February 20, 2013
SPOILER SPECULATION: What We Know So Far About X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Production won't begin until the Spring/Summer but a few details concerning Bryan Singer's X-Men Days of Future Past have been leaking out. I've put together a bit of rundown of known aspects and my own speculation.
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SCENES: So who is behind the production of the new film? Longtime producer Lauren Shuler Donner (producing all X-Men films) of course is back with co-producers Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg. Bryan (Usual Suspects) directed the first two X-Men films and produced X-Men First Class along with the upcoming The Wolverine. Kinberg wrote X3, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. And Mrs. Smith and Days of Future Past. Simon was recently hired by LucasFilm to write an unnamed Star Wars spin-off. He'll also consult and produce Episode VII working with Larry Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Kathy Kennedy and screenwriter Michael Arndt. Another high profile science fiction project Simon will be producing is Neill Blomkamp's (District 9) epic Baja Dunes/Elysium.
Matthew Vaughn (who was originally set to direct) and Jane Goldman were also involved in script rewrites but it's unknown if their revises will be even be used. Mark Millar who is also friendly with the two had been hired by Fox to be their Marvel creative consultant. Millar is best known for creating the Ultimates (which inspired the Marvel Studios cinematic universe) along with his original material Kick-Ass, Nemesis, Supercrooks, Secret Service, Superior and Wanted. He'll be involved with the X-Men films including Deadpool and Wolverine, and Fantastic Four.
RETURNING CAST MEMBERS FROM FIRST CLASS: At this point the four main cast members James McAvoy (Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Raven) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) are the only ones officially confirmed. However, actor Jason Flemyng has revealed he was called back for the role of Azazel which does make sense. As Raven and Azazel end up being the parents of Nightcrawler, so he needs to stick around. It will be interesting to see if Havoc or Banshee will be back as well. While the film will blend both franchises into one giant epic it's likely it will focus more on the First Class characters.
RETURNING CAST MEMBERS FROM ORIGINAL TRILOGY: Confirmed returning cast members include Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Ellen Page (Shadowcat), Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman). It's possible that Storm, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler could also have roles but it might be getting overloaded with the amount of returners. It's expected that Kitty and Logan will have rather large roles in the film while the other trilogy actors could only have cameos.
VILLAINS OF THE FILM: While it's possible there could be more than one villain in the film at the moment it's looking like Peter Dinklage is playing Bolivar Trask. The creator of the Sentinels which are giant robots built to capture or kill high powered mutant threats. This angle may lead to mutant prison/work camps or the insurrection of the entire mutant population. It's unknown which timeline Trask will be introduced as the character is likely being rebooted. As Bill Duke played the character in X3 but is being replaced by Dinklage. I assume that Trask could be setting up shop in the 70's rather than the future. I wouldn't rule out Mister Sinister or Apocalypse being involved as well. Since the two mutant villains are known for cleansing the mutant population for their benefit and could exploit the Sentinels.
NIXON WILL BE PRESIDENT: Keeping the real-world setting of First Class which had President Kennedy and the Cold-War being the backdrop. It's looking like the Vietnam War and President Nixon will be the timeline for our First Class characters. While the future timeline is unknown, it could be set post-The Wolverine which takes place after the events of X3. It's possible that Nixon might endorse the Sentinel program. Perhaps, after an assassination of a President by a mutant (Bishop or Magneto?). There was already a tease by Matthew Vaughn about an opening scene involving Magneto causing the death of President Kennedy.
TIME-TRAVEL: One element that has been confirmed is time-travel director Bryan Singer mentioned speaking with James Cameron on the subject. Likely, picking his brain about how he was able to make the Terminator franchise so believable. As the film takes story elements from Days of Future Past we could see Kitty Pryde (Shadow Cat) being sent back in time to warn/assist the old X-Men team to either stop or create an important event to change the future. Which may or may not involve killing/saving Nixon from being assassinated by a mutant or the creator of the Sentinel program. This could lead to finally introducing X-Men characters Cable and or Bishop into the franchise.