Simon Kinberg Offers Details on X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, and GAMBIT
X-Men: Days of Future Past co-writer Simon Kinberg gave some spoilerish details on his newly released film and also offered up some more details about about the next films in the franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit. I absolutely loved what was done with Days of Future Past. That movie was awesome and is easily the best X-Men movie so far.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of this article, you need to know that the stuff he talks about contain SPOILERS for the movie, so if you haven't seen it yet you may want to stop reading right now.
In an interview with Vulture, Kinberg was asked about bringing back the previously deceased characters like Cyclops and Jean Grey, and if their rebirths were always planned. This was his response:
"I went back recently — like two days ago, because I've been in Baton Rouge and my brain's been in Fantastic Four — I put my brain back into Days of Future Past, and I looked at my original outline for the movie, which was dated exactly two years before we're premiering the movie: May 10th, 2012. The original outline, the first thing anyone read — the studio, the producers, anyone — it was something me and Matthew Vaughan worked on together. In that original outline, the characters that come back at the end of this movie came back. For me, the fun of this movie from when I said, 'We should do Days of Future Past,' was literally the scene of changing the future and Jean is going to come back and Jean and Wolverine are going to have a reunion. Mainly because I carry such guilt over X-Men: [The Last Stand]. The way we killed Jean in X3 haunts me because I love the Dark Phoenix saga so much."
Not many people like how X-Men: The Last Stand turned out, and I was so happy that they were able to fix some of the issues it had in Days of Future Past. When asked if he had any regrets about The Last Stand he said:
"That and Days of Future Past are my 2 favorite X-Men runs. So, I feel like what we did on 'Dark Phoenix' was not make it the 'Dark Phoenix' movie. We made 'The Cure' movie with 'Dark Phoenix' as a subplot. If I was going to do it now, and if we were doing it now because comic book movies are different, the darkness and the drama of that story would be differently supported."
He went on to talk about the death of Cyclops and the actor who played him, James Marsden. I was especially pissed off when Cyclops was killed off. He is such a great character and an integral part of the X-Men and their story.
"People love Cyclops in the comics. Jimmy does an admirable job. Not to make this about X3, but in X3 we did what we did with Cyclops partly because had a schedule nightmare. He was making, ironically, Superman with Bryan. We had a week with him and we needed to make a decision to integrate him into the film then lose him."
The fact that they killed him off because of scheduling issues seems incredibly ridiculous. I'm happy that he's back, though! If you've seen Days of Future Past, then you know a lot of characters at the beginning of the film seem to be killed off. It was kind of tease, and Kinberg talked a little bit about that, saying,
"The thing that's tricky about that is, you don't want the audience to think, 'Every time someone dies it's a trick, so I don't want to emotionally invest in them anymore.' But we wanted to establish Kitty's power as we've defined it, both visually and dramatically, as opposed to just verbally. And there's something radical about starting a movie with a bunch of characters and seeing how badass the villains, the Sentinels, are."
I have to say that I thought it was strange that they gave Kitty Pryde this new power that she never had before. But they did what they did to make the story work.
As for Wolverine surviving drowning, he said,
"That was part of the challenge. Bryan and I asked, 'How do you actually put Wolverine in real jeopardy?' Not just getting shot or blown up. Bryan had some science for how the lungs would rebuild themselves."
The writer was asked about the moment in the opening sequence of Days of Future Past when Iceman and Kitty Pryde make brief eye contact with each other, and what it meant for the love triangle they had with Rogue in The Last Stand:
"It's a really astute catch because that's absolutely the intention. That is its own complicated thing because we shot a sequence with Rogue [for Days of Future Past]. But Rogue in that future, where Kitty and Bobby are living as refugees, is gone. She's gone from their lives. Even in the version we shot with Rogue, she was gone from their lives. And in the darkness and sadness of losing so many of their friends, and specifically Rogue, Bobby and Kitty ended up together. That's totally the intention of that look. We debated that look — would it confuse audiences? Would it look like a plan they're conceiving? It's just meant to be an emotional character moment between them. It's a subtle read. And the idea is that, once we've reset the world with the events of 1973, there was never a world in which their friends and Rogue were killed. So he never strayed from Rogue. He stayed with her as plotted in the original movies. Shit like that, in the whole movie with all the time travel stuff — what would have happened, what did happen, what changed — there's a rationale behind pretty much everything in the movie. We talked about a ton. I've never talked so much about a movie while making it."
It's really interesting and cool that they put that much thought into that one little glance that the two characters shared with each other.
One of my favorite characters in the movie was Quicksilver, and I wish they would have used his character more. I really hope he ends up in the sequels. There was a scene in the movie where Quicksilver tells Magneto his mom knew a guy with his magnetic power, when asked about it Kinberg laughed and said:
"You know the intention of that tease. Hardcore fans will know. Some people who get that Magneto is a bit of a playboy will know."
Yes, Magneto is Quicksilver's father, and it will be interesting to see if they expand on that in future X-Men films. As far as the final shot in Days of Future Past goes — when it's revealed that Stryker is actually Mystique — the writer explained:
"We really wanted to do something subtle with Stryker in this movie. We wanted it to be the beginning of the origin of him. He's in the shadows most of this film. In some ways, Stryker was included in order to trigger something for Wolverine. How would it impact Wolverine, going back in time and seeing this guy who is going to manipulate him in the future. That was just interesting. Stryker's been interesting in the books and the Brian Cox version was fantastic. But the last moment in the movie with the Mystique reveal… there's for sure more to that. As we follow the characters in to X-Men: Apocalypse, we have to address that and make it a real thing."
Awesome! Does that mean Wolverine's story with Mystique will continue in a future installment? I guess we'll see. In a separate interview with The Daily Beast Kinberg shed a little more light on X-Men: Apocalypse, and what characters we might see in it, saying,
"It will focus primarily on the First Class cast, but it will certainly have some of the original cast involved, too."
Who exactly those characters will be has yet to be revealed. As for the planned Gambit movie that will most likely star Channing Tatum, he says:
"Gambit is still in-motion and being figured out. Channing made it known that it was a character that he loved and would love to play, and all the people who work on the X-Men movies are huge fans of his, so the notion of him playing it is exciting. I’m more fascinated by anti-heroes, and Gambit is one of those. I don’t know why he wasn’t explored in the original X-Men movies. Maybe the reason why was because they wanted to focus on Rogue/Bobby or the platonic Rogue/Wolverine relationship, and maybe there were too many similarities between Wolverine and Gambit, so in order to make it a Wolverine-centric franchise they had to cut him loose."
It makes sense why they didn't bring in the character in the earlier X-Men films, but I am looking forward to seeing his character being fully explored in his own movie. I love Gambit, and I think Tatum is a solid choice to bring the character to life.