Bryan Singer

FilmAid

It all kicks off at 9am Pacific. After raising $10,000 for FilmAid, David Chen and the /Filmcast family are making good on their offer to rock a 10-hour podcasting marathon, and since it’s done like a reverse-telethon, no one will be constantly promising you tote bags in return for your money. That leaves more time to talk with an excellent lineup of guests. The sad part? No tote bags. Rian Johnson is batting first, followed by the 10am segment with me and David Wain, followed by an 11am with Damon Lindelof. And then, 7 more hours of filmmaker guests and shenanigans. So bookmark this page and plan to camp out there all day today. If you need more incentive, here’s the full lineup:

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FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate movie fans who also love watering down stories. For your consideration, Episode #12:

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Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer is like an expensive remake of The Brothers Grimm, except more pricey and less interesting. Director Bryan Singer has always been a reliable director, but as is sometimes the case with Terry Gilliam the audience for his latest work seems unclear. It’s too goofy for most adults, not energetic enough for kids and instead exists as a tonally bizarre, lethargically paced oddity. It does manage the occasional moments of light-hearted entertainment, but they’re few and far between resulting in a strange and surprising misfire since on paper Jack’s journey sounds like a sure thing of a popcorn movie.

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Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones S01E010

Just yesterday, word dropped that Peter Dinklage was going to be involved with X-Men: Days of Future Past, and while everyone on earth was celebrating, Variety was finding out that he would be the main villain of the movie. Who that villain will be is still a production secret, but my guess is that he’ll be playing Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s doubtful that he’ll play Senator Robert Kelly unless director Bryan Singer throws out the continuity of his own films where Bruce Davidson played the anti-mutant politician (and Kelly is more of a catalyst than major antagonist in “Days of Future Past” anyway), but there’s a chance he may play Boliver Trask, the inventor of Sentinels (the robots designed to kill all mutants). If so, he could have a truly fantastic character arc, one befitting Dinklage’s immense talent. Of course, he could also play a version of the cyborg Ahab or do the mo-cap for the Sentinels or play a character solely invented for the film. You never know. Either way, Dinklage is an exciting addition to a movie that was already shaping up to be uncanny.

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IntroDirectorCameos

The beauty of being a director is that you can get killer screen time without the hassle of actually knowing how to act. Being a good director, however, is knowing not to haphazardly stick yourself in your films – at least not unless you’re Spike Lee or Woody Allen. Really it’s all about identifying your limitations. So here are some neat ways that a director opted to show up in their film without taking the spotlight at the same time. These are creative little cameos that you might never notice in a million years of watching.

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last stand 55

Maybe it’s the fault of The Avengers, but another Marvel Comics movie franchise seems to be trying to throw together as many heroes together as possible. We’ve been hearing for a while now that X-Men: Days of Future Past will connect the original X-Men trilogy with the 2011 prequel, X-Men: First Class, and in doing so director Bryan Singer is uniting all the old and new (or is that new and old?) characters for a massive mutant ensemble. The three latest additions to the cast, as announced by Singer via Twitter, are Anna Paquin (Rogue), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat). The last time we saw these three was seven years ago, in X-Men: The Last Stand (not to be confused with the new Schwarzenegger vehicle), the third installment, which also saw Brett Ratner take the helm from Singer, who’d done the first two. In his tweet, Singer thanks Ratner for “letting them live” at the end of his movie. Page was actually the third actress in three films to portray Pryde (the others were Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart), but she was the last, is the biggest name and as an Oscar-nominee seems to be the best person for the part, especially if she’s the main character, as Pryde was in the comic book version of the “Days of Future Past” storyline. 

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Ben Affleck

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that finally gets to stop talking about Walk of Shame, which was really being something of an attention hog lately. Some real bad news hit today for everyone looking forward to seeing what a trainwreck Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart starring opposite of each other as romantic interests would have been. Affleck announced that, due to his busy schedule of being a busy person, he’s not going to be able to act in Focus after all. This means that the Glenn Ficarra- and John Requa-helmed pic will have to find someone else to vibe with Stewart as its in-the-mood-for-romance con artist, and Affleck is going to have to stick to directing movies, a place everyone seems to feel way more comfortable with him being in anyway. [Variety]

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What is Casting Couch? It’s starting to wonder how many times Hugh Jackman can play Wolverine before his sideburns start to stick that way. Hot on the heels of the announcement that the original Professor X and Magneto, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, would be joining Bryan Singer’s X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, comes word that yet another actor from the original X-Men trilogy, Hugh Jackman, is also negotiating. This makes sense, of course, because Jackman’s brief cameo in First Class was the first indication we got that Matthew Vaughn’s reboot and Singer’s original films might actually exist in the same universe. Now that Singer has Stewart, McKellen, and Jackman on board, the only other actors he needs to poach from those first X-Men movies is…well, no one. It’s kind of amazing how well those movies cast these three guys and how poorly they cast every single other character. Hopefully this is the end of the colliding of worlds. [THR]

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What is Casting Couch? Despite the fact that the movie business seems to be slow to get back to work after the long weekend, it’s a column that’s managed to dig up a couple exciting casting coups. Bryan Singer out-scooped everybody in the news breaking business today when he suddenly started tweeting big updates on how the cast for his upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was developing. He started off small by first confirming that a few members of the First Class crew would be returning. He tweeted, “I’d like to officially welcome back James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, & Nicholas Hoult to #XMEN for #DaysOfFuturePast.” But then he got a little crazy and started confirming rumors that actors from his original X-Men movies will be joining the film as well by tweeting, “Thrilled to announce @ianmckellen118 (Ian McKellan) & @SirPatStew (Patrick Stewart) are joining the cast of #XMEN #DaysOfFuturePast #magneto #professorX More to come…” Do you think we could get scenes where old Professor X and Magneto meet young Professor X and Magneto? The head spins with awesome possibilities.

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Jack the Giant Killer

How many people out there in the world have Jack the Giant Slayer as their most anticipated movie of 2013? With the exception of maybe Bryan Singer‘s mother — and that’s a big maybe — probably not many. That’s most likely due to the film’s nonexistent buzz. The first trailer landed with a major thud, so major I still recall the awkward dead silence and indifference towards it at a screening. Shortly after that trailer dropped, the movie lost its summer 2012 release date. Months later the movie received even more disheartening news. After Digital Domain hit hard times, word started to spread the project was in such bad shape employees were calling it “Jack The Company Killer.” Hopefully in the time since all this news broke, some serious measures have been taken. Sadly, this new trailer would lead us to believe otherwise. Apple premiered it, since Warner Bros. wanted to show off how wonderful these CG giants appear in high-definition:

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Mark Millar

It’s amazing Mark Millar has been appointed the coveted position of handling Fox’s Marvel adaptations and has yet brag about it or give us exaggerated news stories to scoff at. Millar actually seems to be taking this gig rather seriously. Based on his still slightly cryptic plans, we can see why. Considering Millar just signed on for the job, there isn’t a whole lot of news in what he had to say about the future for Fox’s Marvel properties. If there’s anything newsworthy in what Millar had to say about the future it’s regarding the obvious spinoffs from the X-Men franchise, “Fox are thinking, ‘We’re sitting on some really awesome things here. There is another side of the Marvel Universe. Let’s try and get some cohesiveness going.’ So they brought me in to oversee that really, so to meet with the writers and directors to suggest new ways we could take this stuff and maybe new properties that could spin out of it, because the X-Men alone feels like a universe of itself; there’re so many characters, there’re so many great potential spin-off characters.” The X-Men world is currently the only universe Fox has set up, but could Daredevil work in an X-Men world? The rumor was Fox wanted an unsurprisingly “gritty” take on the man without fear, and after the tone Matthew Vaughn established with X-Men: First Class, would the two styles mesh together well?

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Bryan Singer

Recently the world was rocked with the low down, rotten, no good news that Matthew Vaughn was dropping out as the director of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and that Fox was going to have to scramble to find a replacement. The possible silver lining in this cloud was that Bryan Singer, the guy who directed the first two X-Men movies, who almost directed X-Men: First Class, and who’s been working as a very involved producer in getting X-Men: Days of Future Past together, could possibly be the guy to step in and direct the film, thus making for an easy transition. Basically the situation was, either Singer directs, or the possibilities for the film start to look very scary.

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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?

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One of the most enduring and well-liked storylines from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s legendary run on the “Uncanny X-Men” comic book was known as ‘Days of Future Past.’ It introduced readers to a post-apocalyptic future (hilariously, 2013) where the Earth is controlled by giant robots, mutants are all either killed or locked up in internment camps, and only a small handful of rebels remain. These rebels, determining that all of this badness started with the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and his subsequent martyring by anti-mutant forces, send an older version of Kitty Pryde back to the present to warn the X-Men that they must stop the assassination at all costs. Basically, the story is a cross between Back to the Future and The Terminator, with super-powered mutants, and it’s one of the front-runners for coolest thing ever. So it’s super exciting to hear that Matthew Vaughn is apparently going to be using it as the inspiration for the sequel to his 2011 reboot of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class. Confirmation of this news came from an interview IGN conducted with producer Bryan Singer. When asked what he could reveal about the First Class sequel, Singer dropped a bombshell by saying, “It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past, and it deals with aspects of that comic but also some very new things… I just don’t want to give any of it away. Matthew Vaughn will be directing […]

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Zack Snyder

Superman doesn’t look all that happy in these first two (near identical) teasers for Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you thought Bryan Singer‘s Superman was an unbearable mope, wait until you get a peak at Snyder’s, who has apparently made one of our greatest heroes in the galaxy a bearded, lonely and sad fisherman. You can’t get more “gritty” and “real” than that shocking transformation. Check both teasers out below, one with Kevin Costner narrating and one featuring Russell Crowe’s melodic grumbling.

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Last week, the utterly shocking news broke that not only was Warner Bros. pursuing a Justice League movie, but it also was in no way at all ever influenced by the unbridled financial success of Marvel’s The Avengers. We can all believe that, can’t we? After all, we read it on the internet. With Man of Steel coming out next year and a no-brainer Batman reboot coming now that Christopher Nolan’s movies are wrapping up this summer, this is an opportunity for Warner Bros. and DC to set a new stage. Plus, with adaptations of The Flash and Lobo, and the potential for a Green Lantern reboot, Warner Bros. and DC have things laid out for them to work out very similar to the pre-Avengers line of films. But this is Hollywood, and so many things can go potentially wrong with a project like this. Here are seven ways Warner Bros. can avoid a potential disaster as they develop this film series.

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Boiling Point

John Carter lightly transported itself into theaters this past weekend, securing a relatively meager $30m opening domestically, though it managed to secure another $70m internationally. While I will eventually make a defense of the economics at play here, it is hard to argue that John Carter isn’t a domestic failure, considering it came in second to The Lorax, which debuted a full week earlier. On top of that, John Carter has a suspected $250m budget with marketing costs guestimated in the $100m range, for a total investment of around $350m. The critics have been somewhat kind to the civil war veteran’s debut – while the average review seems to be “it’s alright,” there have certainly been some hyperbolic highs and very few hyperbolic lows. Consensus is you’ll probably think the movie is okay, but you might want to wait for DVD. Scattered among those are bold claims that film will live on with your children as a classic, which are probably a bit off the reservation. There is little doubt that in at least several ways John Carter failed, ways that were easily avoidable and ways that make me fairly angry with the system.

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Last summer’s X-Men: First Class breathed some necessary life back into the superhero franchise, thanks to a stylistically cool film, an up-and-coming cast, and some generally energetic direction from Matthew Vaughn. While I don’t think anyone was particularly worried about Vaughn coming back to helm the film’s inevitable sequel, Deadline Warsaw has gone ahead and confirmed that Vaughn is indeed on to direct, with Bryan Singer back to produce. Their post also confirms that Simon Kinberg is set to script the film (news we’ve known about since November), which will likely be the film’s greatest hurdle, as Kinberg has yet to impress me with films like Jumper and the first Sherlock Holmes. Next up, he’s got two projects coming out that I cannot even remotely gather interest in – This Means War and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. He also helped script X-Men: The Last Stand, which was decidedly not good, but at least he has familiarity with his characters. Paired with Singer and Vaughn, who both have great affection for the franchise, this next X-Men could shake out just fine.

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Did you not already get your fill of the Jack and the Beanstalk myth from this year’s Puss in Boots? Good, because Bryan Singer has his own (live-action) take on the tale, and the results look to be similarly cartoonish. Listen, you try to make magic beans look menacing while also crafting a giant goddamn beanstalk that pops up out of the ground without it looking totally bizarre and silly, okay? Oh, you did already? Oh. Oh, that looks nice! While there was a fair bit of buzz around Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer before the film blossomed into existence (see what I did there?) mainly regarding Singer talking about the project for over two years, casting rumors as to who would be starring as the titular Jack (Aaron Johnson and Andrew Garfield were both talked about before the role went to another superhero kiddo, X-Men: First Class‘s Nicholas Hoult), and a delay that pushed the film back almost a year, news on the project has been surprisingly scarce since it started filming earlier this year. So what’s the finished result of the classic tale reimagined going to look like? Well, if you believe this trailer, a bit like a cross between Puss and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Check out the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, complete with its own big-eyed orange kitty (seriously), after the break.

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It’s one thing when we’re talking about Alfred Hitchcock having a walk-through in every single one of his films, including one that exclusively takes place on a lifeboat (he appears in a newspaper ad for that one). Sure it’s eccentric but it’s not surprising because, well, they’re his films and he can appear in them as he pleases. What does strike me as weird is when a director shows up totally unexpected in someone else’s film. Usually there is a good reason – either they are producing the film or friends with the cast. However despite the later explanation, it’s still a bit jarring to see, say… the director of Kill Bill in an Adam Sandler comedy…

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