Bryan Singer tossed X-Men: Days of Future Past back into the spotlight yesterday, announcing via Twitter that he and studio Twentieth Century Fox have cast yet another key mutant character after the film had already begun shooting in Montreal.
Evan Peters of American Horror Story fame is playing the super-fast son of Magneto known as Quicksilver, a character that Joss Whedon is also currently planning to introduce into the Marvel Cinematic Universe via The Avengers 2. While we don't quite yet know the implications of Singer's latest roster addition when it comes to the two studios using the character, he does have bigger plans for Days of Future Past than fans may assume.
Like the story in Marvel Comics, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a tale of time-travel and alternate futures. With the complex plot device, Singer and Fox are able to bring back not only the cast of Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, headlined by James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, but the stars of the original X-Men trilogy. That doesn't necessarily mean the film is simply a bridge or dual-purpose-sequel to First Class and The Last Stand, as Singer points out in his conversation with SFX:
"It's not just another X-Men film; it’s not just about the combined cast as there will be certain technologies and other stuff that we haven't seen before in the X-Men films."
"There are also issues of time and we’re messing about with that. I think we've got it figured out. I pitched it to James Cameron when I was in New Zealand last year and he said, 'Yes, that makes sense.'"
This isn't the first time the director has directly referenced "certain technologies" but we assume he's referring to the ability to time travel (see: mutant character known as Bishop) and the inclusion of giant mutant-hunting Sentinel robots - the latter of which were teased in the intro of X-Men: The Last Stand.
In the source material, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) travels back in time to warn the early X-Men of an assassination that led to the world becoming a mutant vs. human warzone. While only some elements from these story points from Marvel Comics will be used, we only know for certain that the First Class characters will have their segment of the story taking place in the '70s, while the original cast will be in some sort of post-apocalyptic future, likely in a different timeline where mutants thought dead can return.
Speaking of the source material, Comicbook.com shared an interesting tidbit about the first X-Men, arguably the film that launched the comic book movie genre to the mainstream a year before Spider-Man took it to the next level. As it turns out, Bryan Singer banned comics on set with the hope that actors wouldn't be reading them and potentially conflicting with what's on the script. Apparently, this lead to there being even more comics on set and Hugh Jackman had comics delivered to his trailer. It's there, during that shoot that he read up on all things Wolverine, falling in love with the Chris Claremont and Frank Miller stories of the '80s, namely Wolverine's adventures in Japan - the source material being explored in this summer's The Wolverine.
Having James Cameron's seal of sci-fi approval is a good thing and we previously chatted about Bryan Singer's trip to New Zealand for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey where he chatted with Cameron about 3D technologies. That resulted in the official confirmation that Singer is actually shooting X-Men: Days of Future Past in 3D using Cameron's Simul-Cam technology. By comparison, The Wolverine is being post-converted.
The most interesting and differentiating factor of this particular installment in the long-running series is what it means for the future of the franchise. X-Men and Marvel are a big part of Fox's future tentpole movie plans and regardless of the age of the original X-Men cast, the franchise is not going away. Is this the last time we see the original cast together or is there still room for X-Men 4, a film that could essentially write off any issues from X-Men: The Last Stand thanks to the Days of Future Past timelines? Could it also be used to "reset" the series, leading to a quasi-reboot for release after the Fantastic Four reboot? Will the First Class cast get a third movie all to themselves, rounding out their own trilogy?
At this point there are a lot of people out there hoping the "and other stuff" Singer is referring to is some sort of agreement with Marvel Studios to bridge continuities, an idea that Fox consultant Mark Millar would love to do:
"...And maybe at some point, I don’t know maybe give years down the line – and this is me speaking very unofficial here – but maybe you’ll get studios doing deals with each other and crossing certain characters over."
Share your thoughts on the future of the X-Men in the comments below!
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, 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, Daniel Cudmore.
The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes when you think X-Men should be rebooted!