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Singer to Produce, Not Direct, Next X-Men Pic

Deadline New York has reported that Bryan Singer, writer-director of the first two X-Men films, is joining Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg as producers on the planned 2011 release of X-Men: First Class.

Deadline New York has reported that Bryan Singer, writer-director of the first two X-Men films, is joining Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg as producers on the planned 2011 release of X-Men: First Class.

According to the report, 20th Century Fox was pleased enough with the Jamie Moss script, written from Singer’s treatment, that they want to push the film’s release up to 2011, hoping to make it the first film of a trilogy.  The film will focus on Xavier and Magneto, giving the producers the opportunity to take the films in new directions, similar to JJ Abrams’ recent Star Trek effort.

Singer can’t direct because he’s already working on Jack the Giant Killer, a big budget CG production that might film in 3D.  He had agreed to direct the X-Men prequel based on the studio’s understanding that he would first direct Jack.  That changed with the studio’s excitement over Moss’ script.  Warner Bros., the studio behind Jack, worried Singer might finalize a deal to direct First Class, locked him up on Jack, not wanting to be put into the situation they put Fox in when they signed Singer for Superman Returns while Fox vacillated on signing him on for X-Men 3.  Fox’s anger apparently has subsided enough for Singer to come back on board for the First Class project. 

It was also reported that Christopher McQuarrie has written a strong draft of a Wolverine sequel, which could begin production this fall after Hugh Jackman finishes his work on Real Steel.

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