About 6,000 people got a sneak peek at Comic-Con in July, but today the masses finally got their first look at Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Judging by the reaction online it was well worth the wait.
The film finds both the original movie and “First Class” era “X-Men” meeting in order to stop history taking a very dark turn. That means lots of big names (Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman), Oscar winners (Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin) a Gandolf (Ian McKellen) and a Picard (Patrick Stewart) sharing the big screen. You can find out more about the trailer by watching it here or checking out HitFix’s Gregory Ellwood and Drew McWeeny’s news update embedded at the top of this post.
After watching the report, check out more of our movie team’s thoughts about “Days of Future Past” including whether Lawrence, Fassbender, Jackman and McAvoy are still part of the franchise for the next movie.
Do you think Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender or James McAvoy will return to the franchise after “Days of Future Past”?
Drew McWeeny: This is obviously a contractual question, and I’m not sure what the answer is. Do I think they’ll WANT to return to the franchise? That all depends on where this movie leaves them. What I found provocative about the dynamic between the three of them in “First Class” is that it turned the earlier films inside out. Seeing that Raven/Mystique was basically family with Charles while they were growing up makes the first three films feel very different. She’s so hollowed out emotionally as an adult, and such a vulnerable raw nerve as a young person, that whatever comes between those two moments we’ve seen must be hellish, and that’s an interesting story suggestion that “Days Of Future Past” may explore. I’m still surprised when I see Fassbender in this trailer because I keep forgetting he really is Erik now. He and McAvoy have plenty of other demands on their time now, and I can’t imagine anyone in town is hotter than Lawrence is right now, so if they’re going to want to make more of these, whoever is writing and directing is going to have to present an enormously appealing script to them. There’s a huge rich “X-Men” history to draw from, so the opportunity is there… now it’s a matter of execution.
Gregory Ellwood: This is interesting. I will be shocked if all three return for whatever the next “X-Men” movie turns out to be. I would guess McAvoy returns in some capacity (get that bald skull cap ready), but I can see Fassbender at least trying to delay his return. The “12 Years A Slave” star has a seemingly good relationship with 20th Century Fox (Searchlight’s “Slave,” “The Counselor” and “Prometheus” are his last three releases). Fox could do a wink, wink and give Magneto a movie off, especially if Fassbender is contractually obligated to three movies. The bigger issue is Lawrence. The Oscar winner is effectively on a superstar trajectory and means a lot to the box office…if she wasn’t covered in blue makeup most of the time. Not only does Lawrence have two more “Hunger Games” movies, but she’s arguably the most in demand actress under 30 in Hollywood (sorry Emma Stone, you had your moment). Lawrence is not the personality to want a contract fight out in public, so don’t be surprised if she ends up starring in a completely different Fox movie instead of a third “X-Men” film.
Kristopher Tapley: I guess that depends on how long Fox wants to keep two timelines going here, and who knows what the new film will have to say about that? On one hand it’s not really necessary; their presence in this film really adds some edge and depth to the series on the whole and it could just move forward from here. However, the opportunity to have separate series under one banner would be a great way for Fox to maintain its X-world as a robust thing rather than something that needs to be rebooted every couple of years to maintain the rights. Do I THINK they’ll come back? I would expect at least one of them to come back. I’d be surprised otherwise.
Is this the last time we’ll see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine?
Drew McWeeny: It should be. Hugh is obviously still fit enough to play the part, and I suspect that’s going to remain the case until he’s able to play Old Man Logan without any make-up, but at some point, you’ve said everything there is to say. No one’s had a run like him in this modern age of superhero movies, and I’m not sure anyone else will. Through it all, Jackman has been the best team player Fox could have ever hoped for. He is a consummate salesman, a guy who will tirelessly promote a movie, and he seems to genuinely love the character. Even so, his version is one way to play Wolverine. There are plenty of fans who never really clicked with what Jackman was doing, and it feels like it’s time to finally let someone else step up. If they do ever recast the part, they should make sure to do something different with him. Trying to recast Hugh Jackman is pointless; trying to recast Wolverine is entirely possible.
Gregory Ellwood: It’s time. And, to be quite honest, I’m betting Jackman and 20th Century Fox think so too. “The Wolverine” was not quite the blockbuster they were hoping for even with increased international grosses. The role has made Jackman’s career, but he’s starting to spend more of his time in a prestige world for moviegoers over 45, er, 25 (“Les Miserables,” “Prisoners,” the upcoming P.T. Barnum musical). Could he come back one more time? Sure, but wouldn’t this be the appropriate time to move on?
Kristopher Tapley: I couldn’t add much more than Drew did other than to say the fact that Jackman is so gung-ho and is such a salesman, I can’t imagine a. Fox not wanting him to saddle back up to the role and therefore b. Jackman being the team player he’s always been and agreeing to do so. I would start by remaking “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” the right way so that the taste of that one can finally go away.
What is one reboot or fix you think the movie could change in the Fox “X-Men” universe?
Drew McWeeny: The Jean Grey saga. If all of this is still happening in a world before “The Last Stand” or “X2,” then they can wipe that slate clean, save Jean, and buy themselves the right to take several movies to tell the Phoenix story the right way. Admittedly, the time travel story makes that slightly trickier, because some of the other characters will know about the world that almost was, but maybe that’s a tension that the filmmakers can explore in future movies. It can’t be easy to live with a time bomb that might go off, or to love one, and Jean Grey seems wired to be the Phoenix no matter what time travel characters indulge in. They fumbled it once, and now they have a shot. Do they buy themselves the right to try it again, or do they leave it fumbled? We’ll see.
Gregory Ellwood: Obviously, your first instinct is to suggest Jean Grey’s return, but it would have to be a different Grey at this point. Do we think Famke Janssen makes sense with some members of the “First Class” cast? (Yes, it’s all so confusing isn’t it?). Not really. The one reboot that makes more sense is to recast both Grey and Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. The latter is such a major part of the comic book franchise it’s ridiculous he’s been missing from the movie franchise since “X-2: United.” Throw in a new Emma Frost and you might just have something.
Kristopher Tapley: I think they’re sort of doing it just by traveling down this road. The “X-Men” universe on film has never been as big as it needed to be and establishing something that’s very much an element of the comic books, these different strands of time and how they effect the world. Whether it’s been “Age of Apocalypse” or “Days of Future Past” or even what’s happening now with “All-New X-Men” and the “Battle of the Atom” arc, this is a crucial element of the mythology and growing that would go a long way. “Days of Future Past” is a great step in that direction. Now if we can get “X-Force” and Cable and the can of worms his presence opens, we’ll really be off to the races.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opens nationwide on May 23, 2014.