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Bryan Singer On Why He Made X-Men: Days of Future Past, Scarlet Witch, And James Cameron’s Time Travel Approval


Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is highly-anticipated in these neck of the woods. Though many are still wondering how all this time travel nonsense is going to affect the overall X-Men film franchise. Hear what Singer had to say about the new and old cast members, time travel, and a sort-of answer as to whether or not Scarlet Witch is in the movie. 

Den of Geek and a group of other journalists spoke with the director during a set visit last summer. Lots of topics were covered but most importantly perhaps was his answer to why he decided to make the film, and make it the way he did.

“Originally it began with a discussion Matthew Vaughn and I had, where we felt that although fans love seeing new characters, they also love the familiar,” said Singer. “So it was a way to make it special, and do a movie that isn’t a sequel or prequel, but what I call an interquel. And Days Of Future Past’s framework was a really great jumping-off point, because it’s such a great book.”

He also revealed the time travel aspect to the Days of Future Past story is really what sold him on the idea.

“To me, that’s the thing that made it more appealing than just doing a sequel. It is somewhat a science fiction movie and a time travel movie, which I’ve never done before – it’s a new thing, as opposed to another X-Men picture. That part is challenging and kind of fun. The key is making something where the past and the future can intertwine, and there’s a logic to it. You get into a lot of stuff with that.”

He continued, “I thought I’d cracked it. I was talking to James Cameron in New Zealand, and I pitched it to him – I was at Peter Jackson’s party. It was a real trip, one of the most fun conversations I’ve had in years. And he was really into it – he’d done time travel in The Terminator, so I said, “Okay, here’s what I want to do with time travel”, and I pitched the thing, and he seemed to approve. He gave me all the physics behind it. So yeah, it’s trying to create a time travel film with integrity.”

And about his activity and exclusive movie reveals on Twitter?

“I’m not very big into social media, but I made a promise that if I ever did another film with a pre-existing fan base, that I would do Twitter. Because I feel that there’s always  a lot of chatter about a movie you’re making, and it’s always nice to be able to share something and connect with the fans. I do all the tweets myself, which is why they’re sometimes misspelled and a bit stupid,” he said. “It’s also a way to reassure people and take a bit of control of your press.”

Finally, we’ve been curious as to the inclusion of Marvel character Scarlet Witch in the film considering her twin brother, Quicksilver, has a role. We’ve seen a photo which may or may not be a younger Wanda but when asked directed if she’s in the film, Singer replied: “There may be a reference, but no, no.”

So there you go. Head over to Den of Geek for a whole lot more.

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  • Joanna

    I never really liked the inclusion of time travel or intergalactic travel in X-Men. I just prefer the idea of people with super powers trying to deal with real world shit like achieving social acceptance. Maybe that’s just me.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    …and do a movie that isn’t a sequel or prequel, but what I call an interquel.

    ಠ_ಠ

  • Adrian

    In contrast to the recent Amazing Spider-Man 2 article, Days of Future Past is the comic book film this year that I’m the least excited about for various reasons.

    Can Singer do a good job? Potentially. I just haven’t been impressed by their one lackluster trailer, their endless amount of stills and covers, or their quotes.

  • Adrian

    I think that’s the way to go if the series is ever rebooted, which, sadly, won’t happen unless Days of Future Past is a colossal failure.

  • Anonymous

    In other words, they just decided to throw together everything they could – old characters, new characters, characters from the originals and the prequels, Sentinels – in hopes of drawing in more people. They started with a premise they hoped would be popular and fashioned a story around, rather than trying to write a story that flowed naturally from the characters.

    I strongly suspect that this is going to crash and burn.

  • BatiHoney

    Although I’m upset at how little they care about including Wanda (QUICKSILVER’S ///TWIN/// SISTER), I am also really glad because I think their design for Quicksilver is…. well, not of my taste.

  • Adrian

    And the only reason they’re even including Quicksilver is not to be Erik’s son but to use him for a key action sequence.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    When Hollywood started hating on the word “sequel”, they decided they would use “prequel”. Now they’ve invented “Interquel”.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    Not to mention the last minute removal of Rogue. I mean in general, I can like X-Men movies with or without her (even if I like her character very much–the comic one, not so much the Anna Pacquin one), but the fact that they’re making last minute decisions about that sort of thing, where Rogue used to be a major player in their universe and were perhaps even included in earlier promotional material, sounds like the filmmakers are scrambling.

  • TKS

    I don’t understand why The Mary Sue poses X-Men DOFP is “highly anticipated” and “no one cares” about the Amazing Spider-Man films.

    Amazing was better than most of the X-Men films save maybe one or two, and they’ve become a massive jumble of references and confused continuity. It seems like the plot of the franchise is held together by scotch tape. What gives?

    Everything I hear about this movie makes me less and less inclined to see it. It’s already on “Redbox” level now.

    Signed- a massive Kitty Pryde fan.

  • TKS

    Sometimes when you throw a lot of spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, all you end up with is a big mess.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    “Amazing was better than most of the X-Men films save maybe one or two”

    That’s your opinion. We’re going by the reaction we get when we post stories about Amazing 2 vs. those we post on DoFP.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. The first one was good because it was the first one. But the story doesn’t really hold up too well. The second one was actually really good. They were true to the characters and used a great story from the comics that they held to as well. 3 sucked (and by sucked I mean was an abomination that should be cast into the deepest depths of the fiery pits of Hell where it should suffer for all eternity and then some). First class was a good movie, but not a very good X-Men movie.

    By contrast, the Spider-Man films have all been at least decent. Even the third one wasn’t what I would consider bad. And the reboot did a good job of telling the same old story in a slightly new way.

    I have almost no interest in seeing DoFP. As soon as I heard how they changed the story, and that Kitty was relegated to sidekick status, I lost all interest. She’s my favorite character, and I was really hoping to see her get the spotlight in this.

    I may see it in a theater, but if I do, it’ll probably be because my brother’s wife works for one and gets free tickets. I’ll reserve judgement till I’ve heard some reviews, or actually seen it. But I’m prepared to be disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    I think the time travel aspect has some potential with that theme, though. For example, the original DoFP gives a clear picture to the current X-Men what a world overrun by bigotry becomes: mutants enslaved and killed on a whim, and even humans being subjugated by the devices they build to subjugate others.

    It gives characters like Rachel gravitas when they fight in the present to prevent the future, because they know what the stakes are beyond the simple abstraction of “a world of prejudice”. It also gives a really interesting commentary on the fight for social justice and what our actions can do (for example, is Mystique’s radical, violent fight for mutant liberty a good thing or a bad thing? In DoFP, it arguably causes the end of the mutant rights discussion and ushers in an age of mutant oppression. But do the X-Men have just reason to believe that their optimistic means of fighting will also deliver in the end? At what point is radical activism necessary or unnecessary? You could argue that the final actions of the DoFP X-Men are radical and violent, but they are necessary in a world of brutal subjugation.)

    Bishop’s world is the same way. By peering into the future, we are reminded of the importance of the struggle in the present, especially when the change in the present is slow or seemingly nonexistent.

  • Anonymous

    Well, considering that “First Class” totally messed up the established continuity the only solution could be a multiverse of different X-Men-related realities. Think of the big three-parter at the end of the “Star Trek – Next generation”-TV-series.

    Than there’s place for actually every change – it’s just another universe to which you get by time travel. I expect at least three different time lines from “X-Men: Days of future past”!

  • Brittany K

    More like “lol why have a female character that’s closely tied to this male character when you can have just the male character”

  • Brittany K

    People’s reactions being less than stellar on one website doesn’t quite account for the vitriol that’s been directed at tasm and tasm 2 on this site lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mary Sue, but geez, it’s a bit disheartening to go to my favorite geeky news site and see that someone’s talking about something I care about only to see that their comments basically amount to “but literally no one cares lol”

  • Brittany K

    People’s reactions being less than stellar on one website doesn’t quite account for the vitriol that’s been directed at tasm and tasm 2 on this site lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Mary Sue, but geez, it’s a bit disheartening to go to my favorite geeky news site and see that someone’s talking about something I care about only to see that their comments basically amount to “but literally no one cares lol”

  • Adrian

    It just seems like a “living in the bubble” opinion since the numbers out there don’t support an X-Men > The Amazing Spider-Man viewpoint.

  • Brittany K

    Well, to be fair, the numbers don’t always equal people actually caring about more. But, in this case, yeah, they kinda do.

  • TKS

    This comment had me curious, so I looked up the past 3 posts on this site for both TASM and X-Men. I counted (a) how many comments there were for each franchise and (b) how many of the comments were overtly positive vs those that were overtly negative. (I ignored neutral comments, such as people’s discussions of copyrights or suggestions of characters for future films.)

    As I post this comment: not only do posts about TASM have more comments (141 to X-Men’s 66), the comments about TASM are generally more positive (32 pos to 21 neg) and comments on posts about DoFP are generally ore negative (11 pos to 43 neg.)

    I love the Mary Sue, and I can respect customizing the tone of your articles to the attitudes of your community, But I can’t help but think that there’s a bit of confirmation bias here.

  • Adrian

    I won’t argue that numbers can speak for the quality of a film but I think it definitely speaks for the interest in a film.

  • Mark Brown

    He’s Harlan Ellison. He doesn’t approve of anything.

  • Anonymous

    I’m starting to suspect that it’s because Spider-Man naturally has to star Spider-Man in the leading role. Sony can’t spin it off into a female-lead movie – unlike the other comic-book-movie franchises where that’s at least a possibility – so The Mary Sue is happier denigrating it.

  • BatiHoney

    I feel you 100% with you. It’s a bit of a let down… :/

  • BatiHoney

    That mere fact was enough to discourage me to feel excited about this movie and for some reason I still don’t feel motivated to even watch a trailer. I just don’t feel interested on what I’ve seen… maybe because I never even liked the old characters they’re bringing (as in, their film interpretations/casting).

  • Adrian

    Which casting from the initial films don’t you like? Just curious.

  • Anonymous

    Can we just talk about those posters, and how freaky they are, and how it took me three trips to the cinema to figure out what was wrong with Patrick Stewart’s face?

  • BatiHoney

    First I’d like to make clear the following is nos a criticism of the movies (mostly) but rather how I felt based on what I’ve already lived and known until the movies. Probably someone with a higher X-Men knowledge would frown upon my feelings about them. So, please don’t judge me? Yes? Not trying to be right here, just expressing my feelings and opinions. But here they are.

    Everyone seems to be love Ellen Page as Kitty, and don’t get me wrong, I /like/ Ellen Page! But as far as I remember she did… pretty much nothing on the first trilogy? She was there, I think she was seen going through a wall on a scene, but I can’t remember her speaking? So there was nothing for me to like (maybe I’m wrong and she did more? but it didn’t make an impact on me and I don’t remember it…). On a sidenote, she doesn’t fit how I imagine Kitty Pryde should look like, but to be fair I picture something like the Kitty from X-Men Evolution.

    I may be 100% wrong with this but the Rogue I know is also from X-Men Evolution and the Rogue from the movies just didn’t do it for me thanks to that. But she looks okay.

    I’ve never liked X-Men casting Halle Berry as Storm because 1, I don’t think she looks like her, and 2, I think whoever plays Storm should be 100% African or African-American. Halle is mixed, which is great… just not for Storm. Besides she never convinced me.

    I never liked Nightcrawler in the movies (he’s my favorite male X-Men). A lot of people liked him, but I didn’t, and that’s why I’m so glad he’s not coming back in DOFP. Not only because I had this image of Kurt as in X-Men Evolution but also because making his character so religious and with those markings…. and his whole character just… I didn’t connect with him. Besides he was standING NEXT TO MYSTIQUE AND TALKING AND 0% MENTION OF THEM BEING MOM AND SON. I was so mad…

    I really just wanted the movies to recast these characters (even Cyclops, even though I liked his actor. The movies pretty much shat on him) but they want the freaking nostalgia factor, so…

    THEN AGAIN, I guess I just never like the first trilogy that much, as entertaining as they are.

  • Anonymous

    He’s Lenin.

  • Adrian

    Then they’re missing out on Black Cat, Silver Sable, and Jessica Drew.

  • Joanna

    Yeah…but…surely with all the psychic mutants about they wouldn’t *need* the time travel to see the future. =P

  • Anonymous

    Just on the Kitty Pryde point: you’re right in that she did very little for most of the trilogy (and in films 1 and 2 was played by different actresses). But I think the reason people really love her (apart from people just loving Ellen Page) is that she had one of the few stand-out sequences from X-Men 3:

    She has to go get Leech from his prison room with Juggernaut is hot pursuit. She uses a combination of her powers and quick thinking to evade and defeat Juggernaut, (especially impressive after she reaches Leech and loses use of her powers in his presence). It’s a great action scene in an otherwise meh film, so I think a lot of people remember Page’s Kitty Pryde with fondness for that.

    (On a side note THAT’S why I love characters with limited powers – they force more interesting storytelling out of the writers).

  • Anonymous

    I’m Bryan Singer I hope you enjoy my pre-se-twerk-uel.

  • Anonymous

    Well, the precogs, but usually they can only see limited distances. Destiny only saw the far future because future!Kitty phased through her.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along, as soon as I heard the post-Whedon announcement/last minute inclusion of Quicksilver

  • BatiHoney

    I need to watch the film again because I can’t remember that scene, sadly, but I trust your opinion. When I see it again maybe I’ll understand a bit more, but I still would have liked another actress/interpretration. Kitty is a great character and I think she deserves WAY more screentime and relevance. Not sure how much of that we will be getting from DOTF…