Did you know it was Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto (played by both Michael Fassbender – above – and Ian McKellen), who was actually responsible for the death of President John F. Kennedy? So says the alternate history of X-Men: Days of Future Past in a new viral marketing site and video. Though it feels a bit exploitative to say so, the film appears to be taking full advantage of the current interest in the JFK assassination, driven by last Friday’s 50th anniversary of the real tragedy.
The new promo site follows the example set by earlier marketing materials released in July, posing as a real site and revealing little to nothing that would suggest it’s actually in service of a movie. The earlier site was one for Trask Industries, a corporation headed by Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) which is effectively the antagonist in Days of Future Past. As the site explains in friendly, consumer-driven terms, Trask industries is not only the manufacturer of the anti-mutant robots protecting the peace, but is on the forefront of technology to mitigate effects of the X-Gene that gives mutants their powers.
This new site takes on the appearance of a news editorial, including a lengthy piece which meticulously reports the events of the day fifty years later, with Magneto long in government captivity. The article was “written” by Harper Simmons, an accomplished investigative reporter in the X-Men comics cannon, and presents an amended Warren Report which says Magneto was the man on the grassy knoll, and that he bent the trajectory of Oswald’s bullets to wound, then kill, the President and others in the limo. Contextually, the article plays off the revelation of mutant activity explored in the Cuban Missile Crisis in X-Men: First Class, and presents a world that became increasingly divided not only by racial and geopolitical issues, but by questions of how to deal with the X-Gene and mutants, leading to the alternate universe that will be explored in the new movie.
Included also is a Nightline-style video which effectively presents a short version of the article. Check it out here:
X-Men: Days of Future Past is due out May 23rd. Check out the trailer and some of our previous coverage here.