Because the apocalyptic future is cooler than the 60s. It’s not surprising that X-Men: First Class is getting a sequel. The Matthew Vaughn-directed movie injected some much-needed excitement and sex appeal into the franchise, and setting it during the Cuban Missile Crisis gave a sense of historic sweep to the events portrayed. Fox has announced the title for the sequel, also directed by Vaughn, and it has me pretty hyped: Days Of Future Past.
If you’re not a hardcore comic book geek, let me explain why this is cool. Days Of Future Past was a two-issue storyline from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on the X-Men comic in the early 80s, widely regarded as the peak of the franchise. In it, we suddenly skip forward several decades to a ravaged Earth ruled by the mutant-hunting Sentinels, which have killed almost all mutants and other super-heroes and placed most of humanity into internment camps. Kitty Pryde, at that point the youngest member of the team, must send her consciousness back in time to her younger body and prevent the assassination of a U.S. Senator – the tipping point that makes the whole horrible future happen.
So it’s a pretty cool springboard to hang a movie around. Some people also speculate that Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer will use the time-travel conceit to clean up some of the continuity errors between First Class and the original X-Men movie trilogy, but to me that sounds like a waste of time. Let those movies stand as what they are and move forward with new stories. It’s just more fun that way.
Jennifer Lawrence is set to return as Mystique, with Rose Byrne and Alex Gonzalez also confirmed as having signed contracts for additional films. X-Men: Days Of Future Past is tentatively scheduled to start production in January of next year and open on July 18, 2014.