A look at Chris Claremont's original, 2-part X-Men story and what we know so far from Matthew Vaughn, Bryan Singer and others. Just how will time travel effect the First Class sequel and the X-Men franchise moving forward? Potential Spoilers

Editorial Opinion


The future is a nightmarish, rubble-strewn landscape where all the world's mutants, superheroes and supervillains are detained in concentration camps run by giant 'Sentinel' robots. Wolverine hatches a scheme with surviving mutants Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pride, Rachel Summers, Franklin Richards and Magneto to send Kitty's consciousness back in time to her younger body where she will attempt to stop the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly and Professor X. An event which they believe sparked the mass-scale production of Sentinels and their current, oppressed living conditions. Days of Future Past (1981) by Chris Claremont and John Byrne is generally regarded as one of Marvel Comics' best storylines of all time.


X-Men: First Class (2011) was an important outing for Fox, following disappointing fan and critic response for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). With the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 as a backdrop, Professor X and Magneto gather a group of young mutants to stop the evil machinations of Hellfire Club leader, Sebastian Shaw. Regardless of continuity and source material issues, the film was an enjoyable, action-laden SFX romp that catapulted Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy into another acting tier. But before the film was even released, discussion turned to a sequel. Here's what Matthew Vaughn had to say back in 2011. "I've got some ideas for the opening for the next film. I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy Assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto. That would explain the physics of it, and we see that he's pissed off because Kennedy took all the credit for saving the world and mutants weren't even mentioned. And we could go from there, and I've got some fun ideas about what other mutants to bring in. I don't want to tempt fate, though. If the film's a hit, of course I'd be interested. I really enjoyed making it." Then-producer, now-director Bryan Singer echoed this sentiment adding that the Vietnam War could also be a backdrop for the First Class sequel.


How could the JFK Assassination and the Vietnam War tie into Days of Future Past? Short answer, they don't. Days of Future past centers around the surviving X-Men of a dystopian sending Shadowcat back in time to stop the assassination of Senator Kelly by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They believe that Kelly's death was the catalyst event for their hellish, Sentinel filled future. If you recall, Senator Kelly (Bruce Davison) was captured and assassinated in the very first X-Men film. If the script from Vaughn, Simon Kinberg and Jane Goldman adheres to this particular plot point of Chris Claremont's story then a future X-man will be traveling back in time to prevent this from happening. This idea is further strengthened by the recent announcement that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are returning to reprise their roles of Professor X and Magneto. The plot gives producers and the studio the option of altering or undoing all-together the events of X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. It's actually a clever way to reboot the entire franchise, similar to what Paramount and J.J. Abrams have done with Star Trek.

On paper, that plot is enough for a feature film on its own. However, it excludes the three breakout stars from X-Men: First Class, Fassbender, McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence. No way Fox will give up that type of star power. In order to weave them into the overall plot, there are two possibilities 1.) Whoever goes back in time travels to the 60's first before stopping the Kelly assassination or 2.) More than one X-man gets sent back, each to two separate time periods. With time travel being the crucial element of the plot, it would be too confusing I believe to simply have the younger characters appear in flashbacks. I'd bet the house that there will be two distinct time travel journeys by the dystopian-future X-Men forces, most likely to stop the JFK Assassination in 1963 and the Robert Kelly kidnapping which (in the movie timeline) occurred in 2000. Now the question is, who will it be that gets sent back?

So Will it be Shadowcat that goes Back in Time?

Three different actresses have portrayed Shadowcat aka Kitty Pride in the X-Men films. Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart portrayed her in small cameo roles in X-Men and X-2. But when Kitty took center stage in X-3, the role was handed to Ellen Page. Thanks to Jennifer Lawrence's conflict regarding The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the First Class sequel, Days of Future Past will reportedly begin filming April 2013. Bryan Singer has already started pre-production. I bring this up because Ellen Page is currently signed up to star in Incognito Pictures's Freeheld, a film which recently landed a director and appears to be moving forward although there's no start date, yet. Depending on Page's option with each studio, she could be unavailable to Singer. While a different mutant could easily be substituted for Shadowcat (the 90's Fox Animated series used Bishop), it wouldn't be much of a stretch to put Kitty in a relationship with Franklin Richards instead of Rachel Summers. This would be the beginning steps of crafting the shared universe that Fox and newly-minted Creative Consultant Mark Millar have previously talked about and would open the door for X-Men cameos in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot.

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