20th Century Fox ultimately decided against premiering a new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past during the 2014 Super Bowl game, following a week that saw director Bryan Singer’s costly superhero blockbuster making multiple headlines on nearly a daily basis. Additional footage (teased in an Instagram clip two weeks ago) should be arriving in the near future, as we enter the final quarter of pre-release for the X-Men: First Class and X-Men modern-day trilogy teamup event.
Days of Future Past – based on the story by Chris Claremont – is one X-Men comic adaptation that fans are anticipating with a mix of excitement and dread; it will not only feature more characters than you can shake a stick at (that includes several newcomer fan-favorite mutants from the comics), but also properly reveal the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots on the big screen, after they were teased eight years ago in X-Men: The Last Stand. So, as much potential as there is for the third X-Men film directed by Singer to set a new high standard for the superhero genre, there’s also a whole lot that can go wrong in a big way.
That’s part of why fans have had such strong opinions about the appearances of and potential screen time for Days of Future Past‘s new additions, in particular Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Quicksilver. Screen Rant’s editors even discussed and broke-down the practical nature of the character’s outfit and equipment (goggles, belt, etc.) in a recent video.
“Quicksilver was always in our script. Marvel were informed early on that I was using him. The way it’ll play out in our movie versus what I believe they are going to do [ in ‘The Avengers’ sequel] is so different. And this is not an enormous role – he’s only on one beat of the movie.”
For the sake of maintaining the element of surprise, we’ll skip on discussing Quicksilver’s primary scene in the film (for the MILD SPOILER, click the included CBM link). However, as additional food for thought, Singer also revealed that Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) had originally planned to use a young Juggernaut – the older version of whom was featured in X-Men: The Last Stand – “in the same function”; the director also confirmed that there will be a reference to Quicksilver’s comic book lineage (where he is the son of Magneto).
Whereas the version of Quicksilver that will be featured in 2015’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron (played by Aaron-Taylor Johnson) will be a pivotal supporting character, the Peters’ version in Days of Future Past sounds like more of a glorified cameo player than anyone that important to the over-arching narrative. Not so much with fellow new addition Boliver Trask (Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage), son of wealthy industrialist Larry Trask, who develops a program to produce giant mutant-hunting robots – one which, eventually, leads to a dystopian future that sets in motion the time-travel element of the story.
The previous X-Men films has drawn overt parallels between the persecution of mutants and the WWII Holocaust before, showing that Magneto is a survivor of the German concentration camps. Singer offered a similar analogy during his Empire discussion, with the suggestion that Trask’s decision to create Sentinels could be as much motivated by real-life historical events that occurred in the 1970s (when the “Past” sequences in the film take place) as anything that Magneto and his rabble-rousing Mutant Brotherhood do:
“Trask is, ultimately, a peace lover. He feels that humanity will go on fighting each other unless they find some common element to unite against. Perhaps as Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat to bond the darker parts of Europe, he’s doing the same thing with mutants.”
Dinklage has said before that he sees Trask as being more than a stereotypical villain; the X-Men franchise has featured sympathetic antagonists in past installments (see: Brian Cox’s version of William Stryker in X2: X-Men United), but having Dinklage in the role of Trask paints the character in even deeper shades of grey, opening the floor to the exploration of themes like self-hate (i.e. Trask’s dwarfism leads him to see himself as something of a “mutant”). Singer indicated that Trask’s size will indeed be a key factor in his psychology:
“I’m sure he went very underestimated throughout life. Trask comments on that – I don’t know if it’ll be in the final picture – but he says, ‘I was underestimated, so do not underestimate these creatures.'”
X-Men: Days of Future Past is directed by Bryan Singer and stars franchise newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman and Evan Jonigkeit along with returning X-Men: First Class cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult, as well as X-Men trilogy stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore.
Look for X-Men: Days of Future Past when it opens in 2D and 3D theaters on May 23rd, 2014.