Maybe it’s the fault of The Avengers, but another Marvel Comics movie franchise seems to be trying to throw together as many heroes together as possible. We’ve been hearing for a while now that X-Men: Days of Future Past will connect the original X-Men trilogy with the 2011 prequel, X-Men: First Class, and in doing so director Bryan Singer is uniting all the old and new (or is that new and old?) characters for a massive mutant ensemble. The three latest additions to the cast, as announced by Singer via Twitter, are Anna Paquin (Rogue), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat).
The last time we saw these three was seven years ago, in X-Men: The Last Stand (not to be confused with the new Schwarzenegger vehicle), the third installment, which also saw Brett Ratner take the helm from Singer, who’d done the first two. In his tweet, Singer thanks Ratner for “letting them live” at the end of his movie. Page was actually the third actress in three films to portray Pryde (the others were Sumela Kay and Katie Stuart), but she was the last, is the biggest name and as an Oscar-nominee seems to be the best person for the part, especially if she’s the main character, as Pryde was in the comic book version of the “Days of Future Past” storyline.
Perhaps they’ll flip things around, though, as Paquin/Rogue sorta fills the Shadowcat role, at least in her relationship with Wolverine, in the first three X-Men movies. Interestingly enough, the Rogue character didn’t even make her first appearance in the comics until the fall of 1981, while “Days of Future Past” was published in January and February of that same year. Meanwhile, Iceman is only mentioned in the pages of the “Days of Future Past” comic issues as being dead in the “future.’ So, we can’t exactly go by the source material for what to expect from the adaptation anyway. Which is fine since it’s confusing trying to explain it all.
What we do know is that Hugh Jackman is already confirmed to reprise his part as Wolverine while Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are back as Professor X and Magneto, respectively. Also, First Class actors James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are coming back in those same respective roles. Expected to join them are fellow First Class-mates Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) and possibly others. The only person we know isn’t coming back is January Jones (White Queen), which everyone seems to be fine with.
Plot-wise, it appears that the First Class cast will play the “present day” X-Men of whenever the film’s plot is set (aka “Earth-616″), while the X-Men trilogy cast will be the characters in an alternate “future” (aka “Earth-811″). And there we go getting confusing for non-fans again. But the alternate reality thing is pretty ingenious for the franchise since First Class and the original trilogy otherwise don’t quite align (in some ways First Class is as much a reboot as a prequel, just like J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek films). Of course, it still doesn’t explain why there’s been three different Kitty Prydes…
We’ll all have to keep following Singer on Twitter to hear about further additions to the cast. Who else do you hope returns for the prequel/sequel/sidequel Days of Future Past?