Spoiler Alert. It is official. The sequel to 2011's X-Men: First Class is officially titled X-Men: Days of Future Past! Marvel Zombies, you know what you are in for.
Finally, we have stumbled upon a scenario where even the title of a film is an outright spoiler on what we can expect in the film.
Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class is easily one of our favorite films of 2011, and we have long anticipated the inevitable announcement since we heard about Vaughn's pitch for the opening of a possible sequel:
"I've got some ideas for the opening for the next film. I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy Assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto. That would explain the physics of it, and we see that he's pissed off because Kennedy took all the credit for saving the world, and mutants weren't even mentioned. And we could go from there, and I've got some fun ideas about what other mutants to bring in."
In this post-Avenger age, we know for certain that 20th Century Fox will be making the best out of this unprecedented opportunity of the Golden Age of the comic book adaptation. The scale of the sequel will undoubtedly be larger and the potential fully-tapped like never before. But we didn't really saw this one coming. Not even when it was reported that Fox has registered the title Days of Future Past with the MPAA back in June.
And yes, the sequel to X-Men: First Class is indeed X-Men: Days of Future Past.
For the uninformed, Days of Future Past is a fan-favorite story arc during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's classic run in "Uncanny X-Men" #141 and 142 back in 1981. Introducing fans to a dystopian future gripped with anti-mutant sentiments as a result of a massive backlash of mankind in response to the death of a politician (incidentally Senator Robert Kelly, the role played by Bruce Davison in the original X-Men film) by the hands of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The mutantkind was decimated by the hunting Sentinels and the surviving pack decided to send Kitty Pryde AKA Shadowcat back to the present to undo the horrendous future.
In a video interview with IGN, Bryan Singer, the director of X-Men and X2 and producer of the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, confirmed the title. Hit the jump to check out the video interview.
Courtesy of Collider, here are some quote-worthy comments by Singer:
Question: You mentioned X-Men, and I just had to ask you because I’m a huge X-Men fan, what can you say about the new film coming out?
Bryan Singer: I can say it’s being written right now and it will start shooting in a few months. It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past and it deals with aspects of that comic but also some very new things. I just don’t want to give any of it away. Matthew Vaughn will be directing and I’m totally excited about it.
Knowing the “Days of Future Past” story from the comics, that is a bold direction even if it’s a different version of it. I know Simon [Kinberg] said at Comic-Con that it can touch upon the entire X-Men film franchise or respect the entire X-Men film franchise, so is there room for some sort of cross-overs? More than we might have seen in the past?
Singer: I think there’s a strong desire to broaden out the universe. The X-Men universe on its own is every bit as big as the Marvel universe and I think it’s time to reach out and explore it and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films, as Marvel’s done so well. You may see some of that, I don’t know. [Laughs]
With Singer indicating the studio's idea to formed a coherent universe for a series of film in an effort to emulate Marvel Studios' tremendous success, it has been much-speculated that the move to take on the classic story arc is actually a well-calculated tactic to crossover the two groups of X-Men (the one in the original trilogy and the new and improved "old" swinging sixties model in First Class) in a concentrated effort to maximize the appeal of the franchise.
While this might seemed to be a little saturated somehow, I guess it is only right in this current climate where Hollywood realises the potential of superteams. And I do like the idea of mixing the best of both teams into one rock solid band of X-Men. Imagine Michael Fassbender butting heads with Hugh Jackman? Or in a scenario straight from the story arc of "Days of Future Past", we can have both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart fighting the Sentinel in the future (or present) while Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy hold the fort in the past? Which brings us to another point: While First Class was meant to be a prequel to the trilogy, the continuity problem has in fact been further messed up both by design and accident (I'm talking about the dismal accident known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine). With "Days of Future Past", there is a chance for continuity to be fixed a'la J.J. Abrams' successful reboot for Star Trek that kept the Trekkies happy knowing that the continuity they hold dear continues to exist in way.
The Magic Bullet idea mentioned earlier can also be transformed into this storyline seamlessly by changing a few key players since "Days of Future Past" essentially kicked off with bullet as well.
In addition, as mentioned by IGN, it has seldom been noticed by anyone that apart from that of X-Men, Fox actually also holds the movie rights to the Fantastic Four as well. Franklin Richards, the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, played a role in the story arc and could well be used as bridge to the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four.
Regardless, these are some incredible times in cinemas with the golden age of comic-book superheroes and things are certainly looking good ahead.
In closing, we bring you to a recent interview with co-writer Simon Kinberg conducted by Collider at San Diego Comic-Con:
"I wish I could tell you about it, but literally, it’s like the most guarded state secret I’ve ever been around. I can tell you that it’s going really well, and I can tell you that I’ve been working closely with Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman on the script of the movie and that we hope to be shooting in Spring of next year to come out in July of 2014 and that I’m really excited about it, because the only thing I can say, because I have to be extraordinarily vague about it, because the last time I talked to anybody about it, I got in trouble…big trouble…what I can tell you is [that] it’s extraordinarily ambitious. It is unlike the other X-Men movies and yet very much a celebration of the X-Men movies.”
“I don’t know enough of what he [Vaughn] has or hasn’t talked about. I can tell you it’s been a very fluid process in the sense of we really went into it, Matthew, Jane and myself, just wanting to create a movie that was as…I’m very proud of First Class…as dramatic as that movie, I think it is as dramatic as that movie, but more epic, mythic in a way as well. So, there are ideas that we’ve started with that haven’t survived, there are ideas that we started with from conversations we had from making First Class that are going to be in the sequel. So, it’s vague but…”
“It’s one of those movies that, because it’s such a big deal for the studio, they have some sense of what it is that we’re writing and they are ambitious about the movie, too. I don’t know what the budget’s going to be, we’ve got to finish the script before we have a budget, but I would assume that it is a bigger movie than the last in physical scope, and that we have the license to do that because of the success of First Class. And because I think Fox has had success with interesting movies in the last couple of years in the genre, like Planet of the Apes was a really good movie, Chronicle was a cool movie, First Class, they’re just narratively or creatively a little bit more ambitious. So they’ve encouraged us to do that with the sequel.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently scheduled for a release on July 18, 2014.
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