Singer to Direct ‘X-Men: First Class’

Superhero prequel has script by “The OC” creator and will center on mutant group's origins

Fox has hired Bryan Singer to direct the next installment in the "X-Men" franchise, "X-Men: First Class," TheWrap has confirmed.

Singer directed the first two "X-Men" movies before ceding the director's chair on the third, "X-Men: The Last Stand" to Brett Ratner so Singer could oversee "Superman Returns."

Though "Last Stand" was a box office hit, bringing in more than $450 million worldwide, many groused that it lacked the wit that Singer brought to the films.

Singer's "Superman," on the other hand, which cost nearly $300 million and brought in less than $400 million, was considered a box office disappointment.

Perhaps a return to those tights-wearing mutants will restore some of Singer's box office luster.

"First Class" boasts a script by "The OC" and "Gossip Girl" creator Josh Schwartz, so expect lots of high-school catfighting mixed in with what is rumored to be an origins story.

Lauren Shuler Donner will handle producing duties, as she did on the other three films.