Comic-Con: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Panel Recap; First Footage Revealed and Almost All the X-Men Unite on Stage

     July 20, 2013


Part of me will always love the X-Men.  I watched the animated series when I was in third grade.  I became addicted to collecting the trading cards.  And while some can point to Blade as the beginning of the modern superhero movie, it didn’t truly begin in earnest until Bryan Singer‘s 2000 picture.  It’s not an incredible picture, but it’s satisfying.  The sequel, X2, is one of the best superhero movies ever made.  X-Men: First Class gave the franchise a fresh spark of life, and now it’s all coming together with X-Men: Days of Future Past.  We’ve been wondering if it’s too crowded, but perhaps the question we should be asking is, “Can you have too much of a good thing?”

Hit the jump for my recap of the panel, which included the premiere of the first footage from the movie.  X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 16, 2014.

x-men-days-of-future-past-hugh-jackman-nicholas-houltImmediately after the panel for The Wolverine ends, Hugh Jackman brings Bryan Singer up on stage.  Says they’re a year out and a lot of the effects are unfinished, but he did cut something together.  It’s in 3D:

So many mutants but the core is that we see Xavier, Magneto, Storm, and Wolverine in the future.  Xavier says they need to send Logan’s mind back to his younger body and convince young Xavier and young Magneto to avert the disastrous future.  In the future, we see the cast members from the first three movies in dark, futuristic-looking clothing but not cheesy.  It’s austere, and so is the landscape, not the ragged, post-apocalypse from the comics.

When Wolverine goes back, we see the First Class members, and young Xavier looks absolutely beaten and tired.  We then go through a big montage of almost all the characters.  Memorable moments include Beast trying to drown young Magneto, and a young Magneto using his power to drag a helpless Mystique towards him.  The trailer finishes out with young Xavier shouting, “I don’t want your future!”  We then go to a two-shot with young Xavier and old Xavier facing each other.  Old Xavier tells his younger self, “Please.  We need you to hope again.”

On to the stage come the writer/co-producer Simon Kinberg, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, producer Hutch Parker, and actors Omar Sy, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, and Evan Peters.

x-men-days-of-future-past-lucas-tillPeters talking about playing Quicksilver:  “He’s really fast and a bit of a spaz.”

Lawrence says Mystique is starting to begin her journey to the later Mystique we saw in the first three movies, but she’s still emotionally close to Xavier.

McAvoy on coming to Comic-Con:  “It’s amazing the passion you guys have, and it’s awesome to be among you.”

Singer on bringing so many mutants together in one movie even though they’re not in the same scene at once:  It’s a scheduling and logistical nightmare, but it’s great.  He enjoys making ensemble films, so the more the merrier.  He notes how he was a producer on First Class so it was a thrill to work with that cast and return to the original family from the first two movies.

Jackman says Days of Future Past is two great movies in one and something he’ll never forget.

When the moderator gets to McKellen and Stewart, the crowd can’t stop cheering.  Stewart compares the energy of this ensemble to the Star Trek: The Next Generation ensemble, and he notes that while the word “blessing” has been mentioned many times among actors, to experience working with this kind of ensemble twice has been extraordinary.

“I feel safe here now that you’ve gotten rid of Proposition 8,” says McKellen of being back in California.  “Looking for a husband…it’s nice to meet you Michael.”  Talking about working with Stewart, he mentions that they’ve become even closer due to their background in the theater, and that they’ll be in two plays together coming up later this year.

halle-berry-x-men-days-of-future-pastBerry says that what resonates with her about Storm is that she loves the character being of the “Earth-mother of the group…She’s the calm, cool voice of reason except for being a badass when she needs to be.”  The thing that she hates is that she never gets any love!  She then asks the audience if Storm is asexual in the comics, and the crowd answers with a resounding, “No!”

Ashmore says “Bobby’s back,” and it’s great to be back with old friends, and there’s going to be some cool stuff people don’t expect to see or that they’ve been waiting to see.

About being back in the mutant universe, Page says X-Men: The Last Stand blew her mind when she was on set because of the size of the production, and it’s great to be back with everyone.

Sy tells he audience he’s playing Bishop.

Simon Kinberg says it’s about trying to honor the original books and the original story.

Lauren Shuler Donner says that starting with the original and getting to this one with this cast and Bryan Singer almost makes her cry because she’s so happy.  Parker adds that he’s never seen a better cast assembled for anything at any time, and it’s matched by a story by Kinberg and the underlying comic book.

Audience Q&A:

Is Deadpool possible?

  • “Anything is possible,” says Singer.  “Not in this movie, but it’s possible.”  He goes on to say that the X-Men universe has the room for growing and expanding the cannon, so perhaps one day since we’ve seen this kind of expansion with Marvel and DC movies.

james-mcavoy-x-men-days-of-future-pastModerator asks if Wolverine and Iron Man fought, would it be a can opener situation?  Jackman doesn’t want Wolverine to hurt Iron Man, but he would love to see that kind of massive crossover even though he knows that decision is way above him.

If you could play another X-Man, who would you be?

  • “The good thing about my character is that I can do that with anyone,” replies Lawrence.

How is it different preparing for the role when he has his fellow X-Men instead of operating solo?

  • In terms of preparation, Wolverine is Wolverine and every movie in a way is ensemble.  “But lets be honest, look at this panel” and he thanks his lucky stars to not only work with these actors but also Singer, “the man who gave me my career.”

Will we ever see a Gambit/Rogue romance?

  • Singer: “We’re exploring all options at the moment.”

Moderator asks about how the Quicksilver in this story even though he’s also in Avengers 2.  Singer says Quicksilver was always a part of the story, and while he can’t speak to The Avengers…he asks Peters to describe the character.  “He’s very fast,” says Peters.  He talks quick and he’s impatient because everyone is slower than he is.  “He’s got excellent genes” Fassbender chimes in.  Singer also notes that Peters is part of the 1970s cast.  He then jokes that “Peter Dinklage looks like my father in this movie!”  “I got a sweet Tom Selleck moustache working too,” says Dinklage.

Who’s your favorite character, and not necessarily the person you’re playing:

  • jennifer-lawrence-x-men-days-of-future-pastPeters – Wolverine
  • Dinklage – Mystique
  • Hoult – Magneto
  • Lawrence – Storm
  • Fassbender – Mystique
  • McAvoy – Gambit
  • Singer – Professor X
  • Jackman – Deadpool
  • Stewart – Any female character in any X-Men movie because then I might have the chance of winning an Academy Award
  • McKellen – If I can’t play the younger Magneto, I’d like to grow wings and play Angel.
  • Berry – Mystique
  • Paquin – Wolverine (unless Rogue could fly…and that would be nice)
  • Ashmore – Nightcrawler
  • Page – Bishop
  • Sy – Professor X
  • Kinberg – Mystique
  • Donner – Jean Grey
  • Parker – Wolverine

Closing thoughts:

X-Men: Days of Future Past got the first standing ovation in Hall H of Comic-Con 2013.  Seeing that many actors assemble not only provided a scale of the picture, but something that a lot of other movies here don’t have in regards to their franchise: history.  Yes, some of these properties have been around longer and had older movies, but it was a rarity to have the same cast coming together with the same director and then have them talk with their adoring fans from the past thirteen years.  Comic-Con can bring out a lot of cynicism, but panels like these are the show at its best.  It didn’t hurt that the trailer was fantastic.

After the panel, Singer tweeted this image of the cast:


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