We're in the home stretch now as Fox prepares to release “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” which means we're going to get pounded by publicity materials between now and the actual release date.
This new behind-the-scenes feature that was just released deals primarily with Bryan Singer and his reasons for jumping back into the director's chair for the latest entry in one of the longest-running of the modern superhero series. Singer's first two films paved the way for much of what we see now, and when he left the series, it wasn't completely voluntary.
While I understand how attractive the chance to revisit Richard Donner's “Superman” must have been to Singer, I think it was a mistake for him to leave the “X-Men” series before he made the film that he planned to follow-up “X2” with, and I'm not sure the series has ever truly recovered from that moment.
Narratively, the momentum that they were building in the series up to that point hit a brick wall with the undercooked “The Last Stand,” and what makes that film so frustrating is that you can see in it the things that could have been part of a really strong follow-up to the first two movies. It's also weird that Singer moved on to imitate another filmmaker's voice even as Fox brought in Brett Ratner, whose whole career has been built on his ability to mimic other filmmakers. Just because he was able to make a film that looked like the Singer movies didn't mean it worked as a whole, and I wonder if Singer would have been able to solve that movie's story issues if he'd stayed aboard.
Now that he's back, I'm curious to see how he picks up the threads that Matthew Vaughn (along with Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, and Jane Goldman) laid down in “First Class.” The most exciting part of this new movie conceptually is the collision between these two very different visions of the series. Singer talks a good game in this piece, but will he turn out to be the right guy to bring it all together?
We'll find out when “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” arrives in theaters May 23, 2014.