The X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in a battle that must change the past – to save their future.
A scene promoting this movie appeared during the end credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).The end-credits sting featured Jennifer Lawrence reprising the role of Mystique, opposite her 'X-Men: First Class' co-star Lucas Still and 'X-Men' newcomers Evan Jonigkeit and Josh Helman, and depicts her showing off her trademark fighting skills against a group of military men.
Fox Studios gave Hugh Jackman a charity donation for his cameo and f-bomb line in 'X-Men: First Class'.
The production was shot 70% on sound-stages and used 39 sets and 26 locations.
The creators decided that it just made the most sense for Wolverine’s character to be the one traveling between time periods, because of his ageless look and ability to physically heal.
The movie opens in a partially destroyed futuristic Moscow.
While some of the cast worked the entire time, others only spent a few days on set. Here’s what some of the cast worked: Anna Paquin (5 days), Patrick Stewart (3 weeks), Ian McKellen (3 weeks), Halle Berry (7 days), Shawn Ashmore (a few weeks), Ellen Page (3 weeks).
Originally, Halle Berry had another scene in the film, but due to her limited schedule it was cut. The same goes for Anna Paquin.
The film cuts back and forth between the two time frames, the past and the future. But, the looks used a totally different; the future is very dark, violent the past is brighter.
The last 25% of the movie is non-stop action.
Certain sequences in the movie were shot using Super 8 and 16mm.
While the Sentinels in the past are dangerous, they are deadly in the future. The only way to take them on is with the whole group fighting together.
The film focuses on Charles (McAvoy) more than anyone else; he’s the protagonist.
The movie provided an explanation as to how Charles can walk again (It’s with the help of Hank), but his walking comes with a cost.
Chris Claremont cameos in the film. If you’re not aware, Claremont wrote the original storyline in the comic.
The film has a number of intense dialogue scenes that are 4 to 5 minutes each.
When you change something in the past it doesn’t immediately change the future. It’s more like Back to the Future.
Singer had about 50% of the film done with pre-viz, but none of the dialogue scenes used pre-viz.
Unlike Patrick Stewart’s portrayal, McAvoy portrayed a darker, grittier Professor Xavier, in the angst of his youth, before he eventually matures.
This film is considered to be darker than First Class, and possibly darker than any of the previous X-Men films.
The primary difference between the comic storyline and the movie is it’s not Kitty Pryde that goes back in time, it’s Logan.
Production Designer John Myhre hid a bunch of X’s on the sets of the film. One of the prominent ones is on a staircase in the X-Mansion.
In this movie, there’s a recap of characters and some explanation of characters, so people who haven’t seen X-Men before can also enjoy this film.
The creators had to try to make the ones from 1973, the Sentinels of the past, a little fun and stylish but also a little retro, and the key is they’re not made of metal. That’s very important to our story because we’ve got a very powerful mutant, and this was a big challenge.
Singer is a huge fan of Game of Thrones and of actor Peter Dinklage, and that inspired his casting of Dinklage for this film.
Due to the difficulty of making time travel films, he had to come up with a philosophy and set of rules for it in the film before production so that the story could feel as plausible as possible.
Director James Cameron helped Singer develop his time travel universe with physics, and laws of observation, in which case Singer says Hugh Jackman is the film’s “observer.”
Most of the film is shot in 3D.
With the phantom technology used on the sets of this movie, it is possible to shoot at around 3,000 frames per second.
Using simulcam, Singer was able to do special effects he couldn’t have done on X-Men and X-Men 2.
Production Designer John Myhre, who did the first X-Men movie, is back for Days of Future Past. He didn’t work on any of the other X-Men films.
They came up with new ideas for the third act pretty far down the line of development, and during production they figured out a new element they wanted to add to the Quicksilver sequence.
No sets from X-Men: First Class had to be recreated for the sequel.
Myhre wanted to embrace the 70s in this film the way First Class embraced the 60s.
The scale of the future-set sequences are on par with an entire movie, even though that’s only a portion of this film.
The development and design of the film was done on an accelerated schedule because, in order to accommodate that large cast’s individual schedules, filming had to begin in April 2013.
In designing the first Sentinels, Myhre wanted to use the 70s-style design of molded plastics.
A lot of the movie is extended through digital sets. One of the sets is an ancient Chinese monastery that is supposed to be located in the hills of China. They only had the time to build a section of the Chinese monastery set.
In one of the scenes, James McAvoy unexpectedly punched Hoult in the crotch to mess with him.
The Beast’s fighting style is animal and athletic and gymnastic and fast and agile basically, but very strong, and he throws people around a fair bit.
Jackman and Singer both affirm that the future atmosphere with the Sentinels creates a bad situation that is dire for the X-Men.
Jackman said that he will play Wolverine as long as filmmakers will let him, but only if the new script ideas for future projects are even more compelling to him than previous projects. He feels that the storyline for this movie was phenomenal.
Because Jackman had more time to physically prepare for this film, it was his first Wolverine film that he started without injuries.
The cast of the film went out to restaurants as a group sometimes, and worker friendly and a loud, social group.
During the filming of X2, Jackman and his son both went trick-or-treating as the Wolverine.
It hasn’t been decided yet exactly why Xavier loses his hair, but that it has to be for a very intense reason, and not just for the frivolity of changing his look.
McAvoy's character in the movie is said to be emotionally dark in this film, and resembles of child of the 1970s and its psychedelic antics. Since he is nothing like Patrick Stewart, it was felt that it would work well for his character's development in this particular film.
There is a unique character reversal in this film, where Wolverine is like a mentor to McAvoy’s Charles Xavier, who is like an angry, young Logan.
There was a scene that got cut from First Class where Xavier manipulated another character to imagine Fassbender’s Magneto as a transvestite.
The fact that there are so many leading actors and characters in this film was considered a blessing because it relieves the pressure on the whole cast.
While the actors may have some relief from the pressure, screenwriter Simon Kinberg says the biggest challenge is storytelling in this film because there are so many main characters.
Kinberg's favorite time travel films – and the films he studied the most to make Days of Future Past – are Back to the Future and the first two Terminator movies.
When Kinberg met James Cameron and told him he was working on time travel in Days of Future Past, Cameron autographed Kinberg’s The Making of Terminator 2 book and wrote, “Don’t f**k it up. Love, Jim.”
Professor Xavier finds a way to use his legs again in this film, but ends up eventually choosing the chair instead. Part of the arc of his character is that he chooses to be in it, rather than feeling condemned to it.
Tthe biggest focus of this film was the future of the X-Men universe, because with the use of the old cast members and the new ones, they have to decide where the sequels will go.
Kinberg wrote shorter parts for Halle Berry and Anna Paquin since both actors did not have much time to be on set.
Trask and the Sentinels are the villains of this film, and the X-Men will try to go back in time to defeat the Sentinels.
In the production art room, the futuristic solider designs were done by the artist Jock.
Producer Laura Shuler Donner’s mandate with the X-Men films was for diversity, and to “make every single X-Men movie different, so there’s never X-Men fatigue.”
It has been noted that, while Vaughn made X-Men like a Bond movie with First Class, and Mangold made a noir with Wolverine, Bryan Singer is bringing back “classic coke” by reuniting the classic cast from the franchise
Donner has been heavily involved in all seven X-Men films, particularly the casting.
There was a lot of difficulty in scheduling in McKellen and Stewart with all of their stage acting, and Peter Dinklage with his commitment to 'Game of Thrones'.
Even in the most recent Wolverine film posters, Hugh Jackman’s body is real and not manipulated using photoshop.
Donner and Bryan have mainly argued over the tone of all X-Men films, in that he always wants them to be darker, and she wants there to be lighthearted moments.
It has been confirmed that they’re not only talking about the next X-Men film after this, but more films to come.
Ottman will be the first composer to score more than one film in the X-Men film series, having previously scored 2003's X2.
It is the third X-Men film directed by Singer after 2000's 'X-Men' and 2003's 'X2'.
Including his cameo in X-Men: First Class, this will be Hugh Jackman's seventh portrayal of Logan/Wolverine, raising his own record for the most times a comic book character has been played by the same actor in theatrical films. He will also be the only actor to appear in the entire X-Men film series.
The original 'Days of Future past' comic mentioned time travel from the year 2013, the same year in which filming began.
The addition of Evan Peters as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver to the cast sparked wide discussion over the direction of the character who is also slated to appear in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The character was to be used in both X-Men: The Last Stand and The Avengers, but legal complexities over the license to the character resulted in his omission from both films. However, there was a partial resolution in May 2013 between Marvel and Fox Studios, allowing for the inclusions of this exciting character.
Unlike most of the actors who've appeared throughout the X-Men franchise, January Jones was not asked to reprise the role she originated in X-Men: First Class.
Bryan Singer filmed the mutant Quicksilver's scenes in a special format of 3600 frames per second. This was done to showcase Quicksilver's speed ability: 3600 fps is 150 times slower than normal film (which is at 24 fps), so Quicksilver will be seen moving to 150 times as fast as normal.
The film is influenced by the 'X-Men' comics 'Days of Future Past' (1981) and 'All-New X-Men' (2012), both of which involve time-traveling mutants who seek to change history for the better.
When Matthew Vaughn was going to direct, he was going to make the film a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class and have it set in the 1970s. Early ideas included an opening with the Kennedy assassination being caused by Magneto, and mutant encounters set in the Civil rights movement/the Vietnam War.
According to Bryan Singer, he had a two-hour discussion with James Cameron, director of the time-travel films The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, about how to make the time-travel concept feasible and workable within the film. The concepts the two discussed included alternate universes and string theory (a field of quantum physics that define multiple universes).
Alan Cumming declined to reprise his role as Nightcrawler from X2 due to the heavy make-up demands for the character.
This is the third X-Men feature to use Chris Claremont's "Days of Future Past" comic. It had previously been adapted in X-Men (a literal adaptation), Wolverine and the X-Men and an episode of The Super Hero Squad Show.
John Ottman is the first composer to score more than one movie of the series.
Chris Claremont, the writer of the original 'Days of Future Past' comic, was brought on as a consultant.
This is the fourth X-Men film to be based on a Chris Claremont "X-Men" comic:
X2 was adapted from 'God Loves, Man Kills'
X-Men: The Last Stand was based on 'The Dark Phoenix Saga'
The Wolverine was based on his comic of the same title.
The four main female X-Men in the principal cast (Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, and Anna Paquin) are all Academy Award nominees.
Jason Flemyng was originally set to reprise his role as Azazel when Matthew Vaughn was still set to direct. When Vaughn left, the storyline was dropped in favor of the time travel/crossover storyline, and Azazel's role cut from the script to accommodate characters from the original "X-Men" film series.
Matthew Vaughn was supposed to return to direct this movie but he decided to decline. Bryan Singer, the director of the first two X-Men films and a producer, was hired to direct.
Jamie Campbell Bower and Nico Tortorella auditioned for the role of Quicksilver.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were performing in a touring production of "Waiting for Godot" when Bryan Singer approached the actors about reprising their respective roles as Professor X and Magneto. McKellen has said both men were utterly shocked, as they thought to have passed the roles on to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, and would never play the characters again. Both Stewart and McKellen were delighted to return to two of their most popular roles, and to work with the younger actors playing the same characters as well.
'Days of Future Past' takes place in two time frames, allowing the stars of Singer's first 'X-Men' movie to share the screen with those of 'X-Men: First Class'.
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