Who will lead the X-Men? As reported here by Elisabeth Rappe, Bryan Singer is officially off Marvel's mutant team prequel/re-launch X-Men: First Class as a director, focusing his energies instead on Warner Brothers' Jack the Giant Killer. Ain't It Cool dropped a bit that Drew McWeeney (the man who broke the story over on HitFix) said that fans will "be quite pleased with the filmmakers currently being recruited by Fox."

So, who are those filmmakers? The rumor mill hasn't heated up to the point where we're hearing any honest-to-goodness name-dropping yet, but it's fun to speculate who that director might be. Singer is producing the film for Fox, and McWeeney did say fans would be pleased, so that rules out Gavin Hood or Brett Ratner right away. If there's anything fans are good at, it's speculating, so please allow me to speculate...





Kathryn Bigelow -- Bigelow has a relationship with Fox, having done most of her earliest hits at the studio, and she's in the position, fresh from her Oscar win, of having her choice of projects. Could the time be right for Bigelow to get involved with a popular franchise? I think so, and out of all the potential directors, I think she's the most interesting choice for the X-Men because I have no idea what a Bigelow X-Men movie would look like.



Matthew Vaughn -- Vaughn famously missed his chance to leave his mark on the team when he left X-Men 3 after butting heads with the studio. If Kick-Ass is a smash hit for Lionsgate, then Fox could conveniently forget all the troubles they had with X-Men 3 and gladly welcome Vaughn back. He'll be in the good graces of comic book fans after Kick-Ass, and it's always a good idea to bring someone on board that the comic geeks adore.



Louis Leterrier -- He's the hot action director of the moment with The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans under his belt, and there are rumors that Marvel wants him for the upcoming Avengers flick. If Fox came calling with a big enough bag of money, could Letterier leave The Avengers behind for X-Men? Singer left X-Men 3 for Superman Returns, so a hop from one comic property at one studio to another at a different studio isn't unheard of.



Joss Whedon -- Nobody ever thinks of Whedon as a director, really, but Serenity is a very good action-adventure sci-fi film and it had the beloved writer at the helm. Whedon also has a ton of experience with the universe, writing Astonishing X-Men at Marvel for a long run of issues. Do I think he's being considered for X-Men: First Class? Probably not, and that's a damned shame. Fans' brains would explode if Whedon was brought onboard to bring the movie to life.



Marcus Nispel -- Nispel is not a fan favorite, though he'll be making a bid for fanboy love with his version of Conan for Lionsgate. There were rumors that Nispel was going to take over the first X-Men film when Singer was looking iffy back in 2001. It never came to pass and Nispel has instead made a name for himself as Platinum Dunes' go-to guy for horror remakes, pretty much establishing the grimy aesthetic that they use for all of their films.

Is there anyone on this list you'd like to see relaunch the X-Men or do you have your own pick in mind?