The best news to hit the X-Men franchise in many years was that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn had signed on to make the sequel, and that said sequel would take its inspiration from a classic X-Men story called “Days of Future Past.” For weeks we’ve been living in a bright and sunny paradise where the future of Fox’s X-Men movies looks very bright, indeed. But suddenly, thanks to news from the party-poopers over at Deadline Hollywood, things aren’t smelling quite so rosy.

They were the first to report the news that Vaughn has now decided to drop out of the project to instead focus on another comic book adaptation for Fox based off of Mark Millar’s ‘Secret Service.’ This leaves the future of X-Men: Days of Future Past somewhat up in the air. And, if you’ll remember, the last time a successful X-Men director dropped out of the franchise he was helming, the results were Brett Ratner being brought in for the abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand. There isn’t a chance that something like that could happen again, is there?

Probably not. Though the rumors are that an X-Men director from the past could be brought back to replace Vaughn, the situation is pretty much the opposite of Bryan Singer being replaced by Brett Ratner. As a matter of fact, the rumor is that Singer himself is at the top of the studio’s short list for directors to replace Vaughn.

This makes sense, because Singer has remained attached to the X-Men franchise as a producer and creative influence, worked with Vaughn on developing the story for X-Men: First Class, and has been working with him again while developing the story for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer would be an easy fit, and seeing as his last X-Men film, X2, is arguably the best X-Men movie and one of the best superhero movies period, it’s a choice that should make fans of the series happy.

If Singer isn’t able or willing to step back into the director’s chair? Then things could get ugly, as the film would have to find a replacement pretty quickly to get everything going for its planned July 2014 release. That’s the sort of situation that has, in the past, led to awful decisions like bringing in a Brett Ratner. It would probably be wise for X-Men fans to either start praying to whatever gods they might believe in that Singer or a reasonable alternative takes the job soon, or start preparing for the long, cold winter ahead. Giant robot Sentinels could be pretty silly if they’re not handled with the right creative hands.


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