Just when it looked like the Hollywood bean counters couldn't stoop much lower, you get this bleak bit of news.
X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has been embroiled in child molestation allegations, from plaintiff Michael Egan and others, for the past two months but, despite pulling out of the last leg of his promotional duties, little has been said regarding Fox's planned next instalment, or even whether Singer's position might be in dispute.
X-Men: Apocalypse is set for a summer 2016 release but now it seems that, all of a sudden, the studio are beginning to get cold feet. As a source for Radar online grimly puts it:
They don’t really care whether he’s innocent or guilty — they’re only concerned with the bottom line, which is giving him another $250 to $350 million to make Apocalypse. There have been talks about who else he’d let direct it, with him producing, but those led to heated arguments and walk outs.
The producers, it seems, are not so worried about the case, merely whether a court date would disrupt production or worse, the film's delicately scrutinised release date.
They’re also looking at how far back they can push production without moving the release date, if any lawsuit did get a court date
It should come as no great surprise, but it is a sorry state of affairs all the same. The art form is reliant on capitol after all so lets, for a brief moment, consider what would happen if it did all go to shit. Who would Fox bring on in Singer's stead?
Let's take a moment and mull it over.
Jones' first two features, in our eyes at least, were both totally solid, intelligent pieces of sci-fi. Ziggy Stardust junior (although he probably wouldn't appreciate that) is hot property in Movieland right now and shooting on his latest film has reportedly just wrapped, so we can presume he would be available too.
On the other hand, Moon and Source Code were remarkably contained pieces of work- both only focusing on tiny groups of characters in the most secluded spaces imaginable- so if Apocalypse is to be the sprawling global disaster flick we expect it to be, Jones will have to show he can change his game.
If only he had some sort of sprawling ensemble RPG video-game adaptation on the cards...
Oh, hang on!
Could you imagine it...
At the risk of insulting the sorry old format, you wouldn't be too surprised to find the Roland Emmerich DVD box-set laying around somewhere in Apocalypse's dusty sarcophagus; in fact, the two city wreckers would probably get along just fine.
Just imagine an Emmerich X-Men movie: all that destruction; all that chaos; not to mention the most impassioned telepathic speech you've ever heard (thought?)...
Emmerich does have the rather uncharacteristic sounding Stonewall- as well as the totally characteristic ID Forever Part I & II- on the cards for 2016, so we shouldn't have to worry too much about this ever coming to pass.
All that said, however, the White House has thus far been visited twice in the X-Men franchise and managed, both times, to stay largely intact. Maybe it's high time we let the old German loose.
Dear oh dear...
Of course, we jest. It would surely be terrible.
If it turns out that none of the above- or anyone else in Hollywood for that matter- happen to be available- and presuming Domhnall Gleeson has a few months off in between J.J. Abrams' Star Wars films- why not let the young Irishman take a crack at it?
We'd be more than happy to see him have the whole thing play out in his head, if this early clip of Gleeson from Your Bad Self is anything to go by:
It could work... right?
The obvious choice. The only director- aside from Singer of course- to make a decent X-Men film, Vaughan rebooted the franchise to great effect following Brett Ratner's deservedly maligned Last Stand.
He knows his cast; we imagine he knows where they're headed; and if his next project, Kingsman: The Secret Service, doesn't sweep too many awards, he'll surely be available too.
An obvious choice to steady the ship, but who do you think would be best prepared? Head on down to the comments below.
No matter what happens, it seems, [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) will open May 27th 2016