Our first look at Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past
First a history lesson:
The back story of this film is as complex as it is interesting. Singer was set for X-Men 3 in 2006 before Warners snapped him up for their middling Superman Returns reboot.
This created bad blood between Fox and Singer (even though he was a producer on one of the top shows, House) and led to Matthew Vaughn signing up for X3 who quit just weeks before film was due to start and allowing the hated-by-fanboys Brett Ratner to step into the directors chair.
X-Men: The Last Stand is almost universally derided but I think Ratner had a tough job – it’s not easy marshalling a film of that size with just a few weeks prep.
The film was a box office hit but then followed by the critical panned X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This was also a box office hit but the one-two combo of X3 & Wolverine unquestionably took the shine of the franchise.
Fox decided to then reboot the series spearheaded by Chuck / OC creator Josh Schwartz. This then turned into a prequel-reboot and a thawing of relations meant Singer was now back on board as producer (possibly as Superman didn’t turn out to be the threat Fox might have originally feared). Matthew Vaughn returned as director and this time stuck around to give us the excellent X-Men First Class.
Which now brings us to Days Of Future Past. This is a truly classic X-Men story, which was first introduced to me via the great 90’s animated series. The film version is not the exact same story as the comic or animated versions but instead amalgamates the First Class and original trilogy worlds with Wolverine going back in time to foil an assassination and prevent a future war.
The background drama doesn’t stop yet. Matthew Vaughn was set to direct this is as the sequel to First Class before jumping ship to adapt Mark Millar’s Secret Service for Fox. Which meant Bryan Singer was now free to come back to the series he started some 11 years after X-Men 2.
Singer gets a lot of negativity online for some reason. I don’t see how the director of X1, X2 and the Usual Suspects warrants such hate but there you go. Consider when he launched X-Men in 2000 there was no comic book movie boom. His film (and maybe Stephen Norrington’s Blade) kick-started the boom that is still going strong today.
When compared to Marvel Studios own films, the X-Men universe is definitely more muted and sober but this was absolutely the wright way to go back in 2000 when costumed superheroes were not as accepted as they are now. It’s funny how things turn out. Singer came on to X-Men as a hotshot director trying to launch a series few had faith in. Now the series is a juggernaut (no pun intended) but now the director is looking to prove something. The Wolverine did well enough but domestically was not at the same level as the other films and the whole series has lost some of its status.
Days Of Future Past needs to be the film to get it back on track. And after all that we finally get our first look at the movie.
And it’s solid and atmospheric but only offers glimpses of the film’s potential.
It feels to me as if the trailer should have come out in December so they could have added more variety to the scenes on show as well as some more finished FX shots.
Singer even told Empire magazine: “No CGI yet. We’re in process on very elaborate effects but there’s really none of them done except for a couple of backdrops and a couple of shots I could slide in.”
I appreciate a trailer that doesn’t give away the whole plot (a major problem these days) but conversely releasing a trailer too soon for a product that’s has to compete in a very competitive frame is not going to help your cause.
The focus on Wolverine is also unoriginal. Jackman is great but we just saw him reprise Wolverine this summer. Why not highlight the fact that they’ve brought back practically the entire cast of the original series and First Class? Or fan-fave newcomers like Peter Dinklage?
The awkward cut in the middle also seem a little amateurish and the bombastic music doesn’t really match the small-scale visuals.
I know I have been critical of Fox in the past but first impressions count. The project looks huge and is no doubt Fox’s big 2014 tentpole so why sell it short?
This would have been more effective as a sub-1.30 minute teaser. To go with 2.30+ with so few set pieces is not going to excite a lot of mainstream fans.
Still there’s a lot to be excited about and the cast is incredible. I have no doubt the next trailer will show us some more exciting scenes and a glimpse of the set pieces on offer (sentinels!) and the film itself looks like it could be something special. This should be the true follow-up to both X2 and X-Men First Class that we’ve been waiting for. But after recent excellent trailers like the Captain America and Gravity ones mean Fox need to step it up for the next promo!
We are going to see the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer soon in December. I wonder which of the 5 big Marvel movies of 2014 is going to come out on top?
And while we ponder that lets all enjoy the greatest scene from the animated version! (jump to 18:05)
Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men Days Of Future Past stars (deep breath) Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Shawn Ashmore, Daniel Cudmore, Nicholas Hoult, Omar Sy, Booboo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Lucas Till and hits theatres May 23 2014.
So what do you think? Are you excited for the next X-Men?
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