New developments for the next “X-Men” movie just keep coming, it seems.
First we learned that the follow-up to the quite successful – in many senses of the word – “X-Men: First Class” would be “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and would be based on a popular 1981 storyline from the comics that found the mutant superheroes living in – and trying to prevent – an apocalyptic future in which mutants are held in concentration camps guarded by robotic Sentinels.
Then we learned that director Matthew Vaughn would not be returning, but director Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two “X-Men” movies in the 2000s, would instead.
And in the past few days we learned that in addition to returning “First Class” cast members like Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence, the actors who played longtime antagonists Magneto and Xavier in the original trilogy, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, would return.
And we learned that Hugh Jackman, who had a fun, two-word cameo in “First Class,” might be returning after filming his solo film “The Wolverine.”
Of course, with a story featuring time travel and alternate realities, it’s not impossible to imagine multiple actors playing the same characters and it’s not impossible to imagine characters from widely divergent “X-Men” eras clashing and teaming up.
So with a couple of years to go until we see the movie, what do we want to see from “X-Men: Days of Future Past?” A few thoughts:
Colorful costumes. This seems silly, almost, in the wake of the true-to-the-comics costumes in “First Class” and “The Avengers.” But remember that the last time Singer directed these characters, the conventional wisdom at the time was that moviegoers would only accept the X-Men in black leather with yellow accents. We know better now. Bring on the blue and yellow spandex!
Beefy roles for various generations of X-Men. I want to see the Fassbender version of Magneto go on the equivalent of the Nazi hunt he conducted in First Class, maybe abetted this time by Jackman as Wolverine. Who wouldn’t pay to see those two in unstoppable pursuit of some villain?
A “Spock meets Spock” moment. Or several of them. We want to see the two versions of Magneto and Xavier meet each other and we want to be able to relish it, like we did when Spock met Spock Prime in “Star Trek.”
Sentinels. Sentinels. Sentinels. We’ve only been teased with the giant robots so far. Hollywood special effects are more than ready to give us these menacing figures now.
Wolverine, yes, but more than that. Who doesn’t love Wolverine and his on-screen personification, Hugh Jackman? But even if Jackman does appear in “Days of Future Past,” he shouldn’t be the focus. He’s best when he’s the wild card, going on a berserker rampage and scaring the hell out of every bad guy in sight.
Above all else, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. It’ll be cool to see Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, the heart and sole of the original “X-Men” movies, together again. But Fassbender and McAvoy made the roles of Magneto and Xavier their own in “First Class.” They energized the roles. I wish the finale of the movie hadn’t so thoroughly put Xavier in a wheelchair and set him and Magneto at odds. It was the least subtle element of the movie. But there’s a lot more to told about these two characters early in their conflict and I hope that’s what drives the movie.