When it comes to making X-Men movies, nobody on Earth has the clout of Bryan Singer. He was the man put in charge of the direction of the franchise when it began all the way back in 2000; he made one of the best comic book movies of all time when he made X2: X-Men United in 2003; and earlier this year he introduced the series to its biggest critical and box office success yet with X-Men: Days of Future Past. With this established record it makes all the sense in the world to bring him back to guide the series into the future, and now that's exactly what 20th Century Fox is doing.
Deadline is now reporting that Fox has closed a deal with Bryan Singer that will see the filmmaker return to the X-Men franchise and direct X-Men: Apocalypse. While this is the first we've heard about any kind of confirmation of a signed contract, the director has spent months as the frontrunner for the gig. After all, it was Singer himself who announced the title of the new X-Men film and its target 2016 release all the way back in December. He has also played a huge role in the development of the script, as he had a big hand in cracking the story alongside Simon Kinberg (who is penning the screenplay), Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris.
Of course, there is a very simple explanation as to why it took so long for the deal between the Singer and the studio to get signed. For most of the year the director has been dealing with a scandal involving accusations of sexual abuse, and there were many who believed that the case would lead Fox to look in a different direction for their X-Men: Apocalypse helmer. In August, however, the charges ended up being dropped, which presumably reopened the door for negotiation.
Set in 1983, X-Men: Apocalypse will largely be centering on the superhero cast introduced in X-Men: First Class, (including James McAvoy's Professsor X, Michael Fassbender's Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult's Beast) but is also expected to include Hugh Jackman's Wolverine as well as younger versions of original trilogy characters like Jean Grey, Storm and Cyclops. As the title of the feature suggests, the movie will be seeing the eponymous heroes facing off against their greatest opponent yet in Apocalypse, a mutant from ancient Egypt with incredible powers and the desire to bring about his own special version of Armageddon. The film is currently scheduled to be released on May 27, 2016, meaning that production will likely be starting up next year and that we will be hearing some big casting announcements in the next few months.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.