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 in which they must change the past – to save their future.
A mutant with accelerated healing, enhanced senses, adamantium-laced skeleton and retractable bone and adamantium claws. With the mutant race on the verge of extinction, Wolverine's healing factor makes him the only X-Man capable of withstanding the rigors of time travel. He'll have to survive long enough to complete the most important mission of his life: to go back in time to prevent a chain of events that will bring about the end of mutantkind. Director Bryan Singer stated that "Hugh of the future is sent, his consciousness is sent into his younger self [and] Hugh gets to play both parts because [Wolverine] is ageless." Writer Simon Kinberg explained in an interview why Wolverine is the time traveler and he stated "We made the decision for a lot of reasons... One reason is that he's the protagonist of the franchise, and probably the most beloved character to a mass audience."
The world's most powerful telepath. Xavier has watched the mutant race be slowly hunted down. But now the time has come to lead his X-Men in their greatest battle; both in the present and the past. Singer described the younger Xavier as being "a very different beast from First Class' feckless playboy. He's a wounded animal, bearded, long-haired, filled with rage at the way the world has treated him." According to Stewart, there will be an explanation for Professor X's return after he was vaporized by Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand. Professor X's return was previously alluded to during a post-credits scene in X-Men: The Last Stand and a mid-credits scene in The Wolverine.
A mutant with the ability to manipulate metallic objects and described as "one of the most powerful mutants on earth". Magneto was at odds with Professor X and the X-Men for decades. But with mutant annihilation on the horizon, old animosities have to give way to new alliances. Singer described McKellen's role as "also a fixture in the future war, facing an enemy so monstrous that it forces former foes to band together."
A mutant with the ability of shape-shifting. Singer stated that Mystique "is less innocent, evolved, getting closer to where Mystique was in X-Men 2." Lawrence revealed that Mystique is split off from Lensherr and Xavier and she has one mission of trying to assassinate somebody. She added "we’ve seen her [Mystique] in the future and what she becomes and this is kind of a turning point for her."
A mutant with the ability to manipulate the elements. One of the most battle-tested and powerful X-Men, she will lead the X-Men in the toughest challenge they have ever faced. Berry stated that "there’s something very revealing and shocking about Storm in this movie. There are some things you find out about her that I think give you much more insight into who she is." When asked about if her pregnancy affected Storm's role, she replied "I wasn’t in as much as I was meant to be. My ever-growing belly was posing a constant challenge! What I could do was getting more limited so the role that I play is so different from what it could have been, due to my surprise pregnancy."
A mutant with the ability to absorb the life force and mutant abilities of anyone she touches. Paquin initially played a larger role in the film, but according to Fox representatives, Paquin's role was reduced to "essentially, a cameo" after the majority of her scenes were cut in post-production. Singer has stated that the deleted scenes featuring Paquin will "probably end up on the DVD" release of the film.
A mutant with the ability to phase through solid objects. The youngest of the X-Men, she'll play an important role in their fight for survival. Singer described Pryde as the prime facilitator and that Pryde's phasing ability enables time-travel to happen.
A military scientist and the head of Trask Industries who created a range of robots called Sentinels whose purpose is to hunt and destroy mutants. Dinklage stated that Trask "sees what he’s doing as a good thing — [his ambition is] definitely blind and he’s quite arrogant. He’s strove all his life for a certain respect and attention." He also stated that Trask is up against Richard Nixon.
A mutant with the ability to create and manipulate ice. When Ashmore was asked about what can be expected to see how his character's relationship with Rogue has evolved since X-Men: The Last Stand, he replied "they’re constantly having these relationship issues so we’ll see what happens."
A mutant with the ability to absorb energy to redirect it in kinetic blasts. Sy described Bishop as the guy from the future and that he fights for survival. Singer revealed that Bishop, along with Warpath, Sunspot and Blink, are not fresh recruits. He stated "they’re more refugees that are living day to day in this hideously ruined world. They don’t have much hope in the future. They’re on the run and they join forces with the remaining X-Men to try to do this one last attempt at fixing the world."
A mutant with the ability to run at supersonic speeds. Peters described Quicksilver as "very fast, he talks quick, he moves quick. Everything else is very slow compared to him, it’s like he’s always at the ATM waiting for the bastard in front of him to finish."
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner stated in August 2006 that renegotiations would be required to continue the X-Men main film series. Newer cast members of X-Men: The Last Stand were signed, while the older cast members were not. Donner stated, "There is forty years worth of stories. I’ve always wanted to do "Days of Future Past" and there are just really a lot of stories yet to be told." She later pitched Bryan Singer on doing a fourth installment of the previously established X-Men franchise, following the completion of X-Men: First Class. In March 2011, Shuler Donner revealed that the film was in "active development at Fox," saying, "We took the treatment to Fox and they love it... And X4 leads into X5".
20th Century Fox envisioned the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class as the first film of a new X-Men trilogy. Donner compared the franchise plans to be similar to the darker, more mature content of the Harry Potter film series. Early reports had Matthew Vaughn and Singer returning to direct and produce the sequel, respectively. While still attached to the project as a director, Vaughn stated, "First Class is similar to Batman Begins, where you have the fun of introducing the characters and getting to know them, but that takes time. But with the second one, you can just get on with it and have a rollicking good time. That's the main difference between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight." Describing how the next movie could open, Vaughn stated, "I thought it would be fun to open with the Kennedy assassination, and we reveal that the magic bullet was controlled by Magneto." Singer has stated that the film could be set around the civil rights movement or the Vietnam War, and that Wolverine could once again be featured.
In November 2011, Simon Kinberg who co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand and co-produced X-Men: First Class was hired to write the screenplay of the film. In May 2012, 20th Century Fox announced a July 18, 2014 release date for the film. The release date was later moved up two months earlier for a May 23, 2014 release. In August 2012, the title for the film was confirmed to be X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film is said to be inspired by Chris Claremont and John Byrne's X-Men comic book storyline, "Days of Future Past". The comic book storyline ran in Uncanny X-Men #141 and 142 in 1981 during Claremont and Byrne's run and introduced the idea of an alternate future for mutants that grew out of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants killing an important senator, leading to a future where all mutants are hunted by Sentinels.
"I decided that the next time I got myself involved in a movie that had a huge amount of attention already that I would use Twitter. As a way of connecting with fans, principally. And also as a way of clearing up misunderstandings so that people know. You know, they may hear that an actor is cast or hear somebody is going to be in it, but until I say it's so, that's the confirmation."
—Bryan Singer explaining the Twitter presence of the film.
Director Bryan Singer's regular collaborator John Ottman is working on the score of the film, in addition to being its editor. Ottman is the first composer to score more than one film in the X-Men film series, having previously scored 2003's X2. The film score will be released on May 26, 2014.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will hold its world premiere in New York City on May 10, 2014. It is scheduled to be released in 2D and 3D theaters on May 21, 2014, in various international markets and on May 23, 2014 in the United States. It will be distributed by 20th Century Fox.
For the theatrical release of The Wolverine in July 2013, a mid-credits scene teasing X-Men: Days of Future Past was attached. The scene, set two years after the events of The Wolverine, depicts Logan going through an airport security checkpoint while a commercial for Trask Industries plays in the background. Suddenly, Logan notices that all the metal objects around him start to shake and levitate. He whirls around to find Magneto, who claims he needs Logan's help to combat a threat to all mutants. When Logan asks Magneto why he should trust him, all the people around them freeze as Professor Xavier approaches Logan and assures him that Magneto is telling the truth. Adam Pockross of Yahoo! Movies described the mid-credits scene as the coolest part of The Wolverine and stating, "Boom! And that's how you tease the next film: by giving us so much to chew on, yet so few answers."
The first official trailer for the film was released in October 2013. Jason Callina of The Herald News gave the trailer a positive response stating "it is fantastic to see characters that I grew up with in the flesh.. we still have to wait till the end of May to see if Fox succeeded, but for now they have my interest." However, Ben Child of The Guardian criticized the trailer for the amount of characters that will appear in the film, stating "overloading the movie with superheroes might please fans of the comic books, but the rest of us will be chewing on our own spleens when the umpteenth brightly coloured dude turns up to spout one line of dialogue, then drop off the map."
For the theatrical release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in April 2014, a mid-credits scene teasing X-Men: Days of Future Past was attached. The scene, set during the Vietnam War, sees Mystique, trying to infiltrate a military camp led by William Stryker in an attempt to recruit fellow mutants Havok, Ink and Toad. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb had an existing contract with Fox Searchlight Pictures to helm another film following 2009′s 500 Days of Summer. After The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, Webb’s negotiations briefly stalled with Sony Pictures Entertainment due to his commitment to Fox. Fox eventually agreed to allow Webb to direct the sequel of The Amazing Spider-Man in exchange of Sony promoting its X-Men film for free.
In addition, three viral websites were launched before the release of the film: Trask-Industries.com in July 2013, TheBentBullet.com in November 2013 and 25 Moments.com in April 2014. To further promote the film, Jackman made a guest appearance on the April 28, 2014 episode of WWE Raw. The segment received mixed reactions.
In July 2013, CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc. and 20th Century Fox announced a promotional partnernship for the theatrical release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. The upcoming promotion includes advertising, in-restaurant merchandising, collectors’ cups and a new film-themed burger (The Western "X-Tra" Bacon Thickburger) from CKE Restaurants such as Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Zachary Eller, senior vice president of marketing partnerships & promotions at 20th Century Fox stated "their fun and irreverent advertising campaigns are a great fit with our film and we couldn’t be more thrilled to join together to feed mutants everywhere!".
Mountain Dew is also teaming up with the film for a global promotional effort that will include prizes, a television commercial, online exclusives, in-store and in-theater advertisements and special commemorative packaging featuring X-Men characters from future and past. Anna Roca, senior vice president of international promotions at 20th Century Fox stated "The adventurous, energetic attitude of their fan base mirrors the franchise’s own – and their international reach helps bring our beloved mutants to more corners of the world than ever before."
Response to early screenings of the film have been overwhelmingly positive. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an 86% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 7/10, based on 7 reviews. Sean O'Connell of Cinema Blend said, the film was "the greatest, most complete and staggeringly entertaining [X-Men film] to date." Mike Avila, the CEO of AviLand Productions felt the film was "superb", while film critic Kevin McCarthy praised the actors performance, as well as the action and emotion. In contrast, Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph rated the film 2 out of 5 stars and called the plot "A curate's egg, thoroughly scrambled."
In December 2013, Singer announced the upcoming X-Men film, titled X-Men: Apocalypse. The film is scheduled to be released on May 27, 2016, and will act as a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past. According to Singer, the film will focus the origin of the mutants, it will be "more of a First Class sequel", and will take place in the 1980s. Along with Singer, Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty are attached to work on the film. On April 11, 2014, Entertainment Weekly reported that McAvoy, Fassbender, Hoult and Lawrence will reprise their roles in the sequel. In an interview with Sci Fi Now, Singer has confirmed that young Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm will appear.