It's official: Bryan Singer will return to the X-Men movie franchise as director of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, taking over from outgoing director Matthew Vaughn, according to new reports.Following earlier rumors, Singer, who launched the movie franchise with 2000's X-Men and its sequel X2: X-Men United, has signed a deal to replace Vaughn on the upcoming sequel to 2011's X-Men: First Class, Deadline Hollywood is reporting. Singer originally left the franchise to direct Warner Bros' ill-fated Superman Returns in 2006, leaving X-Men: The Last Stand in the hands of Brett Ratner, and was originally in place to direct First Class before scheduling conflicts with Jack The Giant Killer made that impossible; instead, Vaughn developed the movie from Singer's original treatment, with Singer additionally acting as a producer on the movie (The image above shows Singer with fellow First Class producer Lauren Shuler Donner).

Outside of the X-Men and Superman movies, Singer has also worked in television; his most recent directorial gig was Mockingbird Lane, NBC's reboot of The Munsters which aired this past weekend.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is scheduled for a July 18, 2014 release.

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