On The Edge Films

Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds

Look Ahead: X- Men Days of Future Past

2014/ USA

Director: Bryan Singer

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, James McAvoy, January Jones, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin

Now this film really is a bit of a conundrum and none of us really know what to expect from 2014’s X- Men Days of Future Past because it really is quite a muddle of a film already. The casting of this film alone stands to confuse and dismay for as you will see both pairings of Fassbender/ McAvoy and McKellen/ Stewart as Magneto and Professor Xavier respectively have been cast in the film… so expect time travel and flash backs in time that type of thing… If you thought getting The Avengers to screen was hard then a complete X- Men film on this scale is even trickier. There are as many characters in X- Men alone as there are in the entire Marvel universe and each one needs to be reflected correctly to make this film a success.

For those of you who don’t know what the title of this film means we’ll summarise it for you:

“‘Days of Future Past’ is a popular story line in the Marvel Comics comic book The Uncanny X-Men issues #141 and #142, published in 1981. It deals with a dystopian alternative future in which mutants are incarcerated in internment camps. An adult Kate Pryde transfers her mind into her younger self, the present-day Kitty Pryde, who brings the X-Men to prevent a fatal moment in history which triggers anti-mutant hysteria”

SO… very complicated

We are set to have two story lines probably running parallel with each other. One which sees Wolverine (Jackman) and Kate Pryde (Page) fighting to survive in a dystopian future ruled by those famous sentinels that have killed off the majority of the X- Men as they try and travel back in time to stop the death of Senator Kelly (this death triggers the dark future we will see). The opposing story arc will concern the results from the end of ‘X- Men: First Class‘ where the X- Men will continue to battle with Magneto and Mystique’s new brotherhood of mutants that are seeking to control the world.

However this is all a bit tricky for Singer as he is going to have to combine three separate X- Men story lines into one film or possibly a few films and manage to link them coherently.

First we have the original X- Men trilogy which ended with ‘X- Men: The Last Stand’ a rather underwhelming conclusion to an average series of films. This series left us with Cyclops and Professor Xavier dead and Magneto having lost his powers… only to see a flicker of them return just before the credits.

Secondly we have Wolverine’s individual story arc in ‘X- Men Origins: Wolverine’ and in this year’s ‘The Wolverine’. The first of these films was so terrible that the story has almost been dismissed as being part of the X- Men universe, this year’s installment is being hailed by Jackman as The Wolverine film the character deserves but we’ll hold out on that judgement until it’s been released. All we can hope is that we will see that yellow spandex at some point in the future. The awkward thing about these films is that they are sandwiched between the original trilogy and Matthew Vaughn‘s new re-booted world… although a few key scenes could see Wolverine fit in nicely with Singer’s new film… still there is massive work to be done here.

Finally as mentioned we have Matthew Vaughn’s new X- Men world established in ‘X- Men: First Class’. Which was a very good film and seemed to be paving the way for a much better trilogy of films with a more retro edge. There were plans for an aptly named ‘X- Men: Second Class’ that would follow on from the first film and would only see the introduction of one new character. Sadly though it seems all the good work in this film is set to be undone. Days of Future Past is set to pick up Vaughn’s story line ten years down the line but because of the Wolverine factor it seems that this part of the film may be rushed meaning the death of a promising trilogy and less time seeing Fassbender as the Magneto we all wished for from the beginning.

There are a whole host of problems attached to this film and never before in film history has a director had to patch together three separate film narratives into one and pass them off as a success. There are so many inaccuracies to deal with; the fact that their are two sabertooths, the fact that the X- Men in the original trilogy are thirty or so years ahead of Vaughn’s in terms of time and where the hell does Wolverine fit in between them? All we know is that it’s going to be a quick twelve months or so for Bryan Singer and if he fails to pull this off he could single handedly kill the X- Men franchise for good… so no pressure then… get to work…

-Josh Senior

Just so you know what you’re in for:

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