Deadline is reporting that Matthew Vaughn, who directed the super excellent X-Men: First Class–as well as other fantastic films like Layer Cake and Stardust–has dropped out of directing the sequel, X-Men: First Class – Days of Future Past.
And yes, that does seem to be the official convoluted title of the film.
Who does Deadline say is on the top of the list to replace him? X-Men and X2: X-Men United director Bryan Singer. It’s the old Hollywood mutant movie switcheroo!
Vaughn will still be involved in producing X-Men: First Class – Days of Future Past and he did write the treatment. I’ve talked to someone who has read the script and they said it was excellent and confirmed that it’s another period piece: this time set in the 1980s.
Whoever Fox taps to direct the film, they need to hurry up. The cast is already in place and there’s a previous announced release date of July 18th, 2014 to hit, though that could change.
This isn’t the first time that Matthew Vaughn has dropped out of directing an X-Men movie. He was originally supposed to helm the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, but dropped out and was eventually replaced by Brett Ratner and we all know how that turned out… He also had, at one point, dropped out of directing X-Men: First Class. In addition to that, Vaughn also declined to take on the Kick-Ass sequel. This pattern of fickle filmmaking has caused someone in the iFanboy offices to comment that “he’s like the JMS of filmmakers.”
No matter who ends up replacing him, losing a filmmaker as uniquely gifted as Vaughn is going to be a blow for this franchise. How tough that blow is remains to be seen.