Despite the fact that X-Men: Days of Future Past features characters from the original trilogy along with their young counterparts from X-Men: First Class and a multitude of other mutants, it sounds like there will be very little actual interaction between the characters from the two points in time.

In fact, it’s unclear just how much screen time each of the many characters is going to get, outside of main players like Wolverine, Magneto and Xavier. Also floating around in the plot’s time travel soup are Iceman, Havok, Toad, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Storm, Warpath, Sunspot, Blink, Beast, Mystique, Quicksilver, Bishop and possibly even more.

In an interview with The Playlist, director Bryan Singer compares the filming structure to that of The Usual Suspects, with the group of future characters coming in for the initial block of filming before being replaced by the characters in the 70s portion of the plot. The interview also includes a few new movie stills from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and if you’re getting confused about exactly who the 26 different main characters are and what they can do, head over to the official website to read their bios.

One of the images features two of the major puzzles of X-Men: Days of Future Past in one place: a young Charles Xavier walking about as easily as if he’d never get a dose of lead in his spine, and a noticeably human-colored, de-furred Hank McCoy. Since Xavier seemed to be permanently disabled and Hank to be irreversibly transformed by the end of X-Men: First Class, this led to speculation that X-Men: Days of Future Past would include an alternate timeline for the young mutants.

In a new interview with JoBlo, however, Nicholas Hoult has revealed that the real explanation for his character’s appearance isn’t quite as complicated as that. Instead, Beast’s appearance is kept in control through use of a serum, but he transforms whenever he gets in a beastly mood. To put it another way, don’t make him angry: you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

“What’s happened up to this point is between the time of the last movie and this movie my character has created a serum which basically controls his mutation so his appearance is normal as long as he doesn’t get worked up. Any animal instinct or urges, that kind of brings him out. So yeah, he changes into Beast a few times throughout the story and they’ve done some great action sequences with him this time, particularly in the mansion flying around on these chandeliers and stuff.”

In the films so far there has always been a hint of irony to Beast’s name and appearance, since despite looking like an animal he’s actually a polite and mild-mannered intellectual. With that in mind, the fact that Hoult describes his character as being very much like the Hulk (or, alternatively, a blue werewolf) might rub some comic book fans up the wrong way.

X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on May 23, 2014.

Source: The Playlist, JoBlo