Our Thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past Rogue Cut

X-Men: Days of Future Past was, for the most part, universally loved. It satisfied a lot of comic book fans, in knowing that the story wasn’t massively butchered or Brett Ratner’d (admit it, you were afraid). It satisfied the moviegoers because it retcon’d out X-Men: The Last Stand (maybe you can gather our opinion on the third movie from the last few statements). It also brought Bryan Singer back in the fold in the director’s chair, which he stepped away from in the last decade and let he-who-will-not-be-mentioned-again and Matthew Vaughn keep the seat warm for the triumphant return.

We loved the movie for other reasons too, it reunited the cast from the old trilogy and brought them into the new trilogy world with a bit of Wolverine in the middle. Of course, as with any movie, there’s always stuff that hits the cutting room floor. In particular, one character never made it past the editing room – Rogue.

So here we are in the present day, it’s been about a year since DoFP graced the big screens. In that time most of us heard of a mysterious Rogue Cut, one that changes the movie a little, but was taken out for story and pacing reasons. Well, now have the Rogue Cut and it’s… different. A bunch of us here at Grizzly Bomb got to view it and below, you’ll see our wildly varied opinions.

Chris Tansuche

When Grizzly Bomb did an interview with Simon Kinberg late last year, we asked him about the infamous Rogue Cut and why the character was left out. His answer was very honest and explained a whole lot:

Specifically with the Rogue scenes, I love those scenes, I think it’s a really fun sequence in the movie, I love Rogue as a character, I love what Anna has done with her. So I was bummed to see them go for those reasons – but they didn’t fit into the film. That’s really my fault more than anyone. In fact, it’s only my fault. Because it’s a structural thing, it’s a storytelling issue.  It’s a movie with so many plots, subplots and characters to service, I had created that subplot essentially as an appendage, not as something in the main spine of the film, simply because I wanted to integrate Rogue into the movie. I also, frankly, wanted to get Ian and Patrick out of the monastery and on one final mission together. So that’s what the sequence is, which all of those things are cool, but they don’t actually service the Days of Future Past story. So we watched it in the movie, and those scenes are as good as anything in the film, individually. But they didn’t service a story that already had so much for the audience to process. So I was bummed to see them go because I liked them but ultimately we felt like all the things we cut were for the best of the movie.

I think this affected my future viewing (now present, get it?) of the cut and it remains true. I understand the rationale of using this as a way to get Magneto and Professor X do a mission for one last time, much like what they did in the first half the movie, but it just felt awkward and so out-of-place. It just was not necessary other than to provide a warm and fuzzy feeling that they got to fight together one last time. In essence, just like Kinberg said, it was an easy decision to do away with because it never served the main plot in a necessary manner. However, the way this cut changes the dynamic of the story is really interesting because there are different paths the story took in addition to subbing out Rogue and Kitty Pryde out.

Getting down to the Beast and Mystique storyline really was an interesting take that was more implied than explicitly told with the ongoings between some of our favorite blue mutants. I think this relationship will get explored in the third movie as we’ve seen in the progression of Erik to Magneto in First Class, Charles to Professor X in Days of Future Past and I think Mystique and Beast will get their full treatment in Apocalypse. With that, it’s more a tease on what to expect in the next film in my opinion.

Now, the main part of the Rogue Cut, the inclusion of Rogue herself. While it’s great for nostalgia reasons to see Anna Paquin again, I didn’t exactly miss her.  Unlike some of my colleagues below, I did like the Rogue character. Getting Bobby Drake to take part was interesting due to the third movie’s love triangle between Rogue, Kitty and himself, but that was never really explored and it did make it awkward when they came face to face with no real closure. Again, just unnecessary scenes that felt fun at the time but didn’t advance the movie at all. I do like that in the original cut, you can still see Rogue’s reflection when the sentinel comes into the temple room instead of Kitty’s because Ellen Page was CGI’d in there for obvious continuity reasons. If anything, Rogue does live on in spirit and while it was good to see her, the original is still the preferred version and at least she gets to live on in spirit.

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Rogue-Cut-Cover-Art

Aaron Reese

X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut has achieved something most film franchises in this age can’t; the re-releasing of a director’s cut one year later, with X-tra bonus content.

I’d be remiss to tell you I thought this year of waiting was necessary, but waiting aside I have some issues with the re-release. The first being the Rogue plot itself. Rogue hasn’t been portrayed in the best light in this franchise, but people love Anna Paquin. So instinctively you look for her in the original DoFP, but alas, she’s nowhere to be found. In the Rogue Cut, Kitty’s Wolverine-induced stab wound is more fatal than we realize, and may allegedly result in her death. While the X-team are visibly stumped, Bobby Drake comes up with an idea to rescue Rogue so she can take Kitty’s place in keeping Wolverine steady during his time-travel. Now apparently he attempted to rescue Rogue, but he couldn’t liberate her due to maximum security. This to me, is incredibly alarming. Iceman’s first love isn’t given a second thought after his weak attempt to rescue her, but is now worthy of salvation because Kitty Pryde (his current love interest) is in danger. I couldn’t move pass this. Rogue’s been used as a pawn before, but never to this extent. Her character deserves more than that.

Iceman, Magneto and Proffessor X have a boys-night-out and attempt to rescue Rogue, but not without necessary sacrifices. The Rogue bit aside, you see some fun new action scenes, but nothing worth an extra $20.00 of fanboy money. But there are some fun extra features, such as in-depth costuming details and a meeting with the entire cast recounting their experiences as X-members. And lastly, two horridly boring commentaries, one for the original version and the other for the Rogue Cut.

I’m a huge fan of commentaries, but in these, it’s very clear that Bryan Singer doesn’t appreciate the comic value of his franchise. Rather he spews random production knowledge and has a self-congratulatory dialogue on his experiences with being the director of this franchise for so long. In short, spare yourself the extra money and wait with bated breath for X-Men: Apocalypse.

anna-paquin-x-men-days-of-future-past

Tabitha Davis

My personal fanhood of the X-Men began in the late ’80s, when the animated series and comic focused on the two characters who would become two of my all time favorite comic characters of all time; Wolverine and Rogue. When the first X-Men graced the screen I was beside myself with fan girl excitement. Not only would Wolverine and Rogue be featured prominently, but one of Starfleet’s greatest captains would be taking the chair – the wheel chair.

While the casting of Anna Paquin as Rogue was a personal disappointment, the franchise had enough redeemable factors (Alan Cummings’ Nightcrawler, Ian McKellen’s Magneto, and Jennifer Lawrence’s new take on Mystique) to keep them watchable, the following sequels went further from what it was I loved about the series, and a lot of that was Rogue’s absence.

Literally the day I found out about the Rogue Cut I got my grubby hands on a copy and immediately watched it.  DoFP is pretty much the exact same movie, but I was still excited to see the new footage. The additional scenes, to me, added more to the redemption of Magneto than focusing on Rogue herself. Cut in with action in the past, Magneto leads the charge to rescue his fallen ally, and in doing so goes further to prove the repeated theme that those who stumble are not always lost.

The scene is made all the more poetic by the fact that Magneto, once Xavier’s enemy, now finds himself breaking  into the hub of the professor’s ultimate power only to be rescuing the very girl he once nearly killed for his misguided cause.

And yes, a comic book movie did make me cry. The bit of footage where Rogue actually speaks is only a moment, but in that we see a hint of her growth as a character. Having just witnessed the death of her former love, she handles herself in true Rogue fashion, chin up and ready to do what must be done. Giving Kitty only the most cursory sympathy she immediately sucks her power and gets to work saving the f@#$ing day!

Personally, I preferred this cut of the film, though more for the fact that it brings the series back to its beginning while simultaneously opening up the series to a new future.

Scott Fraser

Watching the Rogue Cut was really more of a lesson in good editing. Not for the Rogue Cut itself, but as an example that sometimes you really do need to leave these scenes on the cutting room floor. While it was interesting to see Anna Paquin return along with the rest of the original trilogy characters, it was almost entirely pointless. Her added plot points were detrimental to Bobby and Kitty’s continued development, and her time on screen fell flat, as if she already knew these scenes weren’t going to make it.

I feel like her involvement in the Rogue Cut still missed what always bugged me about DoFP, which I thought would be taken care of with the re-release, but alas, it wasn’t. See, the future Sentinels are able to change their form due to Mystique’s mutant ability, but they are also able to absorb/replicate other mutant powers they come across. This is something Mystique can’t do, but Rogue obviously can. It would have made sense for her captivity in the mansion to feature a reference to this stolen ability to tie everything together better, but no.

Not everything in the Rogue Cut was terrible, as it did offer a little bit more development of the future characters, and actually gave Adan Canto/Sunspot a line. Unfortunately, it gave Halle Berry more lines as well, which she used to chew through some scenery in her own way. We also saw an extra scene between Mystique and Beast at the mansion in the past, which again provided further development of their relationship that started in X-Men: First Class. These few scenes were nice to see added to DoFP, though I felt the Rogue additions definitely detracted from the film.

beast-and-mystique-get-frisky-in-deleted-scene-from-x-men-days-of-future-past

Obviously we have a wide range of opinions and how it affected we see the movie. I think that speaks a lot on how this franchise has grown in the last 15 years and built its fan base from the beginning. There are so many people that come from a comic book background that followed this, others that were gained during the original trilogy, and more that became fans with the current slate of films. It all affects us differently and how our vision of where we want these movies and characters need to go. I think, if anything, we’ll be looking forward to seeing what X-Men: Apocalypse will do because whether we were disappointed or impressed with this Rogue Cut, I believe it shows how invested we are with these characters, what they mean to us and how eager we are to see how they end this current trilogy.


Images: 20th Century Fox

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.