Comic Con has revealed quite a bit in regards to X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, from Sentinal heads to character posters, but we’ve yet to see any footage, particularly of the “future” aspect. Leave it to Comic Con to unveil that kind of awesome.
But first, there’s a certain mutant that had his day in court: THE WOLVERINE. Director James Mangold stepped out on stage and introduced an actionriffic sizzle reel shown in 3D that serves as a kind of wrap up of badassery, splicing in a shit ton of action footage from the release, which includes the titular character once again saying “Go f*ck yourself” in an X-film. There was plenty of unseen footage, including a scene were THE WOLVERINE pulls a katana from his chest after killing a samurai. “What kind of monster are you?”
“I’m the Wolverine.”
Hugh Jackmen then came onstage with Mangold and the two talked about how happy they were to work on the project, with Jackman saying that we would finally get to see “the berserker rage in full.” Mangold mentioned the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller mini series a number of times as a reference point for the film. Jackman, ever the classy and humble guy, called up Len Wein, the creator of Wolverine to shake his hand and thank him for his career, which is probably one of the coolest and respectable things I’ve seen an actor do in a long time.
Once done with THE WOLVERINE presentation, Hugh Jackman segued without a beat by introducing director Bryan Singer, who emerged a little nervously and quickly moved to the presentation of the teaser for X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST in 3D.
Without doing a complete blow by blow of the entire thing, I’ll hit the highlights:
The trailer begins with voice over by Patrick Stewart’s Professor X under Hans Zimmer’s INCEPTION score. The images dissolve into a number of scenes, many of them looking like an apocalyptic future showing off Halle Berry as Storm, Shawn Ashemore as Iceman, Ellen Page as Kitty Pride, Anna Paquin as Rogue (and rocking what looks like the green and white outfit finally) and then Wolverine and Professor X wearing souped up futuristic battle gear. When they cut to a close up of Wolverine you can clearly see that he has the gray-striped hair that’s synonymous with the Days of Future Past storyline.
Professor X says something to the effect of “I need you to help me as I did you” and proceeds to say “Guide me. Lead me. Be patient with me,” which prompts Wolverine to say “Patience isn’t my strong suit.” Then, we cut into a series of action sequences under the pumping INCEPTION score, showing old and new favorites in various forms of action from both the modern era and the ‘70’s, including Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellan, Omar Sy (as Bishop), and James McAvoy as a long-haired, obviously stressed out Professor X. We see shots of President Nixon, Peter Dinklage (who is revealed to be Bolivar Trask), Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Ian McKellen in an updated Magneto costume, Boo Boo Stewart as Warpath, Fan Bingbing as Blink, and so much more. The teaser ends with the Patrick Stewart Professor X face-to-face with the James McAvoy Professor X saying something to the effect of we “need you to come back.”
For me, the teaser represented the X-MEN film I wanted back in 2000, which is an epic, full-scale X-film that traverses all the boundaries of its vast universe. The action is big, refined and it finally starts to realize the full potential of the mutant universe. The merging of the themes, costumes, and timeframes in the films has finally caught up to those in the comics and it’s got me excited for the X-MEN again.
The panel afterwards revealed the massive cast of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PRESENT, including Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Evan Peters, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, and Shawn Ashmore, who all took the stage and did some Q&A.
Director Bryan Singer said that he likes “ensemble films” and even though it was a bit of a nightmare to coordinate such a large cast, he prefers it, pointing out that he started with that kind of cast with THE USUAL SUSPECTS. Halle Berry seemed to be perplexed that Storm never “gets any love” in terms of a romantic counterpart, while Anna Paquin said it was “incredible” to come back after 13 years, as she was 17 when hired for the first X-MEN and has since had a rather fortuitous career.
Hugh Jackman once again reiterated that he was “up for” a Wolverine team up with the other side of the Marvel fence, but relented that it’s up to people way above his head. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg stated that the new film is really about the original stories in the comics and honoring the source material, which seemed to make many fans happy.
Evan Peters, the newest and somewhat controversial team member as Quicksilver (the same character being “introduced” in THE AVENGERS sequel) simply stated that his take on the character was that he was “very fast; talks quick, moves quick” which prompted Michael Fassbender to say, “He’s got excellent genes,” eluding to the father-son aspect of Quicksilver to Magneto. Singer also stated that Quicksilver’s costume will be of the ‘70’s era, but didn’t specify what that meant.
Lastly, the panel was asked which X-Man they’d like to play if not the one they were already cast, with the surprising answers coming from Hugh Jackman, who said he’d like to be Deadpool and James McAvoy, who said he’d like to be Gambit.
All said in done, I have a newfound buzz for X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PRESENT, which really looks like the evolution of our favorite mutants that many of us have hoped for. One thing is for sure: it’s going to be the biggest of all the X-films, either literally, figuratively, or hopefully both.
THE WOLVERINE opens on July 26, 2013, followed by X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST on May 23, 2014.