggest win, though, was in the hearts and minds of Hollywood. As time went on, people began to see Singer’s “X-Men” films as special. David Denby, in the New Yorker, wrote in praise of  “the liquid beauty and the poetic fantasy of Singer’s work.” Denby didn’t feel the magic with replacement director Ratner, however, whom he dismissed as “a crude synthesizer of comedy and action tropes.”

The third X-Men movie made the most money at the box office ($459 million worldwide) but many fans found it unsatisfying, and Shuler Donner, choosing her words carefully, made it clear that she is ready for Singer to come back to the mutant universe. “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.’ “

Lauren Shuler Donner and Bryan Singer

That’s why Shuler Donner went to Singer with “X-Men: First Class,” a prequel to the 2000 film that shares its name with the eight-issue comics series that began in 2006 and was written by Jeff Parker with art by Roger Cruz. 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.)

X-Men First Class

The premise has compelling elements to it, Singer said. “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.”

Before Singer can dive into casting, he has a rather large problem —  the fact that Warner Bros. has the filmmaker on the hook to direct “Jack the Giant Killer.” Fox, flush with money from “Avatar,” is eager to move forward with its mutant franchise in all of its permutations, so there are negotiations that need to be done.

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.”

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.”

At that point, Singer and Shuler Donner asked for some more off-the-record time to talk about the future instead of the past. Then, with the recorder rolling once more, Singer was asked if he believed his first mutant movie would be remembered as a pioneering moment in Hollywood.

“I don’t know if people followed in our footsteps or maybe we were just the first of a group going down the same path together,” Singer said. “I can tell you this: I remember when Marvel Comics was in bankruptcy and I bought stock for a friend as a joke. That was before ‘X-Men’ and it was one of the reasons we had so much freedom. And now Disney paid $4 billion for the company. That sort of caught my attention. I just think we made some good movies. And now we’re going to make more.”

– Geoff Boucher

RECENT AND RELATED

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Peter Jackson and Patrick Stewart, to sirs with love

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Wolverine, by the numbers

SCOOP: Christopher Nolan talks Superman & third Batman movie

Raimi’s Spider-Man regrets: “I would have done everything differently” 

PHOTOS: Top and sixth: Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times); Second, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (Fox); Third, Ian McKellen, Rebecca Romijn, Jackman and Halle Berry in “X2: X-Men United” (Fox); Fourth, Berry as Storm (Fox); Fifth, Bryan Singer and Ian McKellan on the set of “X-Men” (Attila Dory / For The Times). Seventh, “X-Men First Class” the comic book (Marvel).

Comments


39 Responses to Bryan Singer on ‘X-Men: First Class': It’s got to be about Magneto and Professor X

  1. Cal Godot says:

    Great article, Geoff. Well-written and considered. Your passion for the X-brand shows. You seem to have a good rappoire with Singer (who is indeed very young-looking but awesomely smart). And it's great effect the way you titillate with the "off the record" moments! I look forward to First Class. One long-lost project I had hoped Singer would complete: the remake/reboot/whatever of Logan's Run. He was working on it (with Paul Todisco as writer) before, during, and after X-Men . I always wondered what came of that project, which took a back seat toX2, and now seems to have disappeared altogether.

  2. Bob stanley says:

    Great article. There has been a lot of talk on any superman movie, I read something hilarious the other day an open letter to superman, that I'll think you'll enjoy http://thedailyjim.com/archives/420

  3. David Scholes says:

    As a Marvel fan boy from way back I enjoy immensely all the movies based on Marvel icons. The X-men movies are no exception.
    I'm particularly looking forward to IM2, Thor, and Captain America.
    If you get a chance, check out some of my fan fiction:
    http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1276881/David_Scholes
    I'm also an Australian science fiction writer: <a href="http://www.StrategicBookPublishing.com/ScienceFictionand…” target=”_blank”>www.StrategicBookPublishing.com/ScienceFictionand…
    http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Reading-Science-F
    Cheers

  4. Muldfeld says:

    Thanks so much for the article. I really enjoyed the first and second X-Men films, but I was much younger. I've long recognized Singer is essential to changing the tone. As a reader of X-Men years before the first film came out, I was grateful that he stepped back from the melodrama of the comics. McKellan was brilliant in playing that character with a condescension and elitism that wasn't in the comics I had read and I loved it.
    Looking back, though, none of this is as good as Nolan's "Batman" films or anywhere near the moral complexity and emotional truth and political insight Ronald D. Moore could bring to a film. Singer disappointed me with "Valkyrie" by eschewing historical themes by lauding his hero with an anti-anti-Semitism element. He lacks Moore's guts.
    I admired his attempt at Superman, but had to admit it wasn't too thrilling and was poorly cast.
    I still think a fundamental mistake was made in casting Halle Berry in X-Men; despite the award for her over-acting in "Monster's Ball", she's pretty terrible. The franchise should forget the atrocious third film and start anew with another "X-Men 3". Forget this "First Class" rubbish. Why waste people like Jackman, McKellan, Stewart and others, when they could be used again?

  5. ismael G says:

    great article.
    it makes some valid points . comic book movies were a pain to watch with the exception of 89's batman and after singer stepped in and up we hav gotten results like the dark knight . it can only get better from here the blue print has been laid out

  6. karmabeliever says:

    Hey Geoff as usual great job. It is interesting that there is no mention of Tom DeSanto in the article. He produced the good X-Men movies (1&2) and was the one who brought Singer onto the property as Singer had never read comic books and partnered with Singer in co-creating the X-Men franchise together. Geoff did you ever interview DeSanto about the X-men movies as he is so closely tied to it with the fans? Maybe he wasn't available to produce this one which is a bummer as I love how he launched Transformers. Hope the new movies are good but if they aren't the fanboys (myself included) will be out for blood and Fox will have burned millions. Rupert Murdoch needs to watch over this one as this is one franchise that have been mismanaged. But loved Usual Suspects so I have hope, although Superman Returns left me cold. Geoff love the column keep up the great work.

  7. I'd buy that fo says:

    Good piece but, while I don't really like many of his films, Tim Burton deserves a bit more credit in the evolution of the comic book movie. Sure the penguins with missiles strapped on to them was stupid but 'Batman' and 'Batman Returns' were for the most part dark films. X-Men seemed to start from where Batman Returns left-off, minus the penguins of course.

  8. Prizm says:

    I enjoyed the first two films (what the hell happened in X3??). But all this Wolverine fan-service drags the series down. There are so many other characters, and yet they exploit the Wolverine character over and over again and it gets really old.

  9. Merlin Ambrosius says:

    Bryan Singer’s original plan was to film X-Men 3 & 4 Back to Back and his original script treatment was for film 3 to deal with Jean Grey’s death, rebirth and evolution as the Phoenix. Film 4 would have introduced a new character, The White Queen, a role intended for Sigourney Weaver, who begins to tamper with Jean’s mind causing her to become unbalanced and transform into the Dark Phoenix. It would have ended with her pleading with Scott to kill her and when he does she is reborn in space as a being of pure energy reminiscent of the Star Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    Instead we get 90 minutes of terrible wire work, bad dialogue, bad special effects, no phoenix effect, and, according to Brett Ratner, he brought in the cure and danger room Sentinels because he didn’t feel there was enough material in the Phoenix / Dark Phoenix storyline to base a whole movie around. Plus he felt the Phoenix effect to be unfilmable. Seriously there are idiots and there are idiots and Brett Ratner is their King.
    I personally loved X 1 & 2. And thought the ending where Charles Xavier looks out the window and hears birdsong (audible on the DTS track) and tells the class that everything was going to be alright before teaching them about “The Once & Future King”, followed by the site of a reflection of the phoenix flying over Alkali lake was the perfect setup for this.
    Superman Returns may have been hopelessly mediocre especially in light of the first five seasons of Smallville which developed the characters in whole new ways (Michael Rosenbaum completely redefined Lex Luthor for example) but Bryan Singer had the right idea: Ignore X3 and make his own sequel. And besides every great director makes a bad movie once in a while. Check out Piranha 2, The Phantom Menace, the two Matrix sequels, Alien 3, Hannibal, and the list goes on and on! And I agree with everyone if Halle Berry want’s to play diva and demand more screen time, then Zoe Saldana would be terrific as Storm. Also, to all those people who complained that in X1 too much screen time was devoted to Wolverine, that’s because the studio demanded that Bryan Singer change the script to accomodate the X-Men’s most popular character. So it really isn’t his fault that Cyclops had nothing much to do. James Cameron and George Lucas might be studio proof, but most director’s aren’t.
    Frankly I think the X-Men would rule as an ongoing HBO mini-series like True Blood, Rome or The Sopranos. But as long as FOX has control over the franchise that may not happen, unless Marvel still owns the TV rights.

  10. nick says:

    the whole x men series is kind of stale and boring, yawn.

  11. Great news Geoff. I really hope they can just ignore X:3, and move on. If not, I'm okay with a reboot. I love origin movies. I tend to like the first movie in a superhero saga, with Spider Man 2 being the exception.
    Either way, Bryan Singer has always been one of may favorite directors.

  12. Ron says:

    There is no question that the first X-Men movie changed the landscape for all subsequent comic book films. Hollywood finally took notice that superhero movies could be thought-provoking, serious adult-themed films but also be highly entertaining at the same time. The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, X2 and Iron Man are the best of the bunch in my opinion. Comic book fans have been celebrating ever since and it looks like the best is still yet to come. Can't wait for Iron Man 2 and the reboot for Spider-Man, in 3D no less!!

  13. HVM says:

    So are the makers of the movie taking credit for coming up with the Auschwitz opening, or just for its placement of it? Because the Auschwitz scenes were in the comic book years ago. Also to take credit for the "gay allegory" is a bit exaggerated as well, since again that can be read in many of the X-Men comics that pre-date the movie.

  14. Rich H. says:

    Note to Bryan Singer: Nobody cares about Magneto or Professor X.

  15. K-HjLL says:

    I've been a fan of the X-MEN since my father bought me WOLVERINE #25 when I was a kid… It happened to be what taught me how to read … I was a fan of 1 and 2. 3 felt like two different people made it… I thought the WOLVERINE film seemed more like the WOLVERINE series I read as a kid or maybe it looked more like my IMAGINATION as a KID… Loved X-MEN when It came out. Prior to it I always wondered why hollywood never attempted to make MORE graphic novels and books into FILMS… Wish I had a hand in making a COMIC come to life…

  16. my2cents says:

    there was nothing extremely special about the X-Men and wolverine was a terrible. film. i think people have moved on. and the superman film bryan singer directed was just this homo-erotic traincrash.

  17. kent suter says:

    A decade ago, while working for an ad agency, we chose a commercial director to shoot a TV spot. His filmmaking and cinematic style were a perfect fit. The pre-production meetings with the director went great. On the first day of the shoot, our director was late. He didn't show for several hours as the DP covered for him, moving forward with rehearsals. Finally, the director and his posse arrived around noon with fist bumps and loud congratulations. As luck would have it, our director, Brian Singer, had just been awarded his first X-men feature the previous night. Brian stuck around a bit, watched a couple takes, talked with the DP and was gone. After our initial anger, I realized that – had I won the lottery, I really wouldn't have gone to work the next day either.

  18. john Devlin says:

    All Singer did was present the X-man as it was written. Magneto's holocaust origins and the parallels w/ discriminated groups in America were well trod ground. As always when something breaks into the mainstream you have hordes of the ill-informed standing about gaping incredulously at this new "art". Examples"Ohmigawd, its a boy wizard and there's dragons and evil magicians." Or wait, " there are cowboys, and an evil rancher, a town drunk, and a gun fight"
    Yes, Singer executed the stories well and had the sense to see that these were good stories. Similarly, a conductor will do the same w/ a group of musicians, but lets remember, playing Mozart b/c you know its good music is a far cry from being Mozart.

  19. Brian C. says:

    Let's say what the X-Men movies along with the other super hero movies really are……fun and unthinking entertainment. Those who are so into the comics themselves will never be satisfied with movie versions of their "idols". The majority of people who see these movies go to them, sit back and have fun. It's as simple as that. If you're trying to find any special meanings in these movies or go to them wanting to come out from them feeling connected with the characters then you really need to get some therapy.

  20. plasticintelligence says:

    Why does Lauren Shuler Donner get credit for these films. She must have a great pr person and contract lawyer. Everyone knows she is only there because her husband agreed to direct the X-men film and she attached as producer on his coattails. Just check the credits that is why Dick Donner has a Producer credit on the first one. I should know I was working with Dick on Assassins at the time. Dick is one of the best people in the business though, his wife well … is his wife. She is not a nice person and is only nice to people she has to be nice to like actors and directors. AD's and god forbid if you're a PA she is like the Queen of Mean. I wish journalists would do some digging and ask the hard questions and not take PR spin as story. Glad the internet is here so I can tell the truth and do some digging if you don't believe me. This project fell into her lap and really had nothing to do with its success but she was smart enough to attach to the rights through her husband.

  21. art says:

    X-Men 3 is like Rocky 5. It may have made money (which in the end, is all the execs at the studio's care about) but to the fans of the franchise it never happened because it was so unbearably terrible to fans who actually knew something about the source material.
    Never let Brett Ratner near the X-Men again. . .

  22. K - HjLL says:

    When I was a kid I use to think I was WOLVERINE run throught the woods of hours days…
    I like EVERY film so far…
    and a PERSONS face RUINED VENOM….

  23. xchiefmegadethx says:

    Well when i first saw the X Man movies i thought cool…
    But shortly after the 1st one i was like,Meh not good enough.could of been so much better.
    Then the 2nd was better but still meh,and 3rd wow what crap that was
    If they're going to make another one,please don't let him direct it please please please!
    i think cause it was Marvels X Men i was like Hell yeah!but after i got over that fact.i realized they where crappy flims

  24. Justin says:

    If anyone is qualified to make another x-men movie, it's Bryan Singer, though i am somewhat disappointed he won't be making a second Superman film. personally, i think he would be better off trying to continue (or at least end) the Superman series rather than the x-men series, because then he wouldn't have to worry about a series of films feeling disjointed, like the last two x-men films. i haven't even seen the Wolverine movie, and hopefully i'll never have to. it just seems like coming back to direct a fifth x-men film after sitting out the last two seems almost frivolous.

  25. plissken2013 says:

    Superman returns is a masterpiece. Only lifeless people can find it lifeless.

  26. DRE DAWG says:

    Singer needs to absolve X-Men3 of it's status and do it again. A prequal to the entire series could be interesting, but we desperately need a reboot of #3, it was horrible, all over the place, completely out of character from the first two installments.

  27. bill L says:

    I'm excited for X-Men: First Class. The franchise needs something good to balance out the last two films, and having Singer return is a good sign. Just… please, no Wolverine in this one. Ok? He's hogged the limelight long enough.

  28. SMD says:

    The first two X-Men movies were good pop corn movies and not much else. Just what were you expecting? Shakespere? Though I must admit X3 could have been better if Fox hadn't been so frigging cheap! Spielberg does Transformers which was a billion more times complecated than what a Sentienal would have been and what do we get? Two red glowing eyes and a decapitated head that Jackman just walks out from behind and bloodshot eyes and bad complexion on Jean Grey which is supposed to pass itself off as the Pheonix effect? The only truely satifying things about X3 was Kelsey Grammer's "Oh my stars and garters!" He wasn't what I expected to play The Beast but he didn't disapoint and the "cha-ching" moment of Angel's reveal before he went flying through the window. The sucess of all three X-Men movies comes from the fact that the director didn't totally F with the comic bock canon. The X-Men were the X-Men and not butchered hackneied recreations of someone who didn't bother doing his research.

  29. Nice read! I am a huge X-Men fan and have enjoyed the movies greatly. I can't wait for the new movie! I have a vast collection of Uncanny X-Men comics. Thank you for the article!

  30. if you are going to make an X men First Class by Bryan Singer, we needs to have so many characters one the most popular and the most important.
    we needs to have an X men First Class Movie so many characters and we need you to make one greater more than X men Origins 1, 2, and X men the Last Stand.
    here some characters one we needs to have them, here they are :
    01. Jean Grey / Dark Phoenix
    02. Selene / the Black Queen
    03. Sunspot
    o4. Sebastian Shaw
    05. Donald Pierce
    06. Havoc
    07. Emma Frost / the White Queen
    08. Polaris
    09. Banshee
    10. Vulcan
    11. Mystique
    12. Avalanche
    13. Toad
    14. Death Birth
    15. Onslaught
    16. Bishop
    17. Storm
    18. Sunfire
    19. Lady Deathstrike
    20. Bastion
    we also need you to add this story about " Age of Apocalypse ".

  31. Peter Rendy says:

    According the real and comic book, X men First Class tell about X men the Past. especially to : Cyclops, Jean Grey / Phoenix, Angel, Beast, Ice Man, Professor Charles Xavier, and Magneto.
    We would like you to increase X men Characters and Villains.
    we really love by the Dark Phoenix. we knew that the first class is not dealing with Dark Phoenix plot. it was making our so disappoint. might, right the First Class won't plot with the Dark Phoenix. and now we are hopeful to Bryan Singer
    could make this X men First Class Movie to plot with the Dark Phoenix.
    the Dark Phoenix is one of our favorite characters and she is the most popular Super Hero in the world.we really don't like about Marvel Girl. might, this movie can increase with the Uncanny X men. we really like it.
    We haven't seen the Hellfire Club for X men Movie. it is very good opportunity. we really want Bryan Singer to bring the Hellfire Club, such as :
    Selene, Sebastian Shaw, Sunspot, Donald Pierce, Havoc, and Emma Frost.
    we want Bryan Singer to bring the Brotherhood team members complete enough, such as : Magneto, Mystique, Avalanche, Quicksilver, Scarlet Switch,
    Sabretooth, Toad, Juggernaut, and Blob.
    we want some characters to return such as : Gambit, Nightcwaler, Lady Strike.
    and the last, we want Bryan Singer to bring Polaris, Magma, Banshee, Elixir, Vulcan and for villains are : Omega Red, Cable, Marrow, Master Mold, Lady Strike, Bastion, Mastermind, Apocalypse.
    this story has to ask with the Rise of Apocalypse.

  32. Scott says:

    Never let Bret Rattner near celluloid again!

  33. ugg boots says:

    I agree with your point, please share with us more good articles.

  34. Aeode M says:

    I didn't read the comics and I loved all three X-Men movies (and Origins, too, that one was just awesome). The first one I thought was probably the least of them because of the bad effects at times and the shallow characters of some of the bad guys like Sabretooth. But – I didn't read the comics. You guys obviously have. Tell me, why is the third movie so bad? And what about Origins, was that one okay?

  35. Jim says:

    So he made a couple of lacklustre films that were the justification for much better films that followed them. Well that’s great he should get a medal but anyone who would let him near the xmen again would have to be dense. If this guy is so creative and smart how come he just stole the plot and dialogue from the original Mario Puzo script when he did Superman.

  36. […] was also, of course, media around the fact that this was Bryan Singer’s return to the franchise he helped launch, albeit this time in the role of producer and not director. But it’s clear […]

  37. […] Bryan Singer looks back on first X-Men film More in: Movies, MarvelMatthew VaughnX-Men […]

  38. […] X-Men: The Last Stand. She had even recruited Bryan Singer, helmer of the first two X-Men films, to direct X-Men 4 and 5. But while a follow-up to First Class seems all but assured given the film’s solid box-office […]

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