2014's sequel to X-Men: First Class may be more of a case of time-traveling déjà vu than originally anticipated, with the news that director Matthew Vaughn has stepped down as the man in charge of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Bryan Singer - the director of 2000's original X-Men movie - is rumored to replace him.Deadline had the exclusive yesterday that Vaughn, whose First Class was a surprise hit in summer 2011 and revitalized Fox's X-Men movie franchise, had decided not to return to the director's chair for the follow-up feature. Instead, he'll act as producer on the movie and focus his attentions on the movie version of The Secret Service, the comic series he co-created with Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.

According to the site, Singer is at the top of the studio's wish list for replacement directors. If it happens, it'd be his return to the franchise for the first time since 2003's X2: X-Men United, and a return via a movie that's already rumored to see appearances by Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen and Ian McKellen from the original trilogy, giving the movie - which adapts the classic Chris Claremont/John Byrne time-traveling storyline from their 1980s Uncanny X-Men collaboration - a curiously nostalgic appeal. Although he's been absent from the franchise he helped create for nine years, Singer was originally going to direct First Class in 2010 but had to drop off the project due to scheduling conflicts with his project Jack The Giant Killer for rival studio Warner Bros. His departure left the space open for Vaughn to come in; it'll be interesting to see if history repeats itself in reverse for that movie's sequel.

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

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