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Bryan Singer will move from directing to producing X-Men: First Class to enable 20th Century Fox to move quickly on the film, which the studio hopes to release next year, Deadline reports.
That means we could see a 2011 movie slate with Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America and X-Men: First Class — plus Green Lantern, courtesy of Warner Bros.
Singer, who directed the first two films in the X-Men franchise, announced in December that he had signed on to direct First Class (he’s also rumored to helm the sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine). However, according to Deadline, Fox is so pleased with the First Class script Jamie Moss (Street Kings) wrote from Singer’s treatment that the studio wants to push forward. But Singer is tied up this summer with Jack the Giant Killer, so he’ll join Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg as a producer.
“Last December, Singer agreed to direct the First Class prequel after the studio sparked to his detailed treatment,” Deadline’s Mike Fleming wrote, “with the studio knowing full well Singer would likely make the other movie first. The willingness to wait changed when execs flipped for Moss’s script.”
Singer told the Los Angeles Times last week that while the prequel will deal with the early days of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the focus will be on the relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto.
“Just doing younger mutants is not enough,” Singer told the newspaper. “The story needs to be more than that. I love the relationship between Magneto and Xavier, these two men who have diametrically opposite points of view but still manage to be friends — to a point. They are the ultimate frenemies.”