The X-Men film franchise is in a period of renaissance as of late, and the man who started it all will be back behind the camera for the next installment, titled X-Men: Apocalypse. Bryan Singer has reportedly come to terms with 20th Century Fox to direct the new film, a direct sequel to this summer’s popular X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer, who also directed the first and second X-Men films, wasn’t a lock to helm Apocalypse as he was battling sexual assault claims from Michael Egan, as originally reported by The Inquisitr. The claims have since been dismissed, according to Variety, freeing Singer to concentrate on getting the gang of mutants back together, including Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellan, and presumably Hugh Jackman to battle arguably the X-Men’s greatest foe in En Sabah Nur, better known as Apocalypse.
In the comic books, En Sabah Nur is an centuries old Egyptian who developed the “X” gene, making him the world’s first mutant. Apocalypse is ancient and powerful, and he has at his disposal four equally powerful lieutenants known as the Four Horseman. The character and the next film was teased in the end-credits stinger of Days of Future Past.
Bryan Singer has made a successful career out of compelling films, starting with 1995’s The Usual Suspects. In 1998, he followed up that film with the controversial Apt Pupil, which was based off a Stephen King novella and featured a teenage boy (Brad Renfro) discovering his neighbor (Ian McKellan) was a high ranking Nazi. The X-Men films started in 2000 and skyrocketed Singer to superstar status in the world of big-budgeted comic book movies. He left the franchise in 2006 to direct Superman Returns for Warner Bros., but the film failed to reignite the Superman franchise, which led Singer back to Fox and the X-Men.
Singer, who is openly gay, has come under fire before the Michael Egan charges. In 1998, underage cast members filed a civil suit against Singer for filming a shower scene in Apt Pupil and forcing the young male actors to be completely naked. The suit was later settled, but the stigma stayed with Singer, which brought the Michael Egan case under a whole new light. But now that the legal aspects are behind him, Bryan Singer can concentrate on the franchise that he essentially created and which paved the way for the more recent crop of big budgeted comic book properties to transition to film.
X-Men: Apocalypse, directed by Bryan Singer, will hit theaters in the summer of 2016.
[Image courtesy of Marvel]