Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise will soon be upon us, and right now everyone is a little skeptical about X-Men: Days of Future Past. To Singer’s credit, it’s quite possibly the most ambitious superhero film to date, reuniting nearly every major cast member from the original trilogy and placing them in a film with the leads from Matthew Vaughn’s prequel, First Class, in a fight for survival that takes place over the course of two time periods. He’ll have to work extremely hard to balance out the film’s enormous cast while telling a potentially complicated time-travel story and laying the groundwork so that the franchise can leave its complicated history behind and move forward in a bold new direction.
One of the biggest things that’s plagued the series thus far is its over-complicated and completely inconsistent continuity. Because the films have been handled by several different directors and writers, with a handful of potential side-stories and re-starts that went nowhere (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I’m looking at you), things have gotten a little muddied over the years.
Singer has a chance now to pull a J.J. Abrams and somehow create a new timeline, or erase past mistakes (like X-Men 3) in order to make the series as a whole more fluent and viewer-friendly. Unfortunately for the director though, the marketing for Days of Future Past hasn’t done him any favors as many of the photos and footage that have been released have raised more questions than answers, leaving us scratching our heads.
For example, the image below features James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier out of his wheelchair and standing on his own, next to a de-furred Hank McCoy. How is this possible? Is this taking place in a different timeline, or have past events somehow been ret-conned so that Xavier never took a bullet to the back and McCoy never turned into a big furry blue Beast?
Singer may have a few tricks up his sleeve, and I’m sure that all questions will be answered when the film arrives on May 23rd. However, thanks to Nicholas Hoult, who plays Hank McCoy, we now have an explanation for his character’s normal appearance:
“What’s happened up to this point is between the time of the last movie and this movie my character has created a serum which basically controls his mutation so his appearance is normal as long as he doesn’t get worked up. Any animal instinct or urges, that kind of brings him out. So yeah, he changes into Beast a few times throughout the story and they’ve done some great action sequences with him this time, particularly in the mansion flying around on these chandeliers and stuff.”
In other words, don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
That’s right, Bryan Singer is basically turning Beast into The Hulk. Normally this may not be that big a deal, but part of what makes Beast such a great character is that he’s permanently stuck in his beastly form, something that he accidentally did to himself. One of the most interesting and moving aspects of his character is his pursuit of a cure and how he ultimately comes to terms with his mutation and accepts himself for what he’s become. To simply say, “there’s a serum for that,” undermines that character tremendously.
Obviously, I have no idea what sort of focus this will have in the film or if the serum will even work for McCoy in the long run, but it seems a bit odd that they would throw something like this in. Hoult says that he changes into Beast “a few times throughout the story,” so that implies that it won’t simply be a thrown-away plot point, and will carry on through most of the film.
Tell us, how do you feel about this revelation? Does it intrigue you, or do you think it too closely resembles The Hulk and goes against the beloved comic-book interpretation of the character? Let us know in the comments section below.