There is much confusion and speculation still surrounding the next X-Men film, X-Men: Days of Future Past. The sequel to X-Men: First Class sees the return of X-Men 1 & 2 director Bryan Singer to the helm, telling a story that will introduce new levels of sci-fi into the X-Men movie universe.
Today we have a one important piece of this puzzle to share: where Days of Future Past fits into the X-Men movie timeline - at least, where the sequel starts off in the timeline. Considering the time travel plot device, this film could literally be all over the place.
CBM got heads up from TV Chiquita about a casting call sheet for Days of Future Past; if you don't know, these sheets - which describe the type of actors needed for a part and a brief bit about what kind of character they'll play - often contain nice tidbits that rumor hounds can scrutinize and use to deduce facts about a film. In this case, the casting sheet dropped the following piece of info:
Most of the film takes place in 1973.
That would be 11 years after the 1962 setting of First Class. If further evidence is needed, here's the call description for what seem to be extras:
Look 1973. Hair should be left to grow as well as sideburns, mustaches and beards. Modern hair color and hair cuts will be OUT for this film.
Now, this isn't too surprising for several reasons. First of all, it's been teased (and to a certain degree assumed) all along that the First Class continuity could essentially "decade hop." It started in the '60s, so the '70s were always looked at as the natural followup point for the sequel.
However, even if this casting call sheet is to be believed, the fact remains that the '70s are still just the starting point for Days of Future Past. With characters from the original trilogy all returning, and the obvious plot device of time travel (which will hopefully straighten out many of the nagging continuity issues with these films), where this Days of Future Past plotline will go is still a mystery.
Will the original trilogy characters all be presented as aged versions of themselves (from a more distant future)? Or will that "future" be kept in real time - meaning, eight years after the events of X-Men 3 by the time the movie is released in 2014? We know The Wolverine will be taking place after X3 and will leave us with a "changed" Logan by the end of the film; that new improved Logan could potentially be a key player in Days of Future Past (as he was in the comic storyline) - especially since we already know Wolverine is confirmed for the film.
All the worries about timeline jumping and continuity aside, starting off in the '70s could allow for some convenient tidying up of storylines and characters - such as how Charles Xavier becomes bald Professor X; how Magneto flourishes as a terrorist and builds the brotherhood; and even why characters like Emma Frost (January Jones) aren't returning. The one curious thing is that the call sheet mentions that the film is "mostly" set in that era; could this film devote much less screen time to the future than originally anticipated? It'd be easy to see how the primary focus would be the race (in the 70s era) to prevent the disastrous event that corrupts the timeline in the first place.
Comic book aficionados will tell you that the '70s era of X-Men comics was definitely a special time; an era that introduced the Phoenix, saw Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler join the team, brought back The Sentinels (which will likely be featured in this film) - all under the hand of legendary creators like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne and Chris Claremont. Even if Days of Future Past is (at least in title) drawing from '80s-era X-Men storylines, there are still plenty of nods the film can give to the proceeding decade. They just better not include any disco stuff (unless we get Dazzler with it)!
What are your thoughts on the decade shift? The potential time-jumping? And all those lingering continuity issues? Let us know in the comments.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will be in theaters on July 18, 2014.