With three hundred million dollars in the bank after its opening four day weekend, X-Men: Days of Future Past is now the best opening film in the franchise, a nice victory over the previous holder of that title, X-Men: The Last Stand. And speaking of Last Stand, screenwriter Simon Kinberg has been pretty open about how DofP‘s ending was deliberately designed to undo some of Last Stand‘s most reviled effects on X-Men movie continuity.
Spoilers for the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past follow.
Kinberg told SciFiNow:
I worked on X-Men 3, which I have some pride about and some guilt about. If I could do any movie in my life over again, that’s the one I would do. I feel that we didn’t do justice to the Dark Phoenix story. I know the fans felt – and I feel the same way as a fan – that Scott [Cyclops] didn’t get what he deserved. It was a very unceremonious goodbye. Frankly, some of that was because of scheduling reasons, but nevertheless the effect is that somebody you’ve grown to love and care about is just dispatched with.
So I had this moment very early on in the process of outlining Days Of Future Past where I thought we could bring him back. I wasn’t sure where it would take place – initially it was slightly different – but we had this moment in the future where we could resurrect the people who we lost in the wrong ways.
And though the writer was nervous that fans wouldn’t feel as strongly about Cyclops and Jean Grey as he did, after their eight-year absence from the franchise, the scene wound up hitting quite the nerve with excited test audiences. But while DofP was intentionally a new hello for some characters, it was also a fond goodbye for the original cast of X-Men, one that couldn’t be told in Last Stand, which everyone involved expected to be the final bow for Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Ellen Page and the rest. “There’s some part of our brains that hopes we will see them again,” says Kinberg, “but we wanted to tell a story that felt like it was a conclusion to their stories.”
Although it might not be a goodbye for everybody. He’s also told The Daily Beast that the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse “will focus primarily on the First Class cast, but it will certainly have some of the original cast involved, too.” And seeing as how Kinberg is also working on the Fantastic Four reboot for 20th Century Fox, lets take one brief look at what’s going on there…
We didn’t go into it saying we wanted to cast a particular race for any part. [Director Josh Trank] had worked with Michael [B. Jordan] on Chronicle and I’m a big fan of Michael’s, so we knew he was the best actor for that part. We knew casting an African-American Human Torch would be news, but I can tell you it’s something that Stan Lee loves, and I can also tell you that having been on set and seeing Michael bring him to life, he’s really spectacular. He’s doing something really cool with the character that I think will become the iconic Johnny Storm.
Kinberg couldn’t, however, say a word about his “Creative Consultant” credit on Star Wars VII. So it goes.
But back to Apocalypse. When asked whether where DofP director Bryan Singer is still on for directing the franchise’s next installment, X-Men: Apocalypse, Kinberg said “That is the plan.” Singer bowed out of much of the publicity tour for Days of Future Past after allegations of sexual assault of an underage boy in the 1990s, and since then has had another lawsuit of similar allegations leveled against him.