Last week, it was reported that "X-Men: First Class" director Matthew Vaughan declined to return for the sequel, "Days of Future Past." Fox's frontrunner to replace Vaughan was none other than "X-Men" and "X2" director Bryan Singer. Deadline confirms Singer has now closed a deal to helm "X-Men: Days of Future Past," heralding his return to 20th Century Fox's X-Men franchise.
The choice of Singer as director for "Days of Future Past" makes perfect sense, even beyond his previous experience directing "X-Men" -- Singer served as producer for "X-Men: First Class." Additionally, he was the first to confirm the sequel's title as "Days of Future Past" earlier this year.
"It's going to be very ambitious," Singer said in August. "It's called 'Days of Future Past.' It deals with aspects of that comic, but also some very new things -- I just don't want to give any of it away. I think there's a strong desire to broaden out the universe. I mean, the X-Men Universe is every bit, on its own, as big as the Marvel Universe, and I think it's time to reach out and explore it, and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films -- as Marvel has done so well."
With Singer in the director's chair, Vaughan is reportedly near a deal to produce "Days of Future Past" alongside screenwriter Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner. The script by Kinberg is complete and "X-Men: First Class" stars Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence are already on board for the sequel. Based on the fan favorite, time-traveling X-Men comic story of the same name by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, "Days of Future Past" centers around a dystopian future where mutants and superheroes alike have all but been hunted to extinction by Sentinels. The film is slated for release July 18, 2014.