X-Men Movie Ensemble Reunited
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, “X-Men: First Class,” in order to change a major historical event and fight an epic battle that could save our future.
Director Bryan Singer reinvented the comic book genre as we’ve come to know it. With the debut of the hugely successful “X-Men” in the summer of 2000, Singer established nothing less than a new creative aesthetic in his motion picture adaptation of the beloved comics stories and characters. That film was followed by Singer’s even more successful “X2” in 2003.
In “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” Singer returns to the director’s chair to expand upon his vision for the X-Men universe. It’s a huge and provocative story propelled by richly conceived characters. Producer Hutch Parker believes it is “a combination of Bryan’s love, attention and respect for these characters” that makes the director’s X-Men films so compelling.
Singer’s involvement with the franchise from its infancy has bred close ties among both the returning production and acting teams. The new film reunites producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who has been involved in all the X-Men films; writer/producer Simon Kinberg, who was a producer on “X-Men: First Class”; award-winning director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, who has worked on seven projects with Singer; Oscar®-winning production designer John Myhre, who created the original X-Men world; and composer/editor John Ottman.
Singer also reunites with the cast of the original X-Men films, as well as the young cast of “First Class,” on which he wrote the story and served as a producer. From the original trilogy, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” toplines Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Halle Berry; and from “First Class,” it stars Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult. “It was a thrill to cast these people, both in the original X-Men films and also in ‘First Class,’” Singer notes, “and at that time, several of them had little to no experience with films of this scope. Hugh came from a musical theater background. Jennifer had done only small independent films like ‘Winter’s Bone.’ Over the years their careers have evolved, gained momentum and garnered tremendous recognition. The coming together of the original family and the new one has been exciting for us all.”
Shuler Donner feels that the X-Men stories’ rich and provocative themes drew Singer to that universe. “Bryan is very serious when it comes to the X-Men. He has always understood that the stories’ underlying themes dictated a realistic treatment. The characters are flawed in ways in which the audience can identify. For example, Mystique wants to be proud of who she is, and Beast is self-conscious about his mutant ability and thus hides it. If the characters are grounded in reality, we will believe they can fly or heal or have extraordinary powers. All the other elements of an event picture are there – action, comedy, visual effects – but binding it together is human conflict and struggle. Bryan is able to find depth and meaning in these comic book stories because he always pulls from within himself to find the pathos of the characters and the ethos of the world in which they live.”
“The biggest reason I wanted to return to the X-Men,” Singer confirms, “is not just the enormous cast and the story’s scope, but also the way it touches on things that haven’t been experienced in X-Men films to this point, like time travel, that have blossomed in the comic books for many years. I think with each movie you need to do something new, and I can guarantee there’s a lot of new stuff in ‘Days of Future Past.’”