5 Things to Know About "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
May 21st, 2014

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Fans of the "X-Men" movies and comic book series are excitedly looking forward to the highly anticipated "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which is scheduled for release in 2014. The film, which is the seventh in the "X-Men" franchise, comes with a rich back story and a variety of new surprises. It is filled to the brim with inside comic book references and witty one-liners, offering something for every viewer.

1. It takes place in the past and the future.

As the title suggests, the storyline of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" moves concurrently between the future and the past. As the movie unfolds, the contemporary X-Men must work in partnership with their younger selves to help ensure the ultimate survival of humankind. According to previews, the two time periods have different aesthetics. The past is more luminous and more idyllic, while the future is darker and apocalyptic. For fans of the franchise, the most exciting part of the dual-timeline plot is that it will unite the younger and older casts.

2. The movie's storyline differs from the original comic book series.

In the original "X-Men" comic series, Kitty Pryde transported herself back in time to eliminate the robotic Sentinels and prevent them from destroying humankind in the future. In "X-Men: Days of Future Past," Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) sends Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back in time to eradicate the Sentinel program. In the movie version, Wolverine, who can regenerate his body, is the only one of the X-Men who is up for the job. Conveniently, this plot adjustment keeps megastar Jackman at the forefront of the film.

3. The movie's director has worked on two other "X-Men" films.

Bryan Singer, the director of "X-Men: Days of Future Past," also directed "X-Men" and "X2," which were released in 2000 and 2003 respectively. As the director of the first two films, Singer laid the foundation for the highly successful franchise. Several of the original actors have expressed excitement at the chance to work with Singer once more, particularly because they have confidence and trust in his abilities as a leader. Singer's original casting choices launched the careers of several "X-Men" actors, including Shawn Ashmore. Ashmore, who plays Iceman, was cast in the first film when he was just a teenager. Although the director has not yet been announced for the next film in the series, Singer's name has been repeatedly tossed around by journalists and industry professionals.

4. One of the new X-Men is also an Avenger.

Dedicated comic book fans will be delighted to learn that one of the new X-Men introduced in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" will also make an appearance in the upcoming "Avengers" movie. Evan Peters plays Quicksilver, a super-fast mutant who plays a crucial role in the past storyline. When Wolverine is transported back to the past, he enlists the help of Quicksilver in breaking a young Magneto (Michael Fassbender) out of prison. Because Quicksilver can move faster than humans can perceive, he is able to release the prisoner into the X-Men's care. Evans brings a humor and wit to the character, adding welcome moments of levity to an otherwise dangerous situation. Fans will have a second chance to see Quicksilver in an entirely unrelated franchise. The mutant is a Marvel crossover character who is also an important superhero in "The Avengers." In "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which will be released by Disney in 2015, Quicksilver (this time, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) will make a lengthy appearance.

5. The "X" theme is carried over into the set design.

While he was designing the set for "X-Men: Days of Future Past," professional production designer John Myhre created a number of surprise visual elements for eagle-eyed viewers. Myhre hid multiple "X" shapes around the locations, adding extra depth to the already dramatic sets. One of the most obvious examples is the staircase in the X-Mansion foyer, which occupies a prominent location. A large-scale hedgerow in the mansion's circular driveway also follows the established "X" theme. In interviews, Myhre has stated that he did not keep track of all of the "X" shapes, but he asserts that they show up everywhere from pillows to buildings. The designer, who has worked on other sets in the "X-Men" franchise, is known for his secretive and playful hidden design secrets.

For loyal "X-Men" viewers and new moviegoers alike, the latest installment in the series is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Fortunately for fans, the movie does not mark the end of the franchise. It will be followed in 2016 with "X-Men: Apocalypse."