At least one X-Men character returns to theaters this summer, played by Oscar-nominated Hugh Jackman in his career-defining role. The following summer, Jackman's Wolverine returns again, with many other mutant characters in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Many, many more. While principal photography has wrapped on The Wolverine, Bryan Singer's return to the X-Director's chair happens rather soon as production prepares to gear up for its Montreal shoot.
The casting blitz has only just begun with key characters from X-Men: First Class returning, joined by stars of the original X-Trilogy as Singer aims to pull off the most ambitious X-Men film project yet in an attempt to broaden out the universe and make sense of the (problematic) continuity of the series to date. Fitting in many characters will be a challenge, and some characters won't make the cut, potentially even Emma Frost (January Jones).
Collider caught up with January Jones at Sundance, who's there promoting the western Sweetwater, and asked whether or not she's been asked to return, knowing that X-Men: Days of Future Past begins production in Montreal soon.
"I don't know that I’m in it, I don’t think Emma’s in this one. Well they haven’t told me if I am (laughs). I wouldn't put it past them though, I got the script for the first one on the airplane on the way there. It's called Days of Future Past I think, and I think it's more about James [McAvoy] and Michael [Fassbender] and then Patrick [Stewart] and Ian [McKellan], and I think it's gonna go back and forth with those so I don't think Emma's in those bits. I don't know, I really don’t know."
Even with the start of principal photography looking to start early this year, only a few of the core franchise characters have officially joined the project, the latest of which was Hugh Jackman who director Bryan Singer revealed via Twitter, not long after confirming the return of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen from the original X-Men trilogy. While Jackman teased a potential full X-Men reunion of sorts, Famke Janssen and Shawn Ashmore also don't know if they're returning, or at least, that's their story.
In Janssen's case, Singer and Fox could be keeping the return of Jean Grey close to the vest due to the simple fact that if confirmed for a return, there will be insurmountable rumors and speculation that follow about the storyline of the Phoenix and whether or not she is in fact going to cameo in this summer's The Wolverine. She was rumored to be on The Wolverine set in Sydney, Australia filming and Jackman did confirm that there'd be a special appearance from someone familiar from the trilogy.
As for January Jones' Emma Frost, that's a little more complicated. The way X-Men: First Class ended, Frost was positioned as an important character sought after and recruited by Michael Fassbender's young Magneto who had just formed the earliest incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants, so to have her dropped entirely for the sequel would seem odd. On the other hand, the focus of the sequel will be the Xaviers and Magnetos, while making room to showcase the old X-Men. There's also the issue that Jones' character was arguably one of the least impressive and that her version of Emma Frost didn't cut it for fans of the books.
The Wolverine hits theaters July 26, 2013. X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on July 18th, 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.