Ever since the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer was released wide, comics fans and comics professionals alike have been breaking down the key elements of the fast-paced, Easter-egg filled trailer. See our own breakdown of the ten most important things in it for reference. And now, so is director Bryan Singer. In an interview with EmpireOnline.com's Chris Hewitt, the iconic director of the original X-Men goes very in-depth on key images seen in the 2+ minute trailer.
Singer starts at the beginning, confirming that the close-up shot of an eye is indeed that of the elder Professor Charles Xavier, played (and voiced over in this scene) by Patrick Stewart. Singer says that the dialogue spoken by Xavier in this scene, ("What's the last thing you remember?") is important, not just for the movie's plot but also the audience in terms of what they should expect.
The next pivotal image Singer chimes in on is the grizzled visage of Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman. In the trailer we see both the familiar version of Wolverine from previous movies, as well as a grey-haired version from the future – taken directly from Chris Claremont and John Byrne's original "Days of Future Past" arc of the Uncanny X-Men comic series. In talking about this, Singer says that "even though [Wolverine] hasn't aged physically it's something that shows how tough things have gotten in the future, and brought that out in him and given him a little more world-weariness."
One of the big reveals that most people didn't realize in the trailer is the status of Wolverine. X-Men: Days of Future Past starts off ten years past X-Men: First Class, making it the year 1973 – before Wolverine had his bones laced with adamantium from the Weapon X program, Singer confirms. Logan's bone claws can be scene briefly in the scene of him fighting the gunmen who shoot him.
Singer also addresses the appearance of Halle Berry as Storm. When X-Men: Days of Future Past was first being discussed as a movie, Belly famously said the chances of her reprising her role as Storm would depend on if there was a major role for her to play. Looks like she has one, as the trailer shows off a more seasoned – and short-haired – Storm, whom Singer says is "one of the last surviving X-Men" in the future alongside Wolverine, Xavier and Magneto.
But it seems the X-Men of the future are a team in name only. Singer says that the X-Men organization has dissolved, and that "most of them" have been hunted down and are dead. So some of X-Men movie fans' favorite characters from the past may not be making an appearance; the trailer did show off some new additions to the X-Men cinematic universe; namely, Bishop (played by Omar Sy), Sunspot (played by Adan Canto), Warpath (played by Booboo Stewart) and Blink (played by Fan Bing Bing). But according to Singer, they're not even X-Men.
"They're not really fresh recruits," Singer tells EmpireOnline. "They're more refugees that are living day to day in this hideously ruined world. They don't have much hope in the future. They're on the run and they join forces with the remaining X-Men to do this one last attempt at fixing the world."
Their fix, as the trailer implies, is to send the older Wolverine mentally back in time to a younger version of himself to find Charles Xavier and prompt him to change his ways in order to prevent these future X-Men's dark future. According to Singer, the method for which Wolverine's mind is able to time travel is done on top of the carved table briefly seen in the trailer as well as some new powers that Kitty Pryde has in the future – the glowing hands with energy coursing through Logan's head as seen in the trailer are hers.
Presumably successful in sending Logan's mind back, In the trailer there is a scene taking place outside the doors to Cerebro in which the younger Xavier places his hands on the temples of Wolverine to access Logan's memories, which are the key to unlocking the telepath's fate.
"[Charles is] trying to access something deep in his mind," says Singer to EmpireOnline. "That’s what the line’s about, 'You’re going to need to do for me what I once did for you'. In [the first X-Men movie], Logan was a lost, lonely person and Charles helped him find himself. Now the tables are turned and Logan is coming into the world from the future to find a man who’s at the end of his rope in the past."
Singer does say that there are several scenes in the trailer that may yet be altered for the final version of the film. Speaking about the scene of Colossus (played by Daniel Cudmore) running across the temple set while it's exploding, the director states that in the final version Colossus might be seen in his armored form here but he "has no visual effects" done for the scene yet. Singer says that currently none of the major special effects work is done except for "a couple of backdrops and a couple of shots" fast-tracked for the trailer.