Captain America, X-Men, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy all have movies coming out this year, but which superhero film will ultimately come out on top, in terms of box office and/or critical accolades, that remains to be seen. 20th Century Fox is certainly banking on X-Men: Days of Future Past being the biggest grosser within its own comic book-based franchise, given that it is the most expensive installment yet - and may possibly be the most costly superhero movie produced to date.
The full-length trailer shows why Days of Future Past required such a massive financial investment, with glimpses at a future where mutant-hunting giant robots (known as Sentinels) have reduced most human cities to rubble and ash, as well as impressive Mutant powers created using special effects that are vastly more elaborate and sophisticated than those in previous X-Men films, and the detailed period set pieces (1970s-era White House interior, Vietnam War camps) on top off all that.
Fox debuted an official TV spot for Days of Future Past during The Walking Dead season 4 finale last night, ensuring that millions of people got a good look at the X-Men film from the comfort of their homes.
The promo, which you can watch above, is pretty much a condensed version of the theatrical preview (read our trailer breakdown for a detailed analysis of the footage), but it nonetheless gets the message across: this movie is far more than just a sequel to X-Men: First Class, it's a way to bring that film's cast together with the beloved X-Men present-day trilogy players. Moreover, the story (based on Chris Claremont's acclaimed comic book series) will set events in motion as to help keep the X-Men franchise alive, competitive, and relevant, in a post-Avengers era of superhero cinema.
WARNING: The following video contains MILD SPOILERS.
The above video, from IGN, breaks down the Days of Future Past opening sequence that was shown at the 2014 CinemaCon last week, offering yet another taste of the most exciting ingredients that have been incorporated into this new X-Men installment. To be exact, that includes the Sentinels, whose appearance onscreen is something fans were eagerly awaiting well before they were teased in X-Men: The Last Stand (and properly alluded to in the mid-credits scene for The Wolverine), as well as the mutant-powered sci-fi mechanics that fuel the film's time-traveling storyline.
In addition to opening up the realm of possibilities for the X-Men universe by establishing the existence of different timelines, the hope is that Simon Kinberg's Days of Future Past screenplay will provide the movie with a story that's just as satisfying (or more so) than director Bryan Singer's past X-Men flicks, to go along with the noticeably upgraded effects and production values. The concern, however, is that Kinberg's script might not be so satisfying when it comes to the mythology, based on the hints about the film's world-building offered so far.
Fox has already gotten Singer involved with development on a followup to Days of Future Past, tentatively known as X-Men: Apocalypse, while James Mangold is plotting out a third Wolverine spinoff, to go with X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine; that's in addition to Fox having scheduled an unspecified Marvel film for theatrical release in 2018. Point being, the studio is showing a fair amount of confidence that the current product it has on its hands will turn a healthy profit, on top of leaving moviegoers excited to see even more of this superhero franchise in the years ahead.
Time will be the ultimate judge of that, though, and we're now less than two months away from learning if Days of Future Past is a hit or miss. Meanwhile, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently raking in big returns around the globe (ahead of its U.S. debut), while in just over a month The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will get the 2014 blockbuster season properly started.
Bryan Singer is directing X-Men: Days of Future Past, with a cast that include franchise newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, and Evan Jonigkeit, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore.
X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in 2D and 3D theaters on May 23rd, 2014.