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

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.

“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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