X-Men: Days Of Future Past trailer analysis

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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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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