There’s a good chance that you spent a portion of your Memorial Day weekend in a movie theater, and there’s an equally good chance that you were there to watch Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. The fifth film in the X-Men franchise, seventh if you include two solo Wolverine outings, combines many of the characters and lore across all the various X-films. Naturally, this can lead to many unanswered questions, as with so many stories, characters, plots and motivations, it’s pretty easy to lose focus on all the pieces that are in motion.
First of all, this is a time travel story, so that automatically sets up all kinds of paradoxes and contrivances that the viewer has to sort out. Some characters are places they shouldn’t be, while other characters end up with entirely new destinies. In the case of Days of Future Past, there are characters with powers they shouldn’t have, mysterious deaths, sudden re-appearances and altered histories.
Then, we have the mysterious future to worry about. What does fate have in store for the mutants going forward? What villains will return to make a menace of themselves, and which X-Men will be called upon to fight them? The possibilities are endless, and so are the questions. Thankfully, though, We Got This Covered is here to help.
Over the weekend, we assembled a team of mutant experts to pick up the pieces left by X-Men: Days of Future Past and answer some of the most pressing questions that you may have. Of course, if you haven’t yet seen the film, you might want to turn back now. If you have seen it though, and are still trying to figure it all out, then read on for some answers that just might help you make sense of everything.Next
How Close Is The Movie To The Comic Book?
Obviously, changes were made. In the original two-part story by the seminal writer/artist team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne in 1981, it was Kitty Pryde that went back in time, planting her future consciousness in her younger self in order to stave off the robot-ruled dystopia of the Sentinels. Of course, the desire to use Days of Future Past as a quasi-sequel to X-Men: First Class quashed that notion, because the film’s 1973 time-setting would mean that it takes place about 20 years before Kitty Pryde is born. But hey, Hugh Jackman’s got to eat, and because his character is over 100 years old and is, for the most part, ageless, he was the obvious choice for the trek back in time.
Once in the past, that aspect of the story’s been rejiggered too. In the comic, Mystique and a new version of the Brotherhood, Magneto’s assembly of mutant freedom fighters, seeks to assassinating the mutant-hating Senator Robert Kelly. In the movie though, a solo Mystique seeks to kill Boliver Trask, inventor of the Sentinels. The result is the same, however, as Mystique’s actions lead directly to a dystopia where mutants and humans alike are brought to the edge of extinction by the Sentinels.
Like the comic, the movie Days of Future Past ends with a promising outlook and shows that the X-Men have avoided catastrophe. The DOFP future has been revisited several times in the comic book, though, thanks to other time travellers like Rachel Summers, the future daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey, Bishop, who was featured in the film’s future fighting with the X-Men, and Cable, who’s from 2,000 years in the future where the fight for survival continues.
Of course, there’s also the “Age of Apocalypse,” which re-wrote our present when Professor X is killed in the past. But more on that later.Previous Next
In The Future, How Is Xavier Not Dead? How Does Magneto Have His Powers? How Does Wolverine Still Have Metal Claws?
Woah, horsey. Let’s start with Xavier and the catastrophic events which befall him in The Last Stand. On a rage-filled rampage with her dark passenger The Phoenix in control, Jean Grey obliterates Xavier in a mind-melding swirl of nastiness. We see his gravestone and are told that he’s dead… until he turns up in an airport with Magneto, attempting to recruit Logan in the post-credits scene for The Wolverine – without so much as a “Well, you’ll never believe what happened to me!” for the notably shocked Wolvie.
His apparent aversion to death is dealt with during the post-credits scene for The Last Stand. If you too possess the power of telepathy (or the equally-difficult ability to access the audio commentary on the DVD), you’d of course know that the chap Moira MacTaggart had hooked up to life support was actually Charles Xavier’s braindead twin brother. Her gasped “Charles?” offering a vague confirmation that Xavier’s spirit had entered his brother’s body.
Yes, it’s a big stretch – so feel free to ignore this and instate your own version of Xavier’s rebirth. After all, he’s prone to faking his death in the comics.
As for Magneto’s powers….during the final showdown in The Last Stand, he is administered the cure that’s designed to rid mutants of their powers. The film’s final moments show Erik dressed like a hobo in a park, sitting in front of a chess game. Seconds before the screen cuts to black, his hand hovers over the board and one of the pieces moves on its own.
From this we can conclude that the mutant cure did not work. Or at the very least, its effects were short-lived, meaning it was only a matter of time before his powers returned.
And lastly, Wolverine’s claws.
In the post-credits scene for The Wolverine, Logan is without new comrade Yukio when confronted by Xavier and Magneto. He’s also without his favourite appendage: his adamantium claws, after their painful removal by Yashida’s robot. As the sequence takes place two years after the events in the film, his claws have regrown, but they’re plain old bone.
So – how did he regain his adamantium-infused bones between the post-credits airport scene and Days Of Future Past? It’s not strictly addressed, but we’d hazard a guess and put our bets on Magneto’s newly-gained powers of metal manipulation. In the comics, he removed the adamantium from Wolvie’s bones, so what’s to say he can’t do the reverse?Previous Next
Wasn’t Rogue Going To Have A Bigger Part In The Movie?
Yes. Up until the last minute, Anna Paquin’s role involved a big set-piece which was sadly cut from the theatrical release. Glimpsed at in the official trailer, there’s a brief shot of Rogue with Bobby and the older Magneto. Writer Simon Kinberg spoke of the decision to remove the subplot (mainly as it detracted from the pace), but also the reasons why it existed in the first place: To give the two older versions of Xavier and Erik a mission to embark on other than sitting around watching Wolvie skewer Kitty.
Despite its removal, Rogue’s scene leaves a residue across the rest of the movie. In the sequence, she’s trapped in a Sentinel prison until Magneto, Xavier and Bobby break her out. Why was she being held captive? For her powers.
Allow us to explain.
The opening action sequence launches into a gigantic battle between the impenetrable Sentinels and the last throng of X-Men committed to fighting them. From what’s inferred later on, these machines are based around the DNA of Mystique, a shape-shifting mutant. While this would permit them to morph into anyone they choose, it doesn’t explain how they’re able to absorb the powers of mutants.
During the battle between Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and Sunspot (Adam Canto), the Sentinels are shown displaying the powers of mutants they’ve previously fought; Emma Frost’s (X-Men: First Class) sparkly diamond form and Lady Deathstrike’s (X2) claws to name but two, all because of their experiments on Rogue.Previous Next
Since When Can Kitty Pryde Send People Back In Time?
Good question with no obvious answer either given or implied in the course of the film. The narrative answer, as previously stated by screenwriter Simon Kinberg and director Bryan Singer, is that using Kitty as the method of sending Wolverine back in time was an homage to the fact that it was Kitty who did the time travelling in the original comic book story. But really, like the whole thing with Professor X being alive, Magneto having his powers, and Wolverine’s claws being re-adamantiumated, it’s just one of those things you have to go with in order to enjoy the movie.
But if you’re one of those obsessive types who absolutely, positively has to have a definitive answer about these things, there might be something we can offer. In the Grant Morrison run on X-Men, the idea of secondary mutation was introduced. This meant that a mutant can be born with one ability, like making oneself intangible, and then they can later develop a separate, second ability, like sending other people’s consciousness back in time.
X-Men: First Class established the precedent by giving Emma Frost both her comic abilities: telepathy and transforming her skin into a diamond shell. From the sounds of it, as Kitty describes her time travel ability to Professor X and the others, it seems like a new thing to her, and them.
So let’s just say “secondary mutation” and leave it at that.Previous Next
Where Was The Rest Of The First Class?
Ah, yes. X-Men: First Class introduced us to so many new characters: Angel, Emma Frost, Azazel, Banshee and Riptide. So what happened to them all? Well, if you blinked at a crucial moment, or had to go to the bathroom, then you probably missed the scene where Mystique uncovered Trask’s secret files, which includes autopsy information for all the mutants listed above, including pictures. Magneto later confirmed that they were killed when he raged out at Xavier for his indifference. Aside from Xavier, Magneto, Beast and Mystique, it seems that the only mutant to walk away from the Cuban Missile Crisis alive is Havok, and then he was sent to Vietnam.
You may say that’s a lot of mutants to lose at any one time, but in the comic books mutant massacres are not uncommon. The first, big “mutant massacre” was when a villain named Mr. Sinister and a group of evil mutants called The Marauders killed a group of disfigured mutants called the Morlocks, who lived in the sewers under New York. Later, the Sentinels would wipe out the population of Genosha, an island nation off the coast of Africa whose population was majority mutant. Being a mutant is a dangerous thing, and there’s always some group or another looking to wipe them off the face of the Earth.
In fact, there’s an expression from the comic book for new teammates: “Welcome to the X-Men – hope you survive the experience.” Sometimes, unfortunately, they don’t.Previous Next
Wait A Minute! Isn’t Quicksilver In Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Too?
He is. Before returning for X-Men: Apocalypse, the faster-than-light scrappy kid with terrible hair will make an appearance in next summer’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. In fact, if you’re a Marvel fan, then you’ve likely already seen him in the post-credits sequence for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he’s imprisoned with his sister, Scarlet Witch.
Thing is, in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe he’s played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, not Evan Peters.
The crux of this matter boils down to rights. The sibling duo first appeared (in the comic canon) in X-Men #4 as the offspring of Magneto, and later absconded to do good for The Avengers – all perfectly normal in the tangled web of Marvel’s comic continuity. When it comes to the big screen, though, Fox (who own the movie rights to X-Men) are within their rights to include Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. However, Marvel (who birthed the characters in the comics) are also entitled to use the characters in their movies.
The stipulation here, as addressed by Marvel’s creative head Kevin Feige, is that during their stint in Fox’s X-Men franchise, their alliance with The Avengers cannot be referenced. Similarly, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, their mutant past will be re-written to erase their X-Men origins.Previous Next
Why Did Mystique Replace Stryker In The End?
Mystique’s not fond of powerful men, but she sure does love filling their shoes. As she did at the end of X-Men, the character’s story in Days of Future Past ends with her doubling for a high-ranking mutant hater in the American government, this time in the form of Maj. William Stryker. “Mystyker” is last seen pulling the ‘73 version of Wolverine out of the Potomac River after he was impaled with metal bars and flung there by Magneto, but her plans for Logan beyond saving him from a watery doom are unknown.
What happens next might depend on a couple of things. Is Stryker dead, and does Mystique plan on fulfilling his plans for Weapon X and giving Wolverine his adamantium skeleton? It’s hard to say, and one might be actually very surprised to learn, if true, that maybe there is no plan, and Singer just thought it would be a cool way to end the movie.
At least maybe we can agree that this movie retcons X-Men Origins: Wolverine out of canonical existence. In Origins, Stryker finds Wolverine and Sabretooth in Vietnam in 1975 and recruits them to Weapon X, but in DOFP Wolverine is stateside, not in the army, and Sabretooth is nowhere to be seen. It’s also worth noting that Emma Frost is in Origins, and that was retconned out nicely with First Class. So if the X-Men producers are on a campaign to erase the not-so-good movies out of proverbial existence, X-Men: The Last Stand included (given a couple of key cameos), I don’t think anyone’s going to complain.
Heck, maybe Ryan Reynolds will finally get that Deadpool movie he’s always wanted.Previous Next
What Does The Return Of Cyclops And Jean Mean?
The final scene of Days Of Future Past returns the time-travelling Logan to a future wherein the sun is shining, students are happily wandering the halls, and err, lots of people who were dead are now very much alive. The most shocking reveal (kept so deftly under wraps to the point that director Bryan Singer denied the actors’ involvement in the production) was the return of original X-Men, Jean Grey and Scott Summers (Cyclops).
But hang on, how can they be alive?
Simple. The original 1973, the version where Bolivar Trask’s mutant-murdering Sentinels are spawned, is re-written by the events following Wolverine’s trip back in time. Mystique no longer kills Trask and the world views mutants in a different light as a result. Furthermore, Trask is jailed for a ton of offenses previously unknown, and his Sentinel program is canceled.
The ripple effect of those actions, in essence, has wiped out the hideous story developments seen in The Last Stand. Scott and Jean never died at all – hence their appearance when Logan steps into Xavier’s office at the end of the film.
For the future of the franchise this could mean that we get another sequel after X-Men: Apocalypse featuring the older, original cast.Previous Next
Who’s That Guy In The Post-Credits Scene?
At the end of the credits we flashback to Ancient Egypt, where a young mutant is building pyramids with his powers. Below him, we see a crowd of worshippers chanting “En Sabah Nur.” The camera then pans around to show the mutant’s face. After a very brief glimpse, the scene cuts to black.
So, what does it all mean? Well, the next film in the series will be titled X-Men: Apocalypse and will arrive on May 27th, 2016. The titular Apocalypse is an immortal supervillain from the comics who, according to Wikipedia, was born 5,000 years ago. The most interesting part though is that he was originally named “En Sabah Nur,” meaning that the young boy in the post-credits scene is indeed Apocalypse.
Now, as for the context of the scene, that’s still a little unclear. We know that X-Men: Apocalypse will take place in the 1980s and focus on the younger versions of the characters, like First Class did, but we’re not sure how Apocalypse himself will factor into things.
Most likely, the tease during the credits was just that, a tease. Writer Simon Kinberg has already explained that the next film won’t take place in Ancient Egypt, and that the young boy in that scene may not even make an appearance. It seems that the post-credit scene was probably just thrown in to give fans something to chew on, and remind them at Apocalypse is definitely coming.Previous Next
Which X-Men Will Appear In X-Men: Apocalypse?
How can we possibly know that? Well, actually, we can. In fact, director Bryan Singer has already talked about it.
Apocalypse will pick up the action in the past sometime after Days of Future Past’s climax in 1973, meaning that we’ll likely see the return of Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). In addition, Singer also said that young versions of Gambit and Nightcrawler would be a part of the film.
Nightcrawler, the teleporting mutant played by Alan Cumming in X2: X-Men United, has yet to be cast, but Channing Tatum will fill the boots and trenchcoat of the Cajun rogue Gambit. You may remember that Taylor Kitsch played the part in X-Men Origins: Wolverine to no critical acclaim.
So that’s what’s confirmed. But who else might play a part in the film? One supposes Hugh Jackman could come back as Wolverine and resolve the sorta cliffhanger that DOFP left him in. While the actor has made suggestions that his days as a mutant may be numbered, he still has a starring role in the third solo Wolverine movie to complete, and thus may change his mind (again).
Havok and his fellow mutant Vietnam vets Toad, Ink and Spyke may also be back, and there are rumors that we’ll see Professor X recruit young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm, which would bring the series full circle as they’re the most senior members of the X-Men in the first film. But failing all that, there’s still hundreds of other mutant characters, X-Men, allies and villains, for Singer and Co. to tap into.