Last week, Bryan Singer and Lauren Shuler-Donner gave a -- dare I say it -- almost breathless interview to Hero Complex where it seemed as though Singer was suiting back up to join the X-Men full time, starting with X-Men: First Class and ending at some unforeseen point in the future. X-Men 5. Wolverine 10. Who knows! It was a heady piece.

But Drew McWeeny at HitFix said "Not so fast!" He pointed out that Bryan Singer was thick in the midst of pre-production on Jack and the Giant Killer for Warner Bros, and Fox was going to want X-Men: First Class a lot sooner than Singer could deliver it. The same went for Wolverine 2, which Fox wants filming by January. The earliest he would be able to return to the X-Men would be that X-Men 4 film that Singer and Shuler-Donner were whispering about. Hitfix reported that 20th Century Fox was already looking for directors to replace Singer on X-Men: First Class.

Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that it's become official. Singer will not be directing X-Men: First Class, but will remain on board as producer. It's a sad case of a director being undone by his own good work. The studio likes his First Class script treatment so much, they want to move right away, sooner than Singer can be available. So they're looking for other directors, though no names have officially surfaced. Singer will eventually return to the franchise -- DHD is speculating Singer and Fox could match schedules in the fall for Wolverine 2 -- but for now, he's taking the back seat.