Bryan Singer on Deadpool in the ‘X-Men’ Universe, Competing with Marvel and DC

Bryan Singer on 'Deadpool' in 'X-Men,'
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The X-Men can compete with the cinematic universes being assembled by franchise factories like Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment, director Bryan Singer told Variety.

“It’s every bit as large,” Singer said of the world, which has so far encompassed nine films, while doing the press rounds for “X-Men: Apocalypse” in London. “And now that we’ve altered the timeline [with 2014’s ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’], there are endless possibilities.”

One of those possibilities is bringing the wise-cracking Deadpool into the fold after the character proved popular enough to top $760 million in global box office receipts, with a domestic take ($362 million) that shockingly topped DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” stateside. But as much of a no-brainer as that would appear to be, it’s not a simple equation.

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“If you take a character as irreverent and meta as Deadpool and connect him to something as grounded and serious as X-Men, you have to do it carefully and gently,” Singer said. “When you drop them all in together it can be a disaster. That has to be done delicately, but there’s plenty of room to do it.”

One of the ways in could be through an “X-Force” movie — the paramilitary superhero spinoff group that Deadpool has called home over the years. Singer very specifically brought the title up to his Fox bosses once upon a time, and “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds has said a project centered on the group is a priority.

But beyond that, the X-franchise has already begun to creep out into the world of television with series like “Hellfire” and “Legion” (which are being produced with Marvel). Singer serves as executive producer on both shows, and said there’s plenty of room to grow the brands on the small screen.

“I think the underbelly [could be explored],” Singer said. “There’s always something interesting about a school that’s got a military aspect beneath its classrooms. Is there another layer to all of that? Is there another layer to the Hellfire Club? The idea of, ‘Who’s running the world?’ — that’s something that was touched upon in ‘First Class’ but has yet to be fully explored. It just has to be explored in a very gentle, methodical way. And I’ve seen it go haywire. I’m not going to be specific where I believe it has. The audience will tell you. But when it’s done right, it all can connect.”

It’s unclear as to whether Singer will be directly involved going forward, however. There have been rumors that he’s planning to leave the world he created way back in 2000, particularly as star Hugh Jackman has said he’s finished with the Wolverine character after one more film. But the director seems too invested still to fully let it go.

“When you spend nearly two decades in a universe, to simply say, ‘I’m done,’ or, ‘I’m going to abandon it,’ just wouldn’t make sense to me,” he said. “I’m very connected to this universe and a lot of these actors, and also the characters, whomever plays them. So never say never.”

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  1. Can someone tell Bryan Singer that the characters in X-Men are actually CHARACTERS and not just their powers? The irreverence towards the source material in the X-Men films totally makes irrelevant whether they are actually good movies or not. Fans want X-Men movies, not these bastardized blasphemous pseudo-X-Men films.

    • Earl M says:

      I never read the comics, before seeing some of the movies, to make comparison.I liked what he did with the first movie, visual and the story. These scriptwriters, directors etc… make derivatives of stories/characters to “sell” studios on the idea that they are talented, and can “create” content that people from all demographics will come and see. This is the reason you never get a “real” comic book- type story (they assume the comic reader is a bit too niche I suppose to truly honor that vision).

  2. Al says:

    Bryan Singer shouldn’t be directing, he can definitely be a writer or producer. Matthew Vaughn or Tim Miller should take the lead.

  3. ..please don’t let Singer near anything else..the guy is the worst director….I always wonder how good could the X men really be…then you just watch something form marvel and wish they would take over….aside for his well publicized activities which belong in the Very Old Hollywood.

  4. Defraz says:

    Would love Deadpool and Cable to turn up at the end credits of X-Men Apocolypse.tie in 80’s X-Men,current day Deadpool and future Cable

  5. MCUsucks says:

    Lol MCU fanboys hate Singer biggest he is the biggest threat to their precious kiddie MCU. Thank God we have him the X-Men films are better than all the garbage films of the MCU. I hope Singer makes an Alpha Fight,X-Factor and 10 more X-Men movies before he leaves. I will watch them all 10 times just to keep the rights with FOX.

    • jcarwell says:

      And here you are, the Singer fanboy. Singer is in no way any threat to the MCU. He’s a hack and his “vision” of the X-Men is why the movies are inferior in terms of character personalities, relationships, and story. At least the MCU movies are close to the source material than any of Singer’s films. Fox doesn’t give a shit about the fans or the comics, they’re all about making a quick buck. Case in point: Fantastic Four.

    • Is that what it is? It’s bizarre. The X-Men movies are perfectly fine. X2 might be one of the finest comic book adaptations every made.

      • EricJ says:

        X2 intentionally went over the “too gay” cliff (the Professor actually -threatens- the president with “We’re here, get used to it”?–Not in any Marvel universe), once Singer thought he had the franchise all to himself.
        He’s backed off a bit on the Personal Metaphorical Soapboxing since then, and stuck to the comics for Apocalypse and DOFP, but….you can’t NOT look at his handling of Marvel lore a bit askance after that, watch him like a 2-yo. holding a Ming vase, and wonder when he’s going to jump in with the angry Pride Day remember-Stonewall banners again.
        And that heretical Munsters remake didn’t exactly built up the fan trust level for giving Singer established properties to work with, either.

        Singer at least has enough respect for the MCU, or at least the old 90’s cartoon series, to earn the nickname of “the Zack Snyder of Fox”, but similarly, we are wishing that Fox would take a few stops off their past-hit directorial money-train…

      • You’re a homophobe. Got it.

  6. Leon says:

    I really don’t like any of his movies. I think he is a complete hack that either got lucky, or was rich, or had connected relatives. However I find his point about deadpool pretty dead on. You do need to be careful because (i know for the generation wuss out there they don’t get this) R rated films such as deadpool cant translate over to a PG-13 movie so well. Usually when a sequel or a series stops being Rated R and goes PG-13 it eventually becomes lame and insignificant. Examples Die Hard, Terminator, Whole 10 yards, Blues brothers 2000. Anyways you’re stuck in a place where you won’t satisfy either audience. The babies like their pg 13 but deadpool fans like the rated R. So it becomes who do you upset the least. And thats never a good place to start.

    Also no one gives credit to deadpool for not being released in china. That why a lot of these movies are pg-13. (which is totally lame Hollywood!!!!). If it was released in china it would have hit a billion dollars.

    My opinion Makes all movies unrated and ditch the ratings system.

  7. hell no! “… grounded and serious as X-Men…” really!? Bryan Singer you suck >:(

  8. kay says:

    Xmen movies?? there are xmen movies. The whole entire time i thought i was watching many Wolverine and Mystique movies.

  9. TELEMIKUS says:

    YEAH, UHH NO, singer should just leave. It is clear he has no idea what the xmen or “x universe” is about. I cannot figure out how he was chosen to come back to direct these movies after the first 3 were so stupid and off. Where are the ACTUAL uniforms? The ACTUAL team missions. Why isn’t cyclops the leader? why is his brother on the set at all? Singer has no real respect for this team.

  10. Jeremiah says:

    I’ve always thought an X-Factor procedural, following Alex Summers (Havok) and his co-horts as a government sanctioned mutant group defending and investigating superhuman activites would work well on a streaming service or cable. Maybe FX. Just keep Lucas Till and you can cast a bunch of others to fill out the cast, to keep it grounded in the movie x-verse.

    Jeremiah

  11. malcolm says:

    Theres huge potential to the X-menverse but where’s the ambition to use it …Fox has the rights to a large part of Marvels content not just the X-men stories but all of the Fantastic Fours has well,all the characters and most of Marvels better villians..
    They could be using the Skull,Shiiar,Dr Doom,Galactus and a hell of a lot more unfortunately they havnt(so far) had the guts to use them properly ..maybe Apocalypse will prove me wrong but I just think they need to break out of the endless Earthbound story-lines and use there full potential…

  12. Chachi says:

    Please, Never ever involve Brian Singer with Deadpool OR X-Force

  13. The idea of Singer trying to handle something that comedic and meta is terrifying. His X-Men films are too bland in humor to include someone like that. Most of his humor is situational but “Deadpool” required being able to incorporate literally jumping out at the audience while it simultaneously being able to mix with the situation in the film. The “funny” moments in his X-Men films have always felt forced. THey need a director who can actually mix the comic book elements better. He’s kidding himself if he thinks he can compete with Marvel Studios though. Half of X-Men’s most popular stories are because they interact with the rest of the Marvel universe…which they can’t do legally in the films. ONly a handful of the X-Men could hold films on their own and how many times can you keep doing the “Mutants fighting extinction” schtick. Marvel has a much larger palette of themes it can do because of it’s array of properties. Captain America has dealt with government surveillance and war, Iron Man war mongering, Thor covers Norse mythology, and Hulk has psychological elements. Not to mention Marvel might finally come to it’s senses and do a Black Widow film so you got a spy picture right there. But most importantly, and this is big…Fox won’t let the source material speak for itself. Instead of covering Wolverine’s Japanese romance in more detail (One that deeply shattered him), we get a send-off at the end of “The Wolverine”. Instead of exploring Scott and Jean’s relationship more so her rise to Phoenix is all that more painful to watch, because they are too busy pushing a Logan/Jean thing, that when Scott died we didn’t care. And the prequels are visual spectacles but the stories are ultimately just repeating the original trilogy. This new one even reminds me of “The Last Stand” a little. Substitute “Magneto working with Phoenix” to “Magneto working with Apocalypse”, and “Logan takes over the team in Professor X’s absence” to “Mystique takes over the team in Professor X’s absence” and you will find yourself mind-boggled. You can try and dress it up all you want, but anyone actually watches the movies for content-value should realize that they repeat themselves A LOT. And that’s just tiring if you want more than safe-choices.

  14. JOE S HILL says:

    Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel’s “X-MEN” films,and their new hit,”DEADPOOL” are sure money making hits for the studio,,but this business about Hugh Jackman hanging-up his “claws”,,i don’t know about that,since doing the role in 2000,has made him a superior popular in the series,,and having somebody like Tom Hardy playing “Wolverine”,,BAD casting!! that’s like saying that Robert Downey.Jr
    won’t do anymore “IRON MAN” movies,,who’ll replace these people? and while i can understand Jackman’s reasoning here,he’d be foolish to pass on the Wolverine role,because fiscally speaking,that’s serious money! maybe he’s afraid that he’ll wind-up like Adam West,after “BATMAN” ended in 1968-but the actor is already an established professional,and he’ll be in high demand in this business-but not playing “Wolverine,,big mistake! that role should be a major cash cow,and to not want that kind of money,is insane!

    • Not to mention it’s very different nowadays. It used to be a franchise would define an actor’s career, but most actors now can balance a franchise and a signature character with a more intimate acting career. Heck Chris Evans, who no one would call a great actor although he’s better than people give him credit for, has been in films like “Snowpiercer” and “Sunshine” in his spare time giving really good performances when he’s not doing a great job as Captain America (Can’t imagine anyone else in that role either and because he’s younger than Downey Jr. I hope he sticks around longer in MCU).

  15. BillUSA says:

    There’s something about breaking the 4th wall I find unappealing but I can’t explain exactly why. That alone is why I haven’t seen “Deadpool”, and would be the same for any movie which relied on that aspect of film making to any such degree.

    • 2ewgunnciz says:

      Deadpool not breaking the 4th wall wouldn’t be Deadpool. It’s what he does in the comics. I could use less crowded theaters anyway.

  16. Please continue on making X-Men movies until I die :)

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