Bryan Singer Talks Character, Action in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Total Film

In an extensive interview with Total Film Magazine, director Bryan Singer spoke about the challenges of translating “Days of Future Past” to film for more X-Men movie fun.

Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Total Film

Singer spoke about his love for the original comics, and divulged that he would often chat with Chris Claremont (who has a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Len Wein about stories for the films. Of course, the time travel aspect of “Days” made it both attractive and challenging to bring to the big screen. Singer said it “enabled [him] to bring the cast together,” but he “had to figure out a system by which things could occur in two different times that would have a logic to it.”

In order to do that, he used a concept of the observable time stream. It dealt “with the notion that until an event is observed, it hasn’t fully happened yet.” Wolverine, when he travels back in time into his younger self’s body, then, is actually making the past into a concrete history. “And then the future takes hold,” Singer said. As far as Kitty’s role in the film, which is obviously changed from the comic (there, she was the time traveler), she has a secondary mutation that lets her push other peoples’ consciousness through time and space.

Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Total Film

Speaking specifically of some of the cast, Singer called Quicksilver “really fun” and a “70s version of an emo outcast!” He also called out Blink as “really fun” and said that the movie starts lighter and more humorous, but gets darker as it goes. Singer said that he was actually “nervous” about directing James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, the young versions of Charles Xavier and Magneto. “But then it turned out to be awesome and fun and funny,” Singer said, “they’re both really terrific in this movie.” Jennifer Lawrence, meanwhile was “meticulous,” especially during fight scenes. She also worked to make sure her pronunciation and delivery of lines in Vietnamese and French were right. Mystique is “more militant” than she was in X-Men: First Class, on a “mission of vengeance.”

But all that character focus doesn’t stand in the way of action, and “tragedy.” In fact, the balanced presentation of the film has had a specific positive affect in early screenings on one large segment of the audience: women. “We’ve noticed that women have responded well. More so than I’ve ever seen in an X-Men film that I’ve been involved with. I think it’s down to the emotional core of James McAvoy’s character’s journey. I think it has to do with his relationship with Raven.”

Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Total Film X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST images
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Total Film

Speaking of Marvel movie mutants, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige recently downplayed speculation/conjecture that Marvel Comics’ Inhuman push of 2013-2014 is a means to replace mutants (movie rights owned by Fox, of course) with a new category of characters who simply develop genetically-based superhuman powers for use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Inhumans is something that we are definitely thinking about and we think there’s great potential there for a great movie,” Feige told the Huffington Post. “But, no, no — we have not linked those two [concepts].”

Asked directly the term ‘Inhuman’ “would have nothing to do with getting around the word ‘mutant’?” Feige responded, “As it relates to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver? No. No, no, no.”

Feige was referring, of course, to the decidedly-mutant characters (in comic book terms, anyways) who have been added to the cast of 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

It remains to be seen then how Marvel will explain the basis/origin of those character’s powers if they won’t be Inhumans and they can’t be mutants.

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