We already heard from Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg on why he did that thing he did with the ending. Now, thanks to a piece in Empire, we have in his own words why Wolverine stars in the film, instead of Kitty Pryde or someone else, and why Rogue’s scene was cut.
But first: Famke Janssen, why do you love the X-Men’s female characters so much?
Spoilers for Days of Future Past!
“That’s generally what I find wonderful about these X-Men characters, that there are as many female characters are there male, which doesn’t seem to be the case most of the time, I find. A lot of these comic book adaptations aren’t necessarily like that a lot of the time—the women’s parts are essentially the girlfriends or whatever—so it’s really nice to play the scientist, doctor or a strong interesting character. And then we have to really focus on the love story part of it on Wolverine and Jean Grey, and it keeps giving something, especially because it supposedly can’t go anywhere, so it becomes even more fun to play around with it. That’s thanks to Bryan Singer. He set it up as a universe full of interesting strong women.”
I know a lot of you, our readers, are upset that, while Days of Future Past gave Mystique a central role, it also sidelined some of those other “strong women,” notably Kitty Pryde, who was the main character in the Days of Future Past comics. So, Kinberg: Why go with Wolverine instead? Aside from “Kitty Pryde wasn’t even born in the ’70s” (which they could’ve gotten around if they really wanted to), and, y’know, “Wolverine=money.”
“Wolverine seems like the obvious person to choose, but it wasn’t for us – maybe because we’re not that smart – but Matthew Vaughn, who was the director at the time and with whom I developed the screenplay initially, and I explored the idea of sending Bishop back, Cable being sent back, a new character being sent back. Someone we could cast old and young. Somewhere in that process we realised we had a character that doesn’t age and happens to be the most popular character in the movie franchise, and as Hugh Jackman hasn’t actually aged, it then became Wolverine who was sent back in time. Nice and simple – like everything on this movie.”
I think that’s the first time I’ve heard a time travel movie referred to as “nice and simple.” Honestly, though, the descriptor kind of applies, at least if you take the approach that “This is a time travel movie, and as such I don’t really expect the plot to stand up to scrutiny. I’m going to sit back and enjoy it.”
Another character whose role was diminished—in this case, taken away—in Days of Future Past was Rogue. Originally future!verse Charles and Eric went go on a mission (“something like Unforgiven – two last gunslingers, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman… just for a lark”) to retrieve her so she could take on Kitty’s power after it started running out. (But didn’t The Last Stand end with Rogue giving up her mutant powers?… Oh, whatever.) Kinberg:
“They’d have to get Rogue out of some dark scary place, and that’s what happens. It’s a really nice sequence, and it’ll end up on Blu-ray some way down the line. But it does not service the main story. I thought it would increase the urgency and the stakes of the plot in the future, but it actually does the opposite, because it makes you feel like there is an answer out there. You think once Rogue gets here, we’ll have an unlimited amount of time. The ticking clock that we’d established with Kitty getting wounded and losing her powers… well, Rogue would show up and press stop on the clock. So for all of those narrative reasons, there was this ten-minute subplot that had to go.”
Let’s wrap up the roundup with a bit of levity: Evan Peters spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his Quicksilver cameo, which for many people (myself included) was the high point of the movie. “I was trying to find the right attitude for him,” Peters explains.
“You don’t want to make him too crazy and too caffeinated. But it was really the mischievous quality that was something that Bryan and I worked on. He’s faster than the law. He sort of has this attitude that he can get away with anything… There’s a section of the scene where I’m moving the arms of two cops, so their guns will move. Then I’m supposed to sprint to the other end of the room to prevent the bullets from hitting my friends –- but there’s water all over the floor and I slip and fall – I just eat shit.”
He also says he “would love to be back” in X-Men: Apocalypse. Ditto.