Promotion for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is in the fullest of swings ahead of this weekend’s release. There are digital posters on the London Underground counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until release, which more than anything are sort of stressful to look at: meanwhile on the internet are all manner of clips and things, including a bunch more of the character-focused “power pieces” that we saw last week. These three focus on the future freedom fighter (sort of: it’s complicated, like damn near everything X-related these days) Bishop (Omar Sy), new to the franchise, and two returning characters: cold-powered Iceman and Russian strongman Colossus, played by Shawn Ashmore and Daniel Scudmore respectively, both of whom we last saw in “X-Men: The Last Stand” (i.e. the last in the original trilogy).
And speaking of ‘The Last Stand,’ the movie that almost destroyed the franchise and led to director Brett Ratner becoming a byword for movie awfulness… it turns out the people who made it feel bad. At least, some of them do. If you need reminding what went so wrong, we shared the Honest Trailer earlier: basically, it was a spectacular but chaotic mess that badly botched one of the comics’ most beloved storylines — the Dark Phoenix Saga — by trying to force it into an overly complex film that already had another plot going for it, and in the process sacrificed most of the emotional weight and almost all of the narrative drive. But don’t take my word for it: ask Simon Kinberg, who co-wrote the movie (and ‘Days of Future Past’) and has recently conceded that it did a lot of things wrong:
“I regret that The Dark Phoenix story wasn’t the primary story of the movie,” he told ScreenCrush. “I wanted The Dark Phoenix story, but I regret where the movie ended up. And so, weirdly, [‘DOFP’] was sort of my opportunity, a little like the characters in ‘Days of Future Past’ going back and improving their younger selves with the lessons they’ve learned as wiser men. It’s sort of a chance for me to go back and do differently what I did ten years ago on ‘X3.’ “
But Kinberg believes it was also a different era, and a darker storyline probably wouldn’t have sold. “Listen, I think if we made that movie today, there are a lot of things that would be different,” he added. “The universe today, culturally, is more open to a darker superhero film. And the darkness of her story was a little bit daunting on a huge $200 million studio movie. And, it would be less daunting today.”
Kinberg goes on to say that ‘Days of Future Past’ has provided the opportunity to set things right to some extent: literally, since the storyline involves time-travel and attempts to change a bleak past time-line. If Professor X and the gang do manage to get the taste of Ratner out of our mouths, it’ll be an impressive and welcome feat. And according to our review, it kinda does. And moreover, Kinberg is listening to the fans too, and with Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, already earning no shortage of buzz for his brief but memorable turn, the writer promises the mutant will be back for “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
“We talked about bringing Scarlet Witch into the mix for [‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’]” Kinberg told Total Film about the sprawling cast of the movie. “Actually, there was a little scene that we shot that we ended up cutting out of the movie that alluded to her. But it was sort of an interstitial scene that didn’t push the movie forward, so it ended up being cut…But [Quicksilver] would absolutely be back for the next X-Men movie.”
So there go. Check out the power pieces below and catch ‘Days Of Future Past’ this Memorial Day weekend.