X-Men: Days of Future Past has been on a positive-press roll lately, beginning with its strong showing at Comic-Con and continuing with a post-credits teaser in The Wolverine and a delightfully detailed promo website for Trask Industries (the film’s chief antagonist), and it seems the movie’s director was plenty willing to keep spreading the good will. Speaking with JoBlo while at the Fantasia International Film Festival, Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) divulged a number of new details about next May’s blockbuster, as well as some almost-was tidbits on a number of past projects.
We already knew that the timeline, as the title implies, is a little hairy, but Singer clarified roughly where in history the major segments stand: Future bits will take place about ten years after X-Men 3: The Last Stand (or a few years after The Wolverine), while past portions (a major part of the premise is Wolverine going back in time) will occur in 1973, just over a decade after the events of X-Men: First Class. As such, many of the characters will have made a bit of a leap in development since First Class; Days of Future Past will tackle the tricky task of building a bridge between two versions of the same character. Speaking of, Josh Helman will be the third person in the X-Men movies to bear the name William Stryker, following Brian Cox in X2 and Danny Huston in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This is a detail Singer will perhaps wish the audience to overlook, echoing the sentiment of most fans about the entirety of the first stand-alone Wolverine movie, as Helman could make sense as a younger version of Cox’s Stryker, but hardly squares with Huston’s version.
Also of interest is that Singer confirmed the film was shot in 3D (a boon to editor John Ottman, if recent discussions are to be remembered), and that the character Scarlet Witch will not appear in the film. On this latter count, there had been some concern, as Joss Whedon is reportedly including the character in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Scarlet Witch initially appeared in the X-Men comics, and there was talk of including her in Days of Future Past as well, which could have led to a custody battle between Fox and Disney. On that note, in fact, Quicksilver is another Marvel character which Whedon has said he’d like to include, but is confirmed for Days of Future Past. Though the subject didn’t come up in Singer’s JoBlo interview, he posted a picture on twitter yesterday:
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) August 6, 2013
At the extraordinarily high frame rate (which allows smooth super slow-mo shots), more light is needed to maintain a consistent exposure because the camera shutter is open a shorter period for each recorded frame.
In more general X-Men news, Singer also lamented the death of Cyclps in The Last Stand (directed by Brett Ratner, not Singer), suggesting he would have done things differently. He also revealed that Russell Crowe, who had been in talks to appear as Wolverine before Hugh Jackman was cast, wanted to play the character bald. We’re of the opinion that the decision to cast Jackman panned out for everyone involved, considering Days of Future Past will be Jackman’s seventh movie portraying the character (counting the cameo in First Class) and it’s hard to imagine Crowe having stuck around that long.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is still a ways out, with release scheduled for May 23 of next year, and at this rate figures to be one of the most hotly anticipated summer movies of 2014.