I get your thought process, Simon Kinberg, but I’m still side-eyeing you real hard.
In the Days of Future Past comics, Kitty Pryde goes back in time to alter the course of history and save mutants from a horrible future. In the upcoming Days of Future Past movie, the same thing happens – except it is Wolverine, not Kitty Pryde, who takes the role of time traveller. Many fans were disappointed to learn that Kitty was getting effectively kicked out of her own storyline in favor of a male hero. Why would the writers of this film put the focus on Wolverine all over again when they could give a female character a chance?
According to writer Simon Kinberg, the reason is mostly logistical. He told Empire Magazine:
“We made the decision for a lot of reasons, some of them obvious and some of them more nuanced, to make it Wolverine who goes back in time. One reason is that he’s the protagonist of the franchise, and probably the most beloved character to a mass audience. Probably the bigger reason is that when we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back..it was impossible.
Obviously in the book it’s Kitty..but you’re talking about an actress (Ellen Page) who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative 20 years old. So we started thinking again, and the first reflex response to that was a character who doesn’t age. Wolverine is the only character who would looks the same in 1973 as he does in the future.”
In short, the Kitty Pryde from the cinematic world of X-Men just isn’t old enough for this type of time travel to make sense. I get that. I really do. However, it seems telling that rather than make adjustments to the storyline to accommodate the Kitty they had (such as changing the method of time travel or moving the timeline up), they elected to simply replace her. Kitty will still be in the film, but she has been relegated to a position of supporting role rather than protagonist. It’s disappointing, no matter what the reason.
So there you go: another female-led superhero movie that almost happened. Wolverine gets the spotlight (again), and the studio gets a popular and conveniently male character to lead the film. The reasoning does make sense, but it’s an excuse. If the people behind DOFP had really wanted Kitty, there are a whole pile of ways they could have managed it and made it work within the world of the film. As it is, I’m rolling my eyes. The perfect opportunity to bring a beloved female character to lead a superhero film, and it is once again deemed too “tricky.”
Maybe next time.