A nice fat payday for Bryan Singer, who hasn’t directed an X-Men film in ten years, plus big bountiful checks for all the cast members (Jackman, Fassbender, Lawrence, McKellen, Stewart, McAvoy, Berry, etc.) , but really, come on…when does this treadmill stop? It isn’t going to, is it? It’s like that mythical Dick Cheney line about U.S. forces in the Middle East: “We don’t leave.” The only thing that will put a cap on it will be a money-losing disaster, and that’s not likely. Even the most cynical franchise mentality should have some kind of answer to the age-old question of “is there any reason to make this film other than to just make money?” X-Men: Days of Future Past is going to cost around $250 million to make. Remember that the old Moody Blues album was called “Days of Future Passed,” not “Past.”

I know it doesn’t make sense that I’m this cynical and fatigued after writing the following about Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class two and a half years ago: “X-Men: First Class is the best superhero origin flick ever, arguably the best X-Men flick of all. Tight, lucid, gripping every step of the way. Vaughan exonerated for past sins. Magneto may be Michael Fassbender‘s best performance ever (or perhaps 2nd to his Hunger perf…I haven’t thought it through). I liked first half more than second half, but I was never bored or irritated. It really works — every element fits together like the parts in a good Swiss watch.”