Any time something X-Men related comes out, I’m already on the train. Choo-choo!  No convincing needed.  Put “X-Men” in the title, and you’ve already sold me a ticket.  The upcoming X-Men film titled Days of Future Past is slated for release on July 18, 2014. (Eek!)

Saturday, January 26, X-Men: Days of Future Past director, Bryan Singer, tweeted a welcome message to the three newest confirmed cast memebers: Anna Paquin (Marie/Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat), & Shawn Ashmore (Bobby Drake/Iceman).

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Paquin, Page, and Ashmore will be joining the already confirmed cast:

  • Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique)
  • Hugh Jackman (Logan/Wolverine)
  • Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy/Beast)
  • Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto)
  • Ian McKellen (Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto – older)
  • James McAvoy (Charles Xavier)
  • Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier – older)

Screen shot 2013-01-26 at 9.11.19 PM

I’m most excited about seeing Ellen Page return to the franchise, mostly just because I love her but also because she’ll be a central character.  Shadowcat is pivotal to the Days of Future Past storyline–in fact, it revolves around her.  So Page’s role will be critical in this film, which they’re calling a sequel to X-Men: First Class.

The story is also very Wolverine heavy, so signing Hugh Jackman was also crucial here.  There was concern about that because Jackman is also doing a solo project The Wolverine which releases July of 2013, but he signed on for his role in Days of Future Past in December.

The Days of Future Past storyline comes from only two comics, The Uncanny X-Men issues #141 and #142 which were published in 1981.  At the time, the X-Men franchise was on the rise in popularity, and to a degree, this story defined the face of the X-Men for nearly twenty years, largely because of the writer, Chris Claremont.  The Days of Future Past story arc is considered a seminal X-Men story, meaning it greatly influenced a lot of later stories in the franchise and superhero stories in general.

This adaptation is risky.  First, the story arc only spanned two comics, and Singer is calling his adaptation “ambitious” for a number of reasons, including expanding the cast.  There’s a strong possibility it won’t be entirely true to the originals, but what is?  Second, because it involves time travel, and let’s just face it, that’s often a crap chute.

Having said that, Singer did great work directing the first two X-Men movies, (X-Men and X2: X-Men United).  Widely thought of as the greatest X-Men director to date, Singer comes in while Fox is desperate offering to direct the next X-Men film if they let him make the greatest X-Men story ever.  Fox has no choice but let him do it.  They need this.  Especially considering The Avengers (Disney/Paramount) made a billion dollars, and refusing to make this movie could jeopardize Fox’s rights to the X-Men franchise.

X-Men: First Class saved the franchise, and it’s likely this film will serve the same purpose.  So if Singer can capture what made the Future Past comics so beloved and popular and make a film as good as First Class, Days of Future Past should be a great installment.

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  • Ned's Blog
    Reply

    I still own — and to an embarrassing degree somewhat covet — about five years of X-Men comics starting with the transition from the old X-Men to the new, with the best of those story lines encompassing the Sentinels and the resurrection of Phoenix. I’ve also felt there was a lot to cultivate from that franchise. With the success of the The Avengers, it seems Marvel has its sites — rightly so — set on its next mega-franchise. Can’t wait to see what they do with it. Thanks for the update!

    • ER Arroyo
      Reply

      Hey Ned! Curious what you think since you’re a fan… The first film trilogy was the modern or “present day” feel. And they are clearly trying to make another trilogy with First Class, Days of Future Past, and whatever they come up with next, which seems to be focused on the “past.” I feel like the Sentinels storylines bring in a more futuristic feel, do you think they could:

      a) come up with a third “past” storyline to complete this trilogy?
      and
      b) create a new trilogy that focuses more on the futuristic and more sci-fi type dynamics?

      The Sentinels would definitely open them up for a new direction for the franchise, perhaps over the next ten years. I wonder how well it would work out? Or if they would even pursue it. I think a lot of that depends on how well they polish off this “trilogy.” They need some big numbers!

      • Ned's Blog
        Reply

        It seems like they are following the Avengers formula, with giving Wolverine his own (new) movie before releasing the latest in the trilogy. If they can pull fans in for that and end it in a way that eludes to a new storyline (as DC did with the last Batman), perhaps by doing what the original comic book series did when it introduced the New X-men, it could be a winning formula. I think something set with a more futuristic feel (J.J. Abrams, are you reading?), and a re-boot of characters could be amazing. “The Sentinels” storyline has a lot of moral implications that still apply today. Here’s hoping for big numbers and big ideas!

        • ER Arroyo
          Reply

          JJ! :) Yeah someone mentioned a reboot online somewhere last week. I forgot where I read it. Thanks for chiming in!

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