To put it bluntly, Matthew Vaughn didn't have the most pleasant shooting schedule on "X-Men: First Class." With about ten months from shoot to screen, the director was ridiculously hard pressed for time, and even found himself cycling through five cinematographers on the tumultuous shoot. January Jones famously joked, “Poor (director) Matthew Vaughn is going to have to edit it in three days. That’s been a blast. We’ve all had so much fun making that movie. I think it was unrealistic for them to think they were going to make such a huge movie in whatever we had — two months or something. So of course we went over [schedule]." It's not exactly an ideal situation, and perhaps Vaughn has seen the writing on the wall for "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
Vaughn has stepped down from the director's chair for the highly anticipated sequel. It's unclear what the reasons are at this point, and it would seem he would've had a bigger production schedule this time around, with an early 2013 start planned. But he's not throwing in the towel completely. Vaughn will take a producer role on the picture, and will direct another movie instead for Fox, where he happens to be eyeing a couple of projects ("Superior" and "The Secret Service") from their new creative consultant Mark Millar (convenient).
But fans, don't be too worried. Bryan Singer is apparently on top of the studio shortlist to take over the gig. And why not? He's still the most beloved helmer of the any pictures in the franchise, he knows the world inside out, and it's the kind of replacment that would make supergeeks sigh with relief. But it's one thing to produce, and another to direct, and with his own "Jack: The Giant Killer" already looking a bit like a miss, he might want to jump back on the winning train for another hit.
Either way, it's a rather sudden shock, but there's still enough time for the studio to recover and find someone new. Should Singer come back? Who do you want to see replace Vaughn? [Deadline]