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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The X-Men franchise’s quality comes in waves. Back in 2000 and 2003, they kickstarted the series with the great X-Men and X-2: X-Men United films. Those two films, along with Spider-Man, helped to set a whole new benchmark against which all other superhero films would be judged.

However, with X-Men: The Last Stand, the film series took a turn for the worse. For the first time, it showed its vulnerability, and proved that yes, even the X-Men movies can end up bad when handled poorly. This trend continued with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and after films like Iron Man, audiences were becoming less and less tolerant of subpar comic book movies.

It almost seemed as though the X-Men series had run its course. However, with X-Men: First Class, Fox hired director Matthew Vaughn, and allowed him to perform a soft reboot of the series, setting the film decades in the past. The film went on to revitalize the dying franchise. However, when the next movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, went into production, Vaughn was conspicuously absent from the director’s chair.

Speaking with Uproxx, Vaughn revealed why he left the project:

“…the reason I bailed out of [X-Men: Days of Future Past] is two things: First, I respect Bryan Singer hugely and X-Men is Bryan’s world and I feel he let me play in his sandbox. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t my sandbox. I wanted my own sandbox. And, second, I didn’t want to do Days of Future Past next. I felt that one should be in a trilogy and Days of Future Past should be the finale of that story. I would have done a film in-between where you meet the young Wolverine and a new character, and then Days of Future Past became the young Wolverine and the old Wolverine and just really blow it out.”

Looking back on the series as a whole, I have to agree with him. X-Men: Days of Future Past felt like it should have been the capper to a trilogy of films rather than the second film in a second trilogy. Had we had one more film to see James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in their roles as Xavier and Magneto, it would have made the cross-cutting between them and the older cast much more impactful.

Of course, this is us looking back on something in hindsight. At this point, it’s easy for us to see this as a fact, but following Days of Future Past, capping things off with the one and only Apocalypse seemed quite fitting. At the end of the day, this does very much remind me how amazing of a storyteller Matthew Vaughn is, and how much he really brought to the table for the X-Men franchise.

We’ll have to wait and see if Simon Kinberg is able to help raise up the franchise once again after the disappointing X-Men: Apocalypse.

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SOURCE: Uproxx

  • Moby85

    What Vaughn really did with X-Men: First Class is prove that with time, proper casting, and production work these beloved superheroes *could* be adequately replaced. We saw that in how well the film was received but as that carried into Days of Future Past, we saw that these younger iterations could hold their own against the original actors in the same film.

    Yes, the notable exception would be Wolverine. I guess, but we’ve never had a chance to replace him until now. It’s possible Hugh Jackman cannot be beat – and certainly I think “Logan” will stand the test of time as one of the all-time classics in the genre. I wouldn’t necessarily bet against Wolverine being decently recast one day.

    • Mad Barchetta

      Big question for me is: would they dare recast with an actor who better fits the physical characteristics of the comic book character: short and grizzled, as opposed to tall and hunky.

      Wolverine started as a side character: lots of attitude and a rather simple moral code. He made a wonderful counterpoint to the typically Boy Scoutish types of heroes present when he was conceived. He was the guy who would call out leaders making questionable choices, do the dirty work that other heroes wouldn’t (and couldn’t in the context of the times). He wasn’t front and center, except with the primary heroes were not in the scene. He was Bones McCoy, Worf, and Han Solo rolled into one. Of course, all of that is what made him so popular that he surpassed the characters to which he was secondary.

      I’d be interested to see if Fox would ever have the guts to really focus on an develop the original primary leader couple of the the X-men, Cyclops and Marvel Girl/Phoenix, and return Wolverine to his side man status. Probably not, but it would be interesting to see it done well. You know…so something like Dark Phoenix would have some real emotional resonance.

      Because right now I am VERY worried Fox is going to screw the pooch on that story for a second time. That’s the kind of feat only Scott Buck could pull off. Don’t see him listed in the crew though, so there’s that.

      • Venomaide

        Scott Buck should be banned from even seeing a comic book.

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Would have been cool to build up the First Class group. It seemed kind of lazy to just write out half the cast. They could have told a transition story and killed off Azrael and Banshee. Or something.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer’s always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he’s always been something of a story junkie.