X-Men: Days Of Future Past trailer analysis

Feature James Hunt 30 Oct 2013 - 06:03

We break down the new trailer for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days Of Future Past, to see what goodies lie within...

Following various leaks, teasers, and the interminable trailer-for-a-trailer, the first full trailer for next year's mutant blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past has finally hit the Internet, and immediately it's clear that Fox isn't holding anything back with their desire to turn the franchise into its own version of The Avengers.

Take a look at here, in case you've missed it...

As well as reuniting the cast of Singer's original X-Men films as well as the faces from Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, the studio is adapting one of the most influential and definitive superhero stories ever told. But what can we learn about it from this trailer?

A Teaser Trailer

The most interesting thing about this trailer is all the things it doesn't tell you. In an era when movie trailers routinely spoil the big moments from the first two acts of a film, if not more, this one keeps things sketchy. We know Wolverine will be travelling through time, psychically if not physically. We know that Magneto and the X-Men will be joining forces, but not how, or even why. As trailers go, this is one you don't have to be scared of watching. A lot of the time it barely qualifies as coherent, which is no bad thing.

Of course, we can fit some of the jigsaw puzzle pieces in ourselves. The basic story of Days Of Future Past is this: The X-Men of the future project the mind of one of their members into their past self so that they can prevent an apocalyptic future where mutants are hunted, persecuted, and all but wiped-out. The movie adaptation has moved the pieces around considerably, but it's a safe bet that this will be the basic structure of the film's plot.

If there were any doubt, the trailer contains most of the necessary elements. An X-Man being sent back through time. A nasty-looking future where everyone dresses a bit cybergoth. And the suggestion that the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

It looks like one plot element that has survived from the original is that the act which kicks off the war between mutants and humans is the attempted assassination of a senior political figure. In the comics it's Mystique attempting to kill Senator Kelly. In this film it looks like it'll be someone trying to kill the President. But will that be Magneto or Mystique? The two are definitely at odds, after all…

Based On, Or Named After?

The plot may appear to broadly resemble the classic storyline, but great swathes of it are lifted from completely different eras and stories. If we can tell anything about Days Of Future Past from this trailer, it's that it's going to be something of a patchwork version rather than a faithful reconstruction.

For example, Bishop, the time-displaced X-Man from the future, is more closely associated with alternate-universe adventure, the Age of Apocalypse. The same goes for Blink, one of the other new characters we see in the trailer. Making Wolverine the time-traveller rather than Kitty Pryde makes a certain amount of sense, not least because X-Men: First Class already established (albeit in a one-joke cameo) that Wolverine is active in that time period.

Blink.

Indeed, the most famous character from Days Of Future Past – Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey – doesn't even seem to be in this film, even though they've ploughed in a huge number of new and returning ones. Sentinels, the mutant-hunting robots that police the future, don't get a look in, even though we know Trask and his Sentinels are due to appear. It's all something of a mystery, but one we're enjoying the chance to unravel.

Sequel? Prequel? Sidequel?

As geeks, we can't help but ask the question: how does this relate to the previous films?

The 'past' era is clearly set some time after the events of First Class. Xavier has gone off the rails following his paralysis and apparently given up on his dream (for long enough to let Cerebro acquire a thick coat of dust at any rate). It looks like Wolverine's task will be to put him back on the right path so that he can intervene in whatever the crisis is.

But all that's pretty easy to guess. The hard part is figuring out the future. We've already speculated once about how Xavier and Magneto could be back in action after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand (when we looked at The Wolverine's post-credits scene, here), but it's hard to line up the normal world of The Wolverine with the apparent post-apocalyptic world seen in the Days Of Future Past trailer.

As if that wasn't complicated enough, the presence of Sunspot and Warpath here does make you wonder about Jeff Wadlow's in-development X-Force spin-off as well…

So could it be that this movie will take place in three time periods? The First Class past, the 'present' seen in The Wolverine, and a third post-apocalyptic future where Bishop, Blink, Sunspot and Warpath make up the "X-Men" of the future, X-Force? Does Bishop pick up the present X-Men and take them into the future so they can send Wolverine back to the past? It's all rather tough to decipher. Not least because the goal in the comic version of Days Of Future Past was to avert the post-apocalyptic future - but if that means wiping out the more bankable timeline as well, it doesn't seem like Fox would be keen…

All Your Favourite Characters!

Now that we've got the complex stuff out of the way, just for fun here's every character we spotted alongside their first appearance.

00:16 – Wolverine (X-Men)
00:18 – Storm (X-Men)
00:24 – Iceman (X-Men)
00:25 – Kitty Pryde (X2, for the Ellen Page version)
00:26 – Rogue (X-Men)
00:29 – Present Xavier (X-Men)
00:36 – Present Magneto (X-Men)
00:39 – Bishop (DOFP)
00:40 – Sunspot (DOFP)
00:41 – Warpath (DOFP)
00:42 - Blink (DOFP)
00:58 – Past Xavier (First Class)
01:04 – Past Magneto (First Class)
01:06 – Past Mystique (First Class)
01:44 – Past Beast (First Class)
01:46 – Bolivar Trask (DOFP)

X-Men: Days of Future Past is due for release in May 2014.

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Disqus - noscript

This could let them reboot/retcon many things in the x-men universe depending on how Wolverine changes the past. Jean Grey and cyclops may no longer die etc. I wonder if they'll do that.

The other thing is it looks like Wolverine *spoiler for The Woverine****

Has adamantium on his claws look to be back and no longer bone, is that just past wolverine or does the future Wolverine get recoated? maybe it'll be a device to tell them apart. Ah he's got bone claws, it's the future etc

I am sure at 1.18 that is Daniel Cudmore as Colossus too.

Two thoughts go thru my mind like quicksilver... 1) Nice Music 2)Jennifer Lawrence jiggling as dragged. In my opinion Singer has a problem handling narrative if McQuarrie isn't involved but enticing trailer. Questions rather than money shots.

There is a shot of Trask in the trailer. He is at some sort of (Senate?) meeting

SPOILERS ON THE WOLVERINE TO FOLLOW.
Ok you gave me food for thoughts...I re-watched the post credits scene of the Wolverine. Indeed, in the Wolverine timeline, this apocalyptic future has not happened yet. So we have to wonder why Xavier and Magneto would come for Wolvie...Except at the beginning of the scene we see someone who looks a lot like Bishop in the airport, passing one of the metal detector. So it's logical to speculate that either Magneto and Xavier of the Wolverine timeline have been warned by Bishop, or that they are the future version who have traveled in time with him. Either way they have a knowledge of the future...
Now the other problem is that we clearly see BolivarTrask in the 70ies on the trailer, played by Peter Dinklage. But at then end of the Wolverine the videos in the aiport show the beginning of the development of Trask robotics, not their pinnacle. How to then explain that the Sentinels project that will be triggered by the murder (of Kennedy?) done in the 70ies would only completed 40 to 50 years later? What were they doing at Trask industry during all that time? And does that mean Peter Dinklage will only have a cameo in the 70ies?
Does anyone have an aspirin please...

I have no idea what the plot is going to be, but I really, really hope this is from the final scene in the movie.........

The Wolverine was dire, the post-credits clip was the only positive thing about it. It was like the whole film was just a carrier for that one scene and to drum up interest for Days of Future Past.

That being said, Days of Future Past looks like it might be quite good. Fassbender was the best thing about First Class, glad to see him back.

I'd like to see a long term game plan with the X-Men films, rather than mashed-together sequels, prequels and spin-offs like we've gotten so far.

Hahaha... they just end up messing up the timeline so much, that no one ever actually ends up becoming a mutant, and then this happens!

I actually walked out of the Wolverine movie about half way through, I just couldnt hack it. they washed off the superficial crap of the first Origins movie but there was no propulsion in the new one. How many times do we see him trying to protect a gal he has fallen for? It feels like the drive of every movie Wolverine is in. The Wolverine felt like a superhero movie made from a time before the first Xmen movie... and they have just moved on, even Iron Man 3 was better without having a large scale theme...

It looks to me like Future Xavier & Future Magneto send back Future Wolverine to prevent a Bad Future. He helps Past Xavier and co do this. The result is that the Bad Future is wiped out and replaced with the Good Present that we have already seen in X1, X3, X3 etc.

That story would make sense and would not retcon/reboot anything, leaving the last 13 years of films' mythos intact.

Ah! No Quicksilver in the trailer.

I thought the apocalypse story was about Sentinels going wrong and wiping out humans as well as mutants, cos they think mutants are human and therefore humans are mutants. And so it's not just an apocalypse for mutants but for all mankind. And X-men have to go back in time and save the world. Well that's my vague memory of the 90's cartoon storyline anyway.

"All your favourite characters!" says DoG.... I say, without Nightcrawler this statement is wrong.

I think jean and cyke die anyway, by sentinel rather than by Ratner.

Them 60's guys should just pack up and move to the future, so that X-men 4: the Next Stand won't suck.

Will inevitably get down-voted for this but I'm still having a hard time forgiving Hugh 'Vibrato' Jackman for Les Mis, so not ecstatic that he's the apparent star here. But PETER DINKLAGE.

As I understand it, Quicksilver is going to be in Age of Ultron... Licensing, and all that...

If I wasn't with someone I would have walked out of Wolverine as well.

Brain hurt.

He'll be appearing in both, confusingly. Evan Peters for DoFP and Aaron Taylor Johnson in AoU. It's an unusual licensing agreement which allows Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch to appear in both as they're both mutants and Avengers. Only restriction I believe is that they cant be referred to as Mutants in Avengers.

My hope is that this sets up a trilogy for the Age of Apocalypse series.

Trask also appears in the group of people running into something that looks like a bunker. I only noticed it when I paused the trailer and looked down.

No cyclops or jean in either time might mean no Cable. What good is x-force without Cable?

As cool as it is that both casts are combining, I'm fairly disappointed that we seemingly won't get to see more of all the other characters from First Class. Unless they go back to them after this film. Would love to see more of Azazel and Emma Frost.

He was, he just went so fast nobody saw him.

Where is Trask's medallion?

Ellen Page wasn't in X2.

Ellen Page actually made her first appearance was Kitty in X3 (X2 was played by Katie Stuart)

And it seems like the future version of Wolverine is the one being sent to the past (Wolverine from "The Wolverine" movie didn't have gray hairs. The one being sent back to his younger self has a bit of white/grey at his temple...presumably to differentiate the two)

You may be right about the 3 time periods thing considering they appear to have put that much effort into making sure that the future Wolverine looks different from both past/present Wolverine (wonder if Future Wolverine still has bone claws as another showcase of the change between past, present and future)

Looks like they gave future Wolverine grey hair at his temples, which will likely be the device to tell them apart.

I bet the Adamantium will only be present in the past, to give future Wolverine something to get used to again, a bit of a nostalgia kick for him.

Bryan Singer has stated that this trailer is character driven because there's not of VFX work completed yet. I'm sure the next trailer will have a lot more action for you.

Wolverine in yellow spandex or we riot

Rather than cry/cheer about the missing/included characters from the comics, or try to work out the timelines, I see this film as a chance to tell a good story. Accordingly, when I first saw the trailer I thought it was good, when I saw it a second time a day later it sent a shiver down my spine.

Wolverine in classic 80s brown and black badassness.

you just know that this is not going to make any sense, and HOLY COW another Wolverine-fest!...but damn I am looking forward to this.

I'll watch the movie and i think it will be ok, but honestly... brian singer murdered the x-men (for us 80's-90's people) too much to fix. No cyclops is like no capt america in an avengers movie, and some characters like Rogue are so far from what their personalitites were in the comics.

Real X-men movie should have its true x-men cast: cyclops, wolverine, storm, rogue, gambit, nightcrawler, iceman, colossus with Jean Grey probably as a secondary assist to the x-men/xavier. With each characters actually doing something evenly in the movie and not just wolverine doing everything.
I really hated how Fox ruined the X-men movies.. making it all generally Wolverine, forgetting about some important characters and giving them such a far distinction with their personalities (Rogue, Deadpool) in the comics and much more THE CONTINUITY. All X-men movies showed high contradiction to each other.. Wasn't Prof X old/bald and standing during the ending of Wolverine Origins? Wasn't Cyclops one of the first in x-men as shown in origins? Why is his Younger brother (Havok) in First Class when Prof X was still a young man walking?

There is still so much more high continuity errors.

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