One of the most enduring and well-liked storylines from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s legendary run on the “Uncanny X-Men” comic book was known as ‘Days of Future Past.’ It introduced readers to a post-apocalyptic future (hilariously, 2013) where the Earth is controlled by giant robots, mutants are all either killed or locked up in internment camps, and only a small handful of rebels remain. These rebels, determining that all of this badness started with the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and his subsequent martyring by anti-mutant forces, send an older version of Kitty Pryde back to the present to warn the X-Men that they must stop the assassination at all costs. Basically, the story is a cross between Back to the Future and The Terminator, with super-powered mutants, and it’s one of the front-runners for coolest thing ever.
So it’s super exciting to hear that Matthew Vaughn is apparently going to be using it as the inspiration for the sequel to his 2011 reboot of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class. Confirmation of this news came from an interview IGN conducted with producer Bryan Singer. When asked what he could reveal about the First Class sequel, Singer dropped a bombshell by saying, “It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past, and it deals with aspects of that comic but also some very new things… I just don’t want to give any of it away. Matthew Vaughn will be directing and I’m totally excited about it.”
Aspects of that comic, but some new things? That should be enough to get fans’ imaginations racing. Personally, I always like what the 90s-era X-Men cartoon did with the story by replacing ghost Kitty Pryde with the time traveling Bishop (who serves in a future, militarized version of the X-Men known as Xavier’s Security Enforcers). If Singer and Vaughn went this route, it would be a good chance to introduce another character into their already rich universe and an opportunity to give a young actor like, say, a John Boyega a chance to do some work in a big blockbuster.
Speaking of masturbatory fanboy speculation, apparently Singer and Vaughn’s co-opting of Claremont and Byrne’s story has been a rumor in the fan community for a while now, and there’s even been some talk that the story could be used as a way to integrate characters from First Class with characters from the previous X-Men film franchise that was started by Singer’s 2000 film, X-Men. When asked about these rumors, Singer said, “I think there’s a strong desire to broaden out the universe. I mean, the X-Men universe is every bit on its own as big as the Marvel universe, and I think it’s time to reach out and explore it and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films, as Marvel’s done so well. So, you may see some of that, I don’t know.”
Could we end up seeing Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellan and James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart all in the same movie playing the same characters? It could be argued the possibility was already opened up by the surprising cameo they stuck in the middle of First Class, and in a movie landscape where J.J. Abrams has us using terms like “Spock Prime,” you have to think anything is possible.