WriteThru: So here is the latest on 20th Century Fox’s efforts to lock in a director for X-Men: First Class, which will begin production late summer or early fall. I’m told that Samuel Bayer, who directed the weekend’s top grossing film A Nightmare On Elm Street, will meet with the studio tomorrow, and joins a list of filmmakers that includes Timur Bekmambetov, Louis Leterrier, David Slade, Daniel Espinosa and Carl Erick Rinsch. A decision will be made in the next week or so on the director who’ll start production late summer or early fall. The studio became receptive to making a directing star when Bryan Singer moved from director to producer, and Espinosa and Rinsch fit that bill. Espinosa directed Snabba Cash, Rinsch was in line for the Alien prequel job until Ridley Scott decided he himself wanted to direct it. The other three have solid hitmaking credentials: Bekmambetov needs to make a film while the Wanted sequel sorts itself out after Angelina Jolie declined to reprise, Letterier has stepped off returning for a sequel to Clash of the Titans, and then there’s Slade, who followed the thrilling 30 Days of Night with the upcoming The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Last week, things were looking good with Matthew Vaughn, the Kick-Ass director who previously had gone far down the road with Fox before dropping out of X-Men: Last Stand, the film that Brett Ratner ultimately directed. Vaughn dropped out of contention last Thursday–his camp said he passed, but studio insiders denied there was an offer because the studio was so wary of going through a repeat of the last X-Men go-around. Bryan Singer, who’s producing with Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg, hatched the idea for the film. Fox feels it has the potential for a filmmaker that Star Trek provided JJ Abrams, by taking a storied franchise back to the beginning. That’s why it’s a job to die for.
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