Exclusive: Bryan Singer & Nicholas Hoult on X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Earlier today, ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype had a chance to speak over the phone with director Bryan Singer and actor Nicholas Hoult about their upcoming fairy tale epic Jack the Giant Slayer. While we’re going to save those interviews for closer to the movie’s March 1 release, we eventually got around to asking both of them about X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is currently scheduled for July 18, 2014. (We also asked them about other things, some which will be of more interest to SuperHeroHype readers than others.)

Singer’s decision to return to directing the X-Men nearly ten years after X2 was certainly a big surprise for delighted fans, since he kept allowing himself to be pulled away by other projects such as Superman Returns and Jack the Giant Slayer.

Since X-Men: First Class was thought by many to be a reboot of the franchise and Singer has slowly been bringing back many of the original cast from his first two movies (as well as a few from Brett Ratner’s “The Last Stand”), the upcoming movie may be seen as a way to undo the reboot or solidify the bond between the previous four movies.

“I wrote the story for ‘First Class’ and produced it so this is a chance to not do a sequel to ‘First Class’ or a sequel to ‘X-Men 3′ but to do both I guess in a way,” Singer told us. “In ‘Days of Future Past’ the story structure is a fantastic way to do that.”

As with everyone else, we were particularly curious about how the upcoming movie was going to work in terms of continuity since there were definitely a few open questions in “First Class” about how that could eventually tie into the original X-Men. Singer explained it thusly: “It’s an origin story. I always had an idea in my mind of the history between Professor X and Magneto and ‘First Class’ was a chance to explore that history. I think we’ve done a decent job in the developing the script (for ‘Days of Future Past’) and maintaining that continuity.”

Oddly, Singer has never met Mark Millar, who was brought on by 20th Century Fox as a consultant last September. “I think he’s working with Fox to look at some other stuff,” he said when asked whether they’ve had any conversations about any more X-Men spin-off movies. “I guess they’re trying to figure stuff out. I have my own thoughts about stuff like that. ‘X-Men: First Class’ is part of that, this will be part of that but we’ll see. But perhaps he and I will discuss that in the future. I’m just really focused on this movie at the moment.”

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your opinion of it), development on Singer’s planned Battlestar Galactica will have to wait. “I have that one on hold for a moment, so hopefully, I’d love to be able to get back to that, but for now I’m just focused on this X-Men business.”

Earlier in the day, we spoke to Hoult, who also told us his thoughts about returning as Hank McCoy in X-Men: Days of Future Past:

“I’m still waiting to see the script but I’ve spoken to Bryan briefly about the outline and what he wants from the character. I think Hank’s a really fascinating guy and the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of his personality so I think it’s really exciting and also going back with Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman being involved with this one, it’s going to feel pretty much like an ‘X-Men’ movie I guess because those were the guys that I grew up watching in those films.”

Hoult is coming off the hit romantic zombie comedy Warm Bodies, which may be doing well enough to warrant a sequel, although right now it’s just in author Isaac Marion’s hands to write a follow-up book first.

“I know that Isaac’s in the process of writing another story with those characters, but there’s no talk of a sequel at the moment, but it was a really fantastic film to work on, one of the most fun jobs you’ve ever had, and I really enjoyed bringing that character to life so I’d definitely be interested in playing that role again.”

Somehow, Hoult also found time last year to play a role in George Miller’s long overdue Mad Max: Fury Road and we wondered if he had any idea when that might finally see the light of day. “We only finished filming in December so they’re going to spend a fair bit of time on post,” he responded, “but George Miller is such a visionary and it’s such a massive story with a lot of stuff going on so I’m as excited to see that as anyone really.”

A couple days ago, it was announced in The Guardian that Hoult had also been cast in Rupert Wyatt’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ 1993 World War I novel Birdsong, playing 21-year-old officer Stephen Wraysford, who tries to keep his men alive during two key French battles while remembering a romance with an older French woman.

The novel was recently adapted into a hit BBC mini-series starring Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables, but Wyatt had been developing a film version for many years. We even spoke with him about it way back in 2009, when he had a few actors cast, but apparently he’s starting over from scratch with a new cast according to Hoult:

“I’m the only person cast so far, but I’ve had some brilliant chats with Rupert and I think he’s a really talented filmmaker and it’s a beautiful story and a great role, so I’m really looking forward to getting started on it. I think he’s going to do a brilliant job.”

Apparently, Focus Features jumped on board to distribute Birdsong domestically as well.

Look for more with Singer and Hoult before Jack the Giant Slayer‘s March 1 release.

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