It's beginning to look like Hugh Jackman definitely wasn't joking when he teased that "every other actor who’s ever put on a superhero uniform" would be making an appearance in Bryan Singer's X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film will unite not only a significant number of cast members from the 1960s-set story arc that we saw in First Class, but will also include the majority of both central and minor characters from the first X-Men movie trilogy.
For every few bits of information about returning players, however, there has been the occasional news about cast members who won't be returning. Neither Alan Cumming nor Jason Flemyng were asked to return as their characters Nightcrawler and Azazel, respectively. Now another mutant has officially been dropped from the film's cast.
January Jones, who played Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class, has confirmed that she wasn't asked to reprise her role for the sequel, due to the fact her character doesn't appear in the Days of Future Past adaptation. Jones had already given indications in past interviews that Frost might not be returning, but gave a definitive answer in a recent interview with Collider:
"I haven’t been asked back. It’s called Days of Future Past or something. No, they’re going into another time period, or they’re going back and forth from different time period and Emma’s not in that. Not in what they’re doing."
As the title suggests, the film will be based on the time-travel/alternate universe plot of the Days of Future Past comic arc, meaning that both both past and present mutants, and old and young incarnations, might be features. It may well be true that Emma Frost simply didn't figure into Bryan Singer, Matthew Vaughn and Simon Kinberg's plans for Days of Future Past, though the character does feature in the comic books upon which the film is based. The ending of X-Men: First-Class did seem to be setting Frost up as an important character for the sequel; however, fans did have a somewhat lukewarm response to Jones' portrayal of the character, and it's possible that this may have factored into the decision.
On the other hand, Alan Cumming and Jason Flemyng were both popular casting choices, and there's every possibility that we'll see the cast members who were dropped for Days of Future Past return for the following sequel. With the inclusion of several mutants from the original X-Men trilogy, and the addition of new characters like Blink (Fan Bingbing), it was no doubt necessary to exclude a few characters in order to give everyone an appropriate amount of screen time.
We still haven't heard whether Angel (Zoë Kravitz) or Riptide (Álex González) will be making a return, though with production scheduled to begin this spring it seems likely the cast is more or less locked down. With Frost out of the picture and no news of a Psylocke casting, it seems possible that Days of Future Past might drop the Hellfire club subplot altogether.
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014