Now, I'm not sure if there's a way of putting this delicately.
X-Men: The Last Stand was...not great.
Hated by many fans, and largely forgotten by most in favor of the X-Men: First Class-prompted series reboot, the film has become something of a punchline - a byword for what can go horribly wrong with a beloved superhero franchise.
The bigger question, though, is what went wrong with the film in the first place? Director Brett Ratner has often been blamed, partly for his lack of affinity with the source material, and partly because most fans just...kinda don't like him.
Now, here at Moviepilot, we don't like to point the finger at any one member of a creative team - since, with any film being such a collaborative effort, both the successes and the failures of a movie are inevitably the result of hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals working together.
That being said, though, it's kind of difficult to imagine that X-Men: The Last Stand might not have been more to all of our tastes had Ratner not directed it. That's as much a result of issues with timing, studio pressure and familiarity with the material as it is Ratner himself, of course - but the suspicion remains.
And, wouldn't you know it, we can actually get a glimpse of what might have been. After all, original X-director Bryan Singer was involved in the project at its early stages, and as it turns, a whole lot of concept art was created before he headed off to make (the also unpopular) Superman Returns - and, thanks to Universo X-Men, we've got the chance to take a pretty great look at some of it.
Which means we now have a much better idea of what direction Singer would have taken the movie. And it would, from the looks of it, have been pretty darned awesome.
For instance, instead of watching the Golden Gate fall apart like this...
...we would have seen something a little more like this:
And, instead of Jean Grey glaring a lot...
...we might have had the chance to see some awesome Phoenix-style action like this:
Remember that scene with Jean and Professor X facing off with their minds?
Sure, that was one of the best moments in the movie - but it could have been a whole lot more like this:
Or, better yet, like this:
Plus, from the looks of it, we might actually have had a chance to see a far more comic-book-like take on the Phoenix force, with this...
And y'know this?
Well, that was actually totally Matthew Vaughn's fault, but even so... Look how cool X-Men: The Last Stand could have looked!
Now all we need to do is build a time machine, grab a DVD of Superman Returns, and hand it to Bryan Singer in early 2004. And then, finally, we'll be rid of Vinnie Jones as the unnecessarily-sexist Juggernaut!
Oh, and the rest of the movie would be more Awesome, too, probably...
What do you guys think? Would X-Men: The Last Stand have been better with Bryan Singer directing?