Bryan Singer's 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' hopes to breathe new life into the 'X-Men' movie franchise

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 - 7:01am IST Updated: Monday, 16 September 2013 - 12:26pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

X-Men: First Class revived the dying X-Men movie franchise after it was pretty much destroyed by X-Men: The Last Stand, Bryan Singer is all set to bring one of the most iconic story-lines in the history of the X-Men comics to the big screen, with X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Singer takes over from Matthew Vaughn, and brings together cast members from the original trilogy and X-Men: First Class.

So far, an impressive cast list with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Iam McKellen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page and Daniel Scott returning from the original trilogy, and James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till reprising their roles from X-Men: First Class. Along with the X-Men veterans, Evan Peters joins as Quicksilver, Peter Dinklage joins as Boliver Trask, Adan Canto as Sunspot, Omar Sy as Bishop and John Helman as a young William Stryker.

In the comics, the story-line alternates between two timelines. In the present day, the X-Men face-off against Mystique and The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. And in the future timeline, occurring because the X-Men failed to prevent the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, at first because of his anti-mutant views an antagonist, his ideology soon shifts and he becomes a pioneer of the mutant cause.

However because of his untimely assassination, the future becomes grim for mutants, with Sentinels patrolling the US and mutants being held captive in internment camps. One of the mutants held at these camps is former X-Man, Kitty Pryde also known as Sprite/Shadowcat. She manages to send her consciousness through time, possess her younger self and warn the X-Men of the apocalyptic future. She succeeds in her mission and the X-Men stop the assignation. However she returns to her own timeline only to realise nothing has changed and that even though she managed to save the future for her younger self, her's just branched out into an alternate universe, designated as Earth-811 in the Marvel multi-verse.

The aftermath of this Marvel event, creates several significant changes that affect the future of the X-Men comics, most importantly, the introduction of Rachel Summers/Grey the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate timeline. She plays a major part in the X-Men comics henceforth, appearing as one of the main characters even today. Days of Future Past, spins off into the mini-series Days of Future Present.

Now, as with most of the X-Men movies, X-Men: Days of Future Past will follow the comics in the larger sense, but the characters' ages, story-arcs, relationships and the overall main story differ drastically. The movie will focus on stopping the assassination of the Senator Robert Kelly to  prevent the Sentinels from ruling in the future. But instead of Kitty Pryde travelling through time, Wolverine will take over the role of time travelling messenger. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen play the older versions of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto while James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender play their younger counterparts, however Wolverine is played by Hugh Jackman throughout as Wolverine is practically ageless.

The movie like the comic will involve the back and forth between the present and future timelines, involving all those cast in the movie. Another major change from the comics is the involvement of mutant time traveller Bishop. Bishop though not in the original comic book story-arc, did appear in the X-Men the Animated Series version, taking over the role of Kitty Pryde, as he came from the future to warn the X-Men about the assassination.

X-Men: Days of Future Past, is a combined sequel to both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. Many fans hope it will undo the damage done by the third instalment of the X-Men movie franchise, X-Men: The Last Stand. The film directed by Brett Ratner, killed off long time X-Men characters Charles Xavier, Cyclops/Scott Summers and Jean Grey.

Cyclops, the undisputed leader of the X-Men since it's inception by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in X-Men #01 (September 1963) was killer off early on in the movie rather anti-climactically, which stunned fans and brought about quite a bit of backlash from them. Cyclops, one of Marvel's flagship characters, is one of the most important characters in the X-Men comics and the Marvel universe overall, seen in almost every adaptation of the X-Men franchise to date.

Singer said that Professor X's death at the hands of Jean Grey will be retconned and his presence will be explained in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Original actors James Marsden and Famke Janssen who played Cyclops and Jean Grey respectively, in the original trilogy remain absent from this film's cast. Famke Janssen being left out is not that strange as she died from the Phoenix force in the previous movie, a cosmic force that has killer her in the comics as well. However it seems although Professor X will return in X-Men: Days of Future Past his first student, Cyclops will not. Another important plot point is that of Robert Kelly, as he died in the first movie, X-Men. It remains to be seen how Bryan Singer will explain his death, if his assassination is in fact the focal point of the movie.


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