Bryan Singer bows out of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ publicity efforts

April 24, 2014 | 12:56 p.m.
la ca 0326 x men days of future 084 Bryan Singer bows out of X Men: Days of Future Past publicity efforts

Sunspot (Adan Canto), left, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) prepare for an epic battle to save their kind in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

la ca 0326 x men days of future 086 Bryan Singer bows out of X Men: Days of Future Past publicity efforts

Young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets his older self (Patrick Stewart) in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

apphoto film cinemacon x men Bryan Singer bows out of X Men: Days of Future Past publicity efforts

Ellen Page, left, as Kitty Pryde and Shawn Ashmore as Iceman in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Fox)

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer has officially bowed out of efforts to promote the May 23 release due to the ongoing legal scandal that erupted in the wake of a teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him.

“The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’ This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career. So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film,” Singer said in a statement issued Thursday.

Director Bryan Singer, right, with actor Patrick Stewart on the set of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Alan Markfield/Fox)

Director Bryan Singer, right, with actor Patrick Stewart on the set of “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” (Alan Markfield/Fox)

Just this past weekend, Singer had been scheduled to take the stage in Anaheim for Fox’s presentation at WonderCon to tout his upcoming mutant sequel, which adapts one of the most popular story lines from “X-Men” history, a two-part saga from Chris Claremont and John Byrne that originally ran in 1980.

The story takes place in two time periods: in a dystopian future in which mutants are hunted by the deadly Sentinels, and in the 1970s, shortly after the events of Matthew Vaughn’s recent prequel “X-Men: First Class.”

It unites the casts of both the original “X-Men” trilogy — including Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Patrick Stewart as professor Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen as his friend-turned-foe Erik Lehnsherr, better known as Magneto — and Vaughn’s 2011 prequel, which featured James McAvoy as a younger Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, a role played in the original films by Rebecca Romijn.

The film was represented at WonderCon by writer-producer Simon Kinberg, who spoke to fans about the film, stirring excitement with an extended clip showing mutants of the future, including Sunspot and Iceman, facing off against the destructive robots known as Sentinels.

Notably, no audience questions were allowed during the “X-Men” portion of Fox’s arena presentation.

Kinberg said the film features the largest number of X-Men assembled in any of the films so far.

“On some days there were 12 names on the call sheet that were all major characters from the franchise,” Kinberg said.

“Days of Future Past” marks Singer’s return to the franchise as a director. He previously helmed both 2000’s “X-Men,” and 2003’s “X2.”

– Gina McIntyre and Patrick Kevin Day

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