If you've been listening to the Screen Rant Underground Podcast of late, then you know we're in Bryan Singer's corner, when it comes to the director pulling off his latest, biggest, and by far most ambitious X-Men project yet, X-Men: Days of Future Past: the (potentially) most expensive superhero blockbuster ever assembled, which blends the casts of the previous X-Men movies (as well as their subtext about prejudice in society) with elements of the futuristic dystopia, time-travel, and historical thriller sub-genres.
Problem is, while other Marvel superhero films of 2014 have pulled us in by teasing splashy new visions of established properties (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-Man 2) or gonzo worlds and characters that are new to the screen (Guardians of the Galaxy), the next X-Men installment has us most intrigued to learn more about the story - not so much its expanded cinematic scope or world, per se. (The improvements in mutant power special effects have impressed, though.)
For better or worse, that outlook towards the film doesn't change so much after watching the half-dozen Days of Future Past featurettes and set videos that have been made available online for viewing. These clips were unlocked from the film's official site by fans (hat tip to CBM), as part of a marketing tie-in strategy with Pringles. The first of these featurettes (see above) reaffirms that in Simon Kinberg's Days of Future Past script, it's Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) who sends "future" Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to the 1970s - unlike in John Byrne and Chris Claremont's source comic book mini-series, where it was Kitty who jumped back in history.
However, in addition we also get more details on the intricacies of time-travel in the X-Men universe, revealing that certain key aspects of the series mythos - such as Logan's healing abilities being the reason he can withstand the wear and tear of time-travel - have been smartly incorporated into the proceedings. Similarly, having strain on Kitty to keep Wolvie so far back in time, on top of the danger that Sentinels will find and/or kill the remaining future X-Men before Logan completes his task in the past, sounds like a logical move story-wise, as it adds even more tension to the situation (and raises even more questions about what could happen, should Wolvie be successful in his quest).
The three videos posted above, however, aren't so insightful; they's pretty straight-forward set tour videos, with Singer leading the cameraman around the interior of the underground X-Men facilities and Cerebro in the film's past setting, then to examine the finer details of the production design for Xavier's mansion in the second clip, and finally to glimpse at the abandoned monastery where, in the future, the surviving X-Men make their last stand (pun intended).
Nonetheless, these featurettes aren't too long and are worth a look - if only for the sight of Jackman dressed up in his full Wolverine getup, chatting on his cellphone.
Lastly, the two videos above offer the customary interviews with Singer talking up how Days of Future Past offers a fresh X-Men movie experience, through its time period-hopping storyline and the visual tweaks (redesigned costumes, grander sets, etc.) made by his trusted production team and behind the scenes collaborators. In addition, here we also get cast members praising Singer for being the filmmaker to kickoff the modern renaissance in the superhero movie genre, with X-Men back in 2000.
On the whole, though, these video (arguably) leave the same impression as previously-released Days of Future Past footage; the film looks to offer a healthy amount of bang for your buck, yet it's really the latest story detail revelations and hints at developments to come that truly get you excited to learn about (and see) more of the film. Fingers crossed, we hope the most innovative spectacle in this X-Men installment is simply being held back for the actual movie, where it can be unveiled in all its full, 3D glory.
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 will open in 2D and 3D theaters on May 23rd, 2014.