Currently on a publicity tour for "Jack the Giant Slayer" and working to bring together "X-Men: Days of Future Past," the next leg of the reinvigorated X-Men franchise, Bryan Singer has spoken of how difficult he found it letting them go the first time around, when he departed the franchise (of which he directed the first two installments) in favor of rival superhero picture "Superman Returns." In an interview with the London-based Metro (via Cinema Blend) newspaper, the 47-year-old director of "The Usual Suspects" and more recently of the Tom Cruise Nazi assassination pic "Valkyrie," said:
“I’ve never told anybody this, but I found the whole letting go of the characters for 'X-Men 3' so traumatizing that a friend, who shall remain nameless, had to take me to a secret location and show me the reels so far, just so I could make my peace with it.”
While the fairly rote "X-Men: The Last Stand" probably didn’t do much to make him feel better, it’s worth pointing out that it was Singer’s own scheduling conflicts with "Superman Returns" that led to his withdrawal from the project. And Singer has his own regrets there for when it comes to his poorly-received DC Comics picture; he tells Metro, "I really loved the old Richard Donner film and I was too reverential with the material. That, and I tried to put too much in. There wasn’t just a love triangle, there was a love quadrilogy."
Still, with the filmmaker back with the X-Men, 'Days of Future Past' looks to be bringing the franchise full-circle, uniting Singer-era actors like Patrick Stewart and Halle Berry with many of those from Matthew Vaughn’s more youthful cast. It’s currently in pre-production ahead of an anticipated July 18, 2014 release date.