Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen Join ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

2 years ago by  

[Update: Hugh Jackman is in talks to join X-Men: Days of Future Past.]

As The Wolverine reaches the final stretch of principal photography, the next team-based X-Men franchise installment pushes forward in pre-production with director Bryan Singer now at the helm. Serving as both a sequel to X-Men: First Class and a bridge between it, the X-Men trilogy, and potentially the Wolverine solo films, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the most ambitious X-project to date.

Singer began using Twitter this month and is taking advantage of the social media platform to divulge tidbits of exciting information on Days of Future Past, from photos of meetings with the writer Simon Kinberg and returning costume designer Louise Mingenbach to more recently, major casting announcements.

After officially welcoming back returning stars James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult from X-Men: First Class, Bryan Singer added a major followup announcement:


We told you to count on Patrick Stewart returning from what he said on multiple occasions about reprising the role and we’re happy that it’s now a reality.

With the story of Days of Future Past being that of a tale of time travel, from the outset and confirmation of the film’s subtitle Singer explained that this project would strive to explore the larger X-Men universe and draw from grander stories from the books, taking inspiration with what Marvel Studios has done with their unified cinematic universe. He said that with the time travel plot device, they can connect the dots so to speak, between the X-Men films and ideally, make sense of the broken continuity.

Patrick Stewart Professor X Ian McKellen Magneto X Men Chess 570x320 Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen Join X Men: Days of Future Past

With Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen both returning as Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Eric Lensherr (Magneto), respectively, we have to ponder how exactly they fit into the story. At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, Magneto had seemingly lost his mutant ability to control magnetism but there was a hint his powers could be returning to him. For Professor X, he died at the hands of the Phoenix, but in the post-credits scene, it was revealed that he passed his mind into the body of his brain dead brother.

If Days of Future Past picks up from there, at least for one of the time periods it will explore, older Professor X could very well walk again and Magneto may not be the powerful mutant terrorist leader he once was. The alternative however, and one that may be more appealing to Singer (and fans) is that he uses time travel as a way to rewrite the events of X-Men 3, the film he was originally meant to direct before dropping out for Superman Returns. If that’s the case, we could get Singer’s version of what should have happened in X-Men 3 (read about it here) and all of these characters – or at least most of them – could potentially return.

While it’s not confirmed yet, it seems likely that Hugh Jackman will return in some capacity as well. He’s not only the poster boy of the entire X-Men movie franchise, but the Wolverine character was also central to the Days of Future Past story in Marvel Comics. That being said, while we do believe Jackman will reprise the role again, Singer’s film may be very, very different from what’s in the books, even if there are giant mutant-hunting Sentinels, as revealed by Fox’s newly hired Marvel movies consultant.

James McAvoy Michael Fassbender X Men First Class Chess 570x380 Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen Join X Men: Days of Future Past

While the story details remain up in the air, with plenty of announcements (Famke Janssen says stay tuned!) to come over the next few months before production begins in April, we can safely and happily say that the black leather costumes of the X-Men trilogy will not be returning. That either means X-Men in normal clothes, or perhaps costumes more in tune with what the characters wear in the books since the retro-inspired designs worked well in X-Men: First Class and fans accepted the authentic from-the-books attire from The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Days of Future Past with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, who could be joined by the return of Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, James Marsden, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore. Stay tuned!

The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013 and X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18, 2014.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.


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  1. Hell yeah, provided the story is good :)

    • Now that Ian McKellen is in, so am I.

  2. *epic jordan fist pump*

    HECK YA!

  3. Awesome news. Though I hope they don’t overflood it with characters. Just pick a handful of them and focus on them, not like in X3.

  4. Here´s my idea. The “Days Of Future Past” future is caused by the Phoenix after X-Men 3 and someone travels back in time to prevent the events at Alcatraz. That… Uhm, is all. It doesn´t need a rocket scientist to make things right again.

    • It needs to be a massive, catastrophic event though. Alcatraz island, meh, who cares. If that led to the Sentinels and they destroyed everything. Then they can go back in time from that :)

      • If the government learns that there´s ONE mutant who could destroy the whole world, just like Jean Grey proved in X-Men 3, I´m sure that´d be enough to take drastic actions against mutants, it´s not that far fetched.
        Also, we still have Magneto who got his powers back at the end of the movie. And if his powers are back, there´ll be others. So…

        “Then they can go back in time from that”

        That´s the point of a time travel story, isn´t it? We all know, there´s enough stories to take inspirations from (not only the original DOFP, which was only a two issue story), but also the whole Age Of Apocalypse storyline. What if Jean/Phoenix was the only mutant who could stop Apocalypse from rising and Wolverine killed her? You know what I mean? So there´s a future in which Apocalypse ruled because of that, and there´s a couple of mutants (Bishop, Cable, Forge, etc.) who travel back in time to prevent it… Three people going back in time into three different timelines (like Cable going back to FC; Bishop going back to Singer´s first movie and Forge going back to the ‘The Wolverine’ timeline). That should be enough for the next two movies to complete the second trilogy.

  5. Great! Now someone fire Bryan Singer and we got ourselves a movie.

    • Yup.

      • Yup x2.

        • Yes.

        • Yup x3

    • I think you forgot that without Singer, there wouldn´t even be an X-Men franchise. And if, it would have been a franchise full of Joel Schumacher like colourfull costumes and a Wolverine with a totally stupid looking mask.

    • Correct!

  6. In the story that was done back in the 80’s. Prof-X is already dead. Magneto dies shortly after the story picks up. It will be interesting to see how this movie is done.


  7. Yay! Great news but I am still a little nervous about this movie. Somewhat cautiously optimistic.

  8. Sweet news both actors were born for their roles in all the x-men movies regardless on whether the films were good (X-Men the Last Stand, X-Men Origins Wolverine) they were always excellent in them. Hearing this is great hopefully we get to see some new faces to the x-men franchises though.

  9. Yay!

  10. Meh.

  11. Unless it involves Phoenix I’m not really that interested. That’s the main thing they glossed over in the original trilogy.

    Otherwise, I don’t see the point in bringing back these characters / actors. They’ve been done to death and this will be the seventh film now. It’s getting farcical. It’s like Bryan Singer tweets that Ian and Patrick are back and we’re supposed to be creaming ourselves with delight. I don’t get it. We’ve had them already for a whole trilogy.

    Tell me Famke is back, tell me James is back, or Anna or anyone else (except Halle) and I might be more interested. It would at least indicate that they’re going in an interesting direction with the story.

    With this, all I’m hearing is that these two classically trained actors are back to talk to us about chess for 2 hours and how they used to be friends. Because apparently that’s what passes for writing these days.

  12. Matthew Vaughn is the sceenwriter?

    Ok. I’m in.

    • He a good writer? I’m not really full of knowledge on singer

      • Singer wrote one of the better storylines of Ultimate X-Men…

  13. !!!SPOILER ALERT!!!

    This movie will use giant robots to cause chaos, hot girls to stand there being hot, use lots of special effects. You know, EXACTLY LIKE MY TRANSFORMERS MOVIES!!!

    My job here is done. Where is my money?

    • Your money? It´s been wasted on that Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles reboot, Mr. Bay.

      • I’m sorry, when I said “Where is my money” it was a habit, I am so used to being paid for things that have giant robots in them that whenever I talk about it, I always ask. My apologies.

        And as for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Tortoises, give them a chance, Lee, Mitch, Ralph and Dan are my heros too. I promise that they will be great on screen. 😀

        • I can honestly say that I laughed out loud at that XD

    • stranger.

    • More movies need hot girls to stand around being hot

      • And explosions… Can’t have a movie without them, right? 😉

        Mcshea is my favorite person here now, congrats to you. 😀

        • Hot girls standing there looking hot which causes DOOMSDAY LEVEL EXPLOSIONS!!

          Explosions that cause bigger explosions!!

          Hell, why not just a long, drawn out explosion stretched out for 2 and a half hours? Think of the money you’d rake in!

          I heard Michael Bay decided to work on the Transformers movie because the title describes how he transformed explosions into money.

          Anyway, to comment on this article, great news about Sir Patrick and Sir Ian but after the mess of the last few X-Men movies (FC wasn’t as much of a mess but I still find it hard to see how it’ll tie into the original trilogy right now), I’m keeping expectations low.

  14. you could explain any event by different mutant powers for instance Scarlett Witch uses probabiliety field and cause rifts in time,or something like that?

  15. sweeet

  16. I need to see wolverine shredding sentinels.

  17. Ambitious claims, could be so perfect! Could also be so catastrophic. Lot of juggling and keeping balls in the air at once required. Time needs to be taken and not rush this project, unless they’ve already got everything planned out in minutest of detail already. The sheer ammount of characters crammed in is definitely a worry though. Feel like we should have had one more stand alone movie from the first class cast before a merger movie took place. Keep it a first class sequel with just cameos from the original cast.

  18. happy to see again the original cast of x-men trilogy…but i need havoc and banshee on the list…not just 2 prof.x, 2 magneto, 2 mystique and 2 beast (i’m referring past&future) when two characters exist. They need havoc and banshee back on the list especially emma frost. I want to see that Days of Future Past really connects with both previous events (X-Men 3 & First Class). Also Storm is not in the list (Halle Berry) they don’t get in touch of her?? If the original cast are back (prof.x,magneto,cyclops,jean grey,roque,iceman,shadowcat&wolverine) they miss one of main characters in x-men. X-men won’t be x-men without storm. right?? If storm is not coming back “days of future past” sucks!

    • If Halle Berry as back as Storm ill be skipping this one. SHe was undoubtedly the worst aspect of the original trilogy.

      • I totally agree. She´s a terrible actress, I still wonder how she got that Oscar… Storm needs to be recast.

      • I don’t see a problem about Storm… Storm is one of key characters in x-men trilogy. I want her back, storm is now who take care of the mutant kids in Xavier school after prof.x died (in the hands of phoenix), they need to bring her back. Thats only my point.

      • Halle Berry’s Storm character was no worse than 95% of the female characters in the trilogy. They made Rouge into Kitty Pryde, which looked even more stupid when they actually gave Kitty a speaking role in the last movie. Jean Grey was eh, and even when she turned into Dark Phoenix she followed Magneto like a puppy dog.

        The female characters throughout most of the X-Men movies are not very strongly developed and even though I don’t think Halle was an inspired choice for the part in general, no one else would have really done anything else with the material that was written. They couldn’t even figure out if she was African or not and just gave up on that after the first movie.

      • I was just thinking this same thing. The casting for the whole series has been utterly brilliant (regardless of how the writing played out) except for Halle Berry who at the time would have been the most high profile of all the cast. I’ve always felt storm to be much more African than purely American.*

        *I’m fairly certain that wasn’t racist. lol

  19. Hang on, I’m confused. Since when is the brain dead guy Xavier’s brother???

    • In the comics it was Xavier’s sister, but they change things for the movies so it was his brother.

      • Wait. So it was a male (movie) version of Cassandra Nova? If so then that seems like a bit of a waste for a character who actually did some signifigant stuff in the comics. Even if they wouldn’t have used it that way.

        On an extreme side note, since I’d never heard that it was Xavier’s brother (and I’m still doubtfull), what if it was really his son Legion (I don’t remember how old the patient looked) I think there would have been some potential to go on with that.

    • Do you know how a sentence works?

  20. If it makes sense in the context of the time-travel story…okay I guess, but I honestly enjoyed the First Class cast more. X-Men 1 & 2 were very good, but after The Last Stand, a change was due. And I really hope that Fox does not stick Hugh Jackman in every single film because they think we can’t live without him. There has been enough Wolverine-centric storytelling already.

    • I guess that basically, where I’m coming from is that I would rather leave the “classic X-Men film” cast on the shelf, and focus on the First Class trajectory. But of course, pesky tiime travel always connects all the pretty little dots…sigh.

  21. I have false hope that it wont be time travel havent we already seen that been done to many times and sunk. I already didn’t like the ending of X2 with the killing of the current Jean but I went ahead and saw X3 with Cyclops, Jean, and the Prof gone I said f*** it no I do not want the X-man flims trashed any more.

  22. Question

    Will this movie fix up the inconsistencies of X3 and Wolverine and how???

  23. Couple of more questions and 1 is a bit of a spoiler, im not a comic reader so am a little confused:

    1. At the end of X3, was Prof X not resurrected by a ‘nurse type’ character, just after the credits had rolled?
    2. Is Juggernaut not Prof X’s step brother?

    I watched some of the cartoons and the films seem to not follow them all that closely. My money is on Cable & Bishop being in this next one, maybe even linking them into the Avengers universe somehow!

    • That nurse type character was supposed to be Moira Mctaggert. In the comic books (which wasn’t adhered to in the movie), Juggernaut is the step brother of Charles Xavier
      Cable and Bishop (or atleast their characters) are onwed by Fox and therefore can’t be used (unfortunately) in an Averngers movie which is owned by Disney

      Hope that helps

  24. And Juggernaut is not a mutant either.

    • Cheers Mart, so does this Moira Mctaggert bring the prof back to life in the comics?

    • They based the X3 Juggernaut on the Ultimate version which is a mutant and not related to Xavier.

  25. I’m not crazy about the idea. Ian McKellen is getting on in years, and I liked the idea of X-men FC being a reboot. I’d rather see those characters continue to grow and change (and loose hair) into different versions of Prof X and Magneto, with a different History than what’s been implied before. I’m not concerned if they become Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. In fact, aren’t they kind of boxing themselves in by doing this? They already get enough flak from fans for any slight deviation. Now they’re going to cement them into those roles? Good actors won’t be attracted to roles that require them to imitate a predecessor.

    • Well the fact they were so ambiguous about what First Class was supposed to be is enough to make me wary of this next project. Every article posted here and elsewhere before this new development has made it sound like the next movies was going to continue on with what they did in First Class, but now they seem to want to try and merge everything together and frankly I don’t think they have the tools to do it.

      One thing seem clear though, they are getting a massive budget to have all these people on the cast. I hope there is enough left for everything else.

  26. I know Xavier has died in the comics a couple of times and it’s possible that maybe Moira brought him back in maybe one of the issues (not sure though) and as Scapegoat mentioned, they based Juggie on the ultimates version who was indeed a mutant. Now come to think of it, I wonder if they can use the supernatural version of Juggie with cyttorak and what not, because isn’t that part of Dr Strange’s world (Crimson bands of Cyttorak) which is owned by Disney

  27. What I’m thinking here ,is that maybe they’re going to use some Marvel 1601 timey whimey scenario to fix up the messed up continuity.