The man who helped usher in the mainstreaming of live-action comic book film adaptations with the X-Men is going to help make sense of the continuity discrepancies between X-Men: First Class and the prior X-Men trilogy, while at the same time expanding the universe in a big, big way.
We learned two months ago that Twentieth Century Fox had registered the title “Days of Future Past” with the MPAA and as recently as last week had begun securing related domain names for what we believed to be the sequel to X-Men: First Class. From Bryan Singer himself, we now know that his and director Matthew Vaughn’s next project is X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In an interview with IGN, Bryan Singer flat out confirmed the actual title of ‘X-Men: First Class 2‘ and touched upon his and the studio’s desire to go all-out with the next X-Men movie. If Marvel Studios can give us a rocket-wielding alien Raccoon with Guardians of the Galaxy, why can’t they dig deeper into Marvel Comics lore and explore a little time travel?
“It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past and it deals with aspects of that comic but also, some very new things.”
By new things, is Bryan Singer referring his and Vaughn’s original ideas and character arcs or is he referring to newer events from Marvel Comics?
When asked whether X-Men: Days of Future Past tie into or better yet, crossover with the original X-Men trilogy, Singer shifted his eyes and offered the following tease:
“I think there’s a strong desire to broaden out the universe. I mean, the X-Men universe is every bit on its own as big as the Marvel universe and I think it’s time to reach out and explore it and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films,as Marvel’s done so well. You may see some of that, I don’t know (laughs).”
After the success Marvel Studios enjoyed building up to and including The Avengers, Twentieth Century Fox has to go big or go home. What better way to do that than to play with two timelines, expanding on the most successful elements from both the prequel and the original trilogy. It sounds pretty obvious that Singer will be using his history with the franchise and talent to bring a lot of familiar faces back for X-Men: Days of Future Past and if this is truly as ambitious as it sounds, it’d be a great tie-in for X-Men 4 - something producer Lauren Shuler-Donner has been name-dropping alongside X-Men 5 (which would tie into 4) and Deadpool.
Did I hear someone name-drop the time-travelling son of Cyclops? Deadpool and Cable creator Rob Liefeld said the following two-and-a-half years ago when in meetings with Fox about the Deadpool project.
“Also excited to discuss possibilities of Cable in future X-films!!!”
Fox failed to deliver quality films in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand without Bryan Singer and by bringing him back, they got the successful (and critically acclaimed) X-Men: First Class. So, the question now becomes, how much leeway are they going to give Singer and Donner and are thinking “big picture” and planning long-term as Marvel Studios has done so well?
If you’re excited for the future of the franchise, check out this old thing I wrote about what we need from X-Men 4.
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014, between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.