Twentieth Century Fox was the last film studio to announce what features they'd be showcasing at Comic-Con 2013, aiming to keep one of them a surprise until the very last minute. We knew officially as the event began that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Wolverine would be a part of their panel presentation but with a third "surprise" panel to follow.
For comic book movie fans, this could only mean one thing, and when we saw a propaganda setup outside celebrating the 50th anniversary of Trask Industries' Sentinel Mark I, we knew for certain that X-Men: Days of Future Past was going to be unveiled for the very first time.
When it came time for the Fox panel to begin in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, the Apes cast and director Matt Reeves quickly introduced their film, characters and a teaser, followed by The Wolverine director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman showing more footage of The Wolverine. After talking for a few minutes, Jackman said that he hoped Fox wouldn't be upset if he talked about another "small" movie he's working on with Bryan Singer, and then, it began.
As the hall of 6000+ screaming fans settled, Singer wasted no time in debuting the first ever look at the next X-Men team-up film, Days of Future Past and after nearly the entire cast took to the stage, we watched it again. Here's how it played out:
Dramatic music plays as we see Patrick Stewart's eye with a voiceover from Ian McKellen asking the older Xavier, as if in a therapy session and just discovered he's still alive,
"What's the last thing you remember?"
Shots of mutants from the future, including Halle Barry's Storm and Ellen Page's Kitty Pryde. All of them have new, very comic book-like costumes, unlike anything we've seen before in the series. Future Wolverine, when not in uniform, has a little grey hair on his sideburns, and some sort of metal cage-esque armor on his center torso and going up one of his arms, as if they're making him look like a live-action version of Cable.
Stewart's Xavier voiceover:
"I had a glimpse into the past"
More quick shots of characters, including a few of them gathering in ruins, with battle-worn, armored costumes. There's a shot of Iceman walking with McKellan's Magneto (who doesn't use a helmet in the future) as if he's Magnet's right-hand. It looks as if they're gathering for some important mission to save the world with Xavier giving the mutant team-up orders.
Stewart's Xavier, seemingly to Wolverine:
"You will have to do for me what I once did for you"
"You'll need me as well...
side-by-side to end this war...
before it ever begins"
Old Wolverine is being prepped to travel back in time (into the mind of his younger '70s self?) and persuade Xavier & Magneto in the '70s to re-team to save the future. We see shots of some new characters, including Warpath and Blink who look just as they do in the books. We also see a very brief shot of Omar Sy as Bishop, with a large costume, red cloak on his upper body armor, long dreaded hair and red eyes.
Jackman's older Wolverine:
"So, I wake up in my younger body and then what?"
The following dialogue is a voiceover with a sizzle reel of shots of the '70s, including one of Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask. We see Fassbender's Magneto alongside two thugs, all three pointing their guns at someone and shooting. Another shot sees Wolverine, shirtless getting riddled with bullets so we can assume this is where Wolverine first meets '70s Erik Lensherr and attempt to recruit him.
"Find me. Convince me of all of this.
"It's good to get the two of us."
"And where do I find you?"
"A different path, a darker path."
"Logan, I was a very different man...
Be patient with me."
"Patience isn't my strong suit."
Now the flashes of clips from future and past are more action oriented). We see Warpath with two blades, Colossus, Mystique in the '70s walk away from a military cargo plane disguised in her human form, Beast attacking Magneto, Magneto dragging Mystique along the ground, etc.
McAvoy, rocking a beard, and long hair (and probably a lot of drugs) shouting, emotional and out of control:
"I don't want your suffering!
"I don't want [pause] your future!"
Stewart's Xavier to younger self, calmly:
We see Stewart and McAvoy face-to-face but it's through Wolverine's mind since we see McAvoy put his hands on Wolverine's head in a previous shot to determine if he's telling the truth about the ruined world.
...We need you to hope again."
- There were no shots of Sentinels, but we did see Peter Dinklage's Bolivar Trask hosting some sort of council meeting.
- No shots of Lucas Till's Havok or the rumored return of James Marsden's Cyclops.
- Nothing on Cable, but Wolverine might be used as a form of Ultimate Cable since it is he going back to the '70s.
- No shots of Quicksilver but Bryan Singer mentioned that he's going to wear a '70s style costume, possibly confirming that Quicksilver may not be alive in the future...
- Omar Sy said he's from the future and just trying to survive. We don't know if that means he's from an even more distant future or not. We also aren't clear on the time travel mechanics.
The footage was cut as the most epic tease of all teases, and is likely very out of order and probably intentionally misleading in at least a few bits, but we get the sense that while future Xavier/Magneto are working together to save mutantkind and the world. The shooting style and aesthetic, at least from the cut we saw, make the future and '70s time periods very distinct. The backdrops of the darker, but more colorful future looked fake - especially the sky shots - but there's still a month of filming left to go and they've only begun the special effects process.
Needless to say, the ambitious project is delivering on the mutants and spectacle. We'll have to wait and see how it fares on the story and character front.
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, 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. James Marsden may be involved if witness reports are true.
The Wolverine releases July 26th, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18th, 2014.
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