‘X-Men’ Updates: ‘Wolverine’ Set in the Future, ‘Days of Future Past’ Director is History

Hugh Jackman’s The Wolverine reveals when it takes place, and X-Men: Days of Future Past loses its director.

X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has vacated the director’s chair on the film’s sequel, Days of Future Past. And it looks like Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies more than a decade ago, may replace him.

While no reason was given for Vaughn’s departure, Deadline reports that he will still serve as producer on the First Class sequel. (Vaughn also helped write the story treatment with First Class and X3 screenwriter Simon Kinberg.)

Singer tops 20th Century Fox’s list of replacement directors, as the former X-Men director is currently producing the sequel. (Singer also produced First Class.)

This is not the first time Vaughn exited an X-Men movie mid-stream. He famously departed production on 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Brett Ratner stepped in to helm that sequel.

If Fox wants to keep their July 18, 2014 release date, they will have to find a new director soon. Singer’s affiliation with the production and the overall X-Men film series makes him the most obvious choice. We’ll update you as the story develops…

Empire Magazine debuted a new image from the highly-anticipated The Wolverine, revealing that the popular X-Men character will indeed wield his bone claws.

For the uninitiated: Wolverine is a mutant distinguished by an incredible healing factor and his aforementioned claws. Those claws – along with the rest of his skeleton – were coated in indestructible adamantium in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a prequel that director James Mangold’s film reportedly does not acknowledge. Surprisingly, The Wolverine will however acknowledge the original X-Men trilogy, serving as a distant sequel to those films.

“Where [The Wolverine] sits in the universe of the films is after them all,” Mangold revealed in an interview with Empire. “Jean Grey is gone, most of the X-Men are disbanded or gone, so there’s a tremendous sense of isolation for him.”

Spy photos from the set, involving Wolverine’s travels in Japan and glimpses of a WWII Japanese POW camp, lead to speculation that the movie would indeed be a prequel of sorts. The reveal of the bone claws implies that either flashbacks will be used at some point in the story, or that Wolverine has been stripped of his adamantium.

In any case, Mangold believes it’s essential for his film to exist outside the current continuity:

“That’s something that for me was very important, that I land in a very specific place in his timeline,” says Mangold. “I wanted to be able to tell the story without the burden of handing it off to a film that already exists and having to conform to it.”

“The ideas of immortality reign very heavily in this story and the burden of immortality weighs heavily on Logan. For me that’s such an interesting part of Logan’s character that is nearly impossible to explore if you have a kind of league or team movie.”

Does this new info make you want to see The Wolverine when it hits theatres July 26, 2013? Weigh in below, and check out a featurette about X-Men: First Class.

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