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Who really won, X-MEN or SUPERMAN?

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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Anne Thompson looks at the summer’s superhero bockbusters and concludes that although X-MEN: THE LAST STAND may look like more of a box office hit that SUPERMAN RETURNS, Warners scored the ultimate win by luring Bryan Singer over to their team.

Singer was the creative force behind the “X-Men” franchise, and now he’s gone. Ratner is not in the picture; the sense in Hollywood is that Fox scored with “Last Stand” despite the director, not because of him. With its “X-Men” actors now too expensive to reassemble, Fox is proceeding with development on two “X-Men” spinoffs, starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (David Benioff and David Ayer have written drafts) and Ian McKellen as Magneto. The bloom is definitely off the “X-Men” rose. One could argue that in the long term, the studio would have been better off paying Singer to keep him or waiting to get him back.
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But what really mattered to Warners was the successful relaunch of its franchise, and to that end they wanted to keep their director happy — even if it meant letting him deliver a two-hour, 40-minute movie. “If Warners goes ahead with the ‘Superman Returns’ sequel,” says producer Don Murphy (“From Hell”), “then they’ve ended up well because they’ve gone from having a wannabe franchise to a real franchise.”


The lengthy piece is well worth reading in its entirety as a snap-shot of Hollywood’s superhero industry.

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