When news broke that Matthew Vaughn was stepping back as director of X-Men: Days of Future Past, fans were a little surprised. The much-anticipated sequel to X-Men: First Class gained a ton of hype as soon as the title was announced, and Vaughn was expected to direct, off of a screenplay he worked on. With the announcement that he was off the project, but still on board as producer most thoughts turned to Bryan Singer taking over as director.
Unsurprisingly enough, Deadline reported that Singer will indeed helm DoFP. Singer of course brought us X-Men and X2: X-Men United, which is easily one of the best comic book movies ever made, and was brought on board by Fox again to spearhead the next stage in the life of the X-Men movies. Talks started immediately about plans to go ahead with X-Men 4, around the same time First Class was coming out. This in itself was welcome news, as long as Ratner’s unwatchable entry into the series is ignored.
With Singer on board DoFP and not much word about X-Men 4 lately, I think this is all leading up to a really big movie. I’m not alone in these thoughts, but it’s time to lay it out on the table. Let’s take a look at what we know.
- James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Jason Flemyng (Azazel) are all on board for the sequel. I’m sure a good amount of the First Class cast will be back as well, but that’s what we know right now. This has always been touted as the Xavier and Magneto story, and having Fassbender and McAvoy back already makes this a great sequel.
- Patrick Stewart has mentioned that he will be reprising his role as Professor Xavier, which most assumed was for X-Men 4. He also mentioned his fellow female co-stars at the same time, but that could have been just a tease. He has appeared in every X-Men related movie except First Class, so his involvement in any future X-project is likely. Even Famke Janssen has mentioned a return to the X-films, but nothing solid has been confirmed.
- Days of Future Past is a classic comic storyline known for some epic scenes and some groovy time traveling. Not only do we see the death of Wolverine at the hands of a Sentinel, but we are introduced to a horrendous future timeline where mutants are hunted nearly to extinction.
- Bryan Singer, who was previously thought to be directing X-Men 4, is now directing X-Men: Days of Future Past. Remember? I literally just told you that.
Now, here’s what could be the really cool part. DoFP is at its heart a time travel story. It has been told a few different ways over the years but generally revolves around someone from the future heading to present day to help the X-Men avert some important event that will destroy the future. But what if it’s changed slightly to allow for the unique timeline of the X-Men movies?
For instance, if the story is about a traveler from the future coming back to warn the past, then it opens the door for one or more characters from the present day movie X-Men (from X-Men and X2) to travel back and interact with the First Class team of X-Men. Just imagine it; Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, James Marsden’s Cyclops and Patrick Stewart’s Xavier crossing time and meeting not only the young Xavier played by McAvoy, but the precursor to the team of mutants we first grew to love.
This may be a bit of a stretch, but we know that Fox wants to bridge the gap and connect the X-franchise. With the success of First Class they were given a chance to start over, and if they are looking to gain some steam for X-Men 4, there would be no better place to start it off then in DoFP. Let’s imagine that DoFP plays out this way, and brings in some of the present day X-Men to get the ball rolling. How easy would it be to transition that into some buzz for X-Men 4, especially if they really get into it and cliffhanger DoFP’s ending? I know, it’s fairly unlikely, but the potential is there for a crazy time-bending story that unites the two generations of X-Men like never before.
Of course, the main problem with that is we lose some of what made First Class such a fun movie, and bring in some of what made The Last Stand so terrible. Too many mutants. If Jackman and Stewart and the rest of the gang crash the First Class sequel then we lose the whole point of examining the Xavier/Magneto relationship. Another hurdle for this scenario is the fact that The Wolverine, Jackman’s 5th time out as Logan, apparently takes place after all the X-Men movies to date, including The Last
Turd Stand. If the studio is making an effort to show us a Wolverine after the team has disbanded and gone their separate ways, why bring him right back into it for DoFP?
It seems more likely that DoFP will follow the plot of the comic story, at least in regard to a character(s) coming back from the future to help change a cataclysmic event. Who could that traveler be? There are quite a few options really, such as old Wolverine (even though we just talked about that), or even introducing a couple of time traveling characters like Bishop or Cable. A couple of years ago there was talk of interest in bringing Cable to the big screen, and his ties to the X-team make him a very interesting choice for the time traveling position. It would take half of the movie to fully explain who he is, but that doesn’t necessarily have to happen. He could just be a badass with a big gun. He’s used to that role.
I could really spend another thousand words speculating on the plot of DoFP, which really goes to show my excitement at the project. And all it took was a simple announcement of the new title. Also, I guess slight excitement over the return of Bryan Singer behind the camera. But mostly the movie title. I love me some Days of Future Past.
What do you think of the possible merger between movies? Am I just talking out of my ass and being ridiculous? Or is there a likely chance we will see some time traveling connection made between the films? Sound off in the comments section below!