The X-Men franchise is the oldest and longest-running superhero franchise to date, beating out even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the first X-Men film premiered in 2000. That would be exhausting for anyone, and for director/executive producer Bryan Singer, taking on the franchise has been a mammoth task.
X-Men was Singer's brainchild — he directed and co-wrote X-Men, X2, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse with Simon Kinberg, and served as producer for First Class. It's no surprise then, that Singer has recently announced that he'll be taking a break from the franchise. But it's not permanent. Probably.
In the wake of X-Men: Apocalypse's release, Singer expressed to the LA Times his desire to pursue other projects:
"Perhaps as a consultant, as a producer, even as a director, I could see myself returning in the future. Just right now, once this one is done, I’d like to do something really different."
Singer has toyed around with other films before, like Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer, but much of his focus has been wrapped up in X-Men. It seems as though he now wants to work on something new.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to us, really, as Singer also told Empire that he thought of Apocalypse as the conclusion to the current X-Men trilogy:
"Abondoning the franchise is not something I think about. But I could not roll into another X-Men movie tomorrow. And I hope not to. I hope to take a break."
So, what does this mean for the franchise? It seems likely that Singer will continue to act as a producer for any subsequent X-Men films, while taking a back seat as far as the directing is concerned. This could be good or bad for the franchise — his last break gave us The Last Stand (bad) and First Class (good).
It could also mean that Fox is moving away from the X-Men team-up movies being the backbone of the franchise. Future mutant movies could well be more of an anthology format, with multiple different teams like the New Mutants and X-Force. Then of course there's Deadpool, who has proven beyond a doubt that he can carry his own franchise.
The X-Men have come a long way from their first big-screen adaptation, sparking a vast franchise that reaches beyond Professor Xavier's team. Even if Singer does step away from X-Men for a while, it seems certain that the franchise will survive, and we might be heading into a bold new future. Which means Singer can probably take that well-deserved break.
What other mutant movies would you like to see?
[Source: LA Times, Empire's May print issue]