X-Men producer and writer Bryan Singer cleared up some X-Men: First Class rumors for us at the unlikeliest of places—a church in Hollywood, where he was a guest speaker on Sunday. After the hourlong talk, Singer talked to us about the casting—which he is in the middle of doing at the moment. Kevin Bacon is in; Taylor Lautner is out, for now; Meagan Good is uncertain.
"I wanted Taylor [Lautner] to do it, I really did," Singer said in an exclusive interview. "He's doing a movie in Pittsburgh called Abduction, and then he's got the next Twilight movie. We talked about it a lot—he is a friend—and I really wanted to make it work. It just doesn't look like it's possible to do it."
So, who is in it? Singer confirmed the latest Kevin Bacon rumor (as a villain). "Kevin Bacon, I do believe, is going to happen," Singer said even before the deal is inked for sure.
"James McAvoy is definitely cast as a young Charles Xavier, Mike Fassbender is in the movie, Nick Hoult, those are for sure," Singer confirmed.
"When I got to London four weeks ago, there was only one actor cast for sure, and that was really scary," Singer said. "I looked at this big board with all the characters and there was only one person cast, McAvoy, and yeah, that was really, really scary."
But the next part of the process, casting the younger superhero mutants in this prequel movie, is "the fun part."
Singer also squashed another rumor that he is set to direct Wolverine 2. "It's not what I'm going to do right now. The next project for me next year, in London, is Jack the Giant Killer. That is set in the 1300s, and it's very fun. It will be a big movie."
Singer, who described himself as "an agnostic who prays" and was brought up in a Jewish household, spoke at the church with X-Men producers Ralph Winter and David Gorder. Hollywood United Methodist Church is in the heart of Hollywood and is notable because of the big red AIDS ribbon on its tower. It sponsors a summer series of sermons, called "Crossflix," that features films and the actors and filmmakers involved in them. This year's list includes many genre-related films, including The Invention of Lying, Up and Avatar.
Singer explained to the 50 people in the church (where SF classics like Back to the Future and the original War of the Worlds were filmed) that "the X-Men series was about people who feel disenfranchised and separate from the rest of the world, and that is what Stan Lee meant when he created the characters. Lee, who is Jewish, told me it was about persecution, and he also created it during the time of the civil rights movement."
Singer also thought that his Superman Returns was a bit Christ-like. "He was a powerful being in human form, with all the frailties and temptations," Singer said.