Among the many headlines Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, has generated recently – from the kick start of a new Tolkein trilogy to Jackson’s return to Middle-earth for the first time since claiming a Best Picture Oscar for Return of the King -- the one that’s juiciest has to be the decision to present his fantasy imagery in 48 frames per second. The Hobbit becomes one of the first high-profile, mainstream theatrical films to screen in that format (which speeds up the number of images passing through a frame in a given time span, creating a more realistic look). From what we are hearing, it likely will not be one of the last.

In fact, X-Men director Bryan Singer tweeted recently that he was experiencing “serious frame rate envy” after his screening of The Hobbit, which doesn’t mean much until you pair that news with another bit of information from Magneto, himself, Sir Ian McKellen. While doing Hobbit press, McKellen tells Malone’s Movie Minute that Singer attended the premiere with James Cameron and was very impressed with the technology Jackson used to make the vision come to life. So much so that he might use 3D and 48 fps for Days of Future Past.

These are suggestions. And it’s possible that Singer and McKellen, at the time, weren’t aware of the generally unfavorable opinions expressed about the presentation, which turned the Hobbit into something between a BBC television production and a daytime soap opera. That’s not to say the tools can’t be improved in time. And if Fox sees the potential for profit in shooting the X-Men sequel in 3D and 48 fps, then it’s bound to happen. Most of us haven’t seen The Hobbit in Jackson’s preferred format yet. It opens everywhere on Dec. 14.

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