Bryan Singer Talks DAYS OF FUTURE PAST’s Time Travel, Sentinels, His Mash-Up Movie Idea And More

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bryan singerThe past few days have seen an abundance of X-Men: Days of Future Past pictures and information being released. The other day the official website for Bryan Singer‘s X-Men inbetweequel underwent a huge update with full character bios and new pictures of the expansive cast. Yesterday more images and a few tidbits from some set visits popped up. Well now we have a few highlights from an on-set interview with Singer about how he conceptualized the film’s time travel story, what he’s doing with the introduction of the Sentinels, and how Fox handles their various Marvel properties.

Collider had a good rundown of the on-set interview with the director, and one of the first questions asked was if the decision to play with time travel was a conscious decision to play up the fact X-Men was the first serious comic book movie and now they’re going to look at what the future holds for the characters. The director says there was some of that behind it and he looked at some popular movies dealing with time travel to wrap his head around the concept:

Yeah, and to really play with time travel in a way. I know there’s certain people in suspended animation or to take characters like Captain America and to bring them into the present, but this one actually delves into being a time travel movie. Once I took on that and figured out a methodology for it I embraced the fact that like Time Machine, Back to the Future, Terminator, Looper, I’m now in that world or trench, but it’s a very fun opportunity to see maybe this is a future. When you see the X-Men in this future, it’s almost like you start off and it’s sort of a dreary ‘maybe’ future, it’s one you hope didn’t happen, maybe it won’t happen, and that’s kind of what it feels like. So I went full out, that’s why it’s very dark and they’re all militant and I wanted to make sure they all looked like they’d been fighting a war for ten years.

sentinelSinger has said before that he bounced some time travel ideas off Terminator director James Cameron to nail down some rules. Singer is going with a version that sees Wolverine as the ‘observer‘ and nothing can change or shift unless he observes it and completes the goal set for him before he was sent back. Part of Wolverine‘s goal will be stopping Bolivar Trask from creating the Sentinels. Those gigantic mutant hunters have been teased in the previous films, but now we’re finally going to get to see them. That’s thanks in part to Days of Future Past‘s gigantic budget. When asked to tease the Sentinels, the director says:

Well the Sentinels of the past, it’s not, I mean, I have to say, there are movies like Transformers, and Iron Man, and Pacific Rim, that have already explored robots of all different sizes and shapes and scope and caliber, I knew that to make another robot attacks people or hero movie is not- yet they are an element in the picture. So they serve the story in an interesting movie, and not necessarily in an obvious rock-em-sock-em battle robots at the end of the movie kind of way, although there is some of that now that I’m really thinking about it. Come to think of it, more than I probably realize. It’s just not that, particular what you saw in that picture, is not the totality of it. That’s not exactly the whole of the technological threat.
[W]e tried 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. So that was a challenge to, to make them look like they could be made of polymer or some other material, plastic or something, but still have them be formidable when flying around and all that.

Hugh Jackman has said that there is a knock-down-drag-out fight involving him and some other X-Men when it comes to the Sentinels, so we can look forward to seeing that. One thing Bryan Singer would like to see is something he calls his mash-up movie. The director was teasing that idea at Comic Con, saying he’d like to do something a little different with the X-Men. Many thought that meant he would like to cross them over with the Fantastic Four, but now the director clarifies those comments:

Yeah, there’s part of me—I know I did, can I be honest? It was something I’d be thinking about in the last week or so because I’d just had a bunch of thoughts about something. You know as you’re shooting an idea pops in your head or you have a conversation about another universe and you start thinking ‘Oh wouldn’t it be interesting to see these.’ Is it right or is it pre-mauture? Is there an opportunity? I think for me it’s very much a timeline issue, there’s certain things I’d like to see, it’s not necessary but I’d like to see us move into the next decade. The seventies is great, it would be great to take it into the next decade. The eighties would be fun to meet some familiar characters when they’re very young, maybe get to see how other characters besides Xavier and Magneto came to be and got their start. So that’s something I personally would like to explore, just as someone who has worked with those characters in other films, the earlier films. Then there is the possibility of that [mash-up movie]. I think we’re just going to finish this one, see how it feels and then get home and be in Los Angeles and at Fox, I’ll be cutting at Fox, and I’m sure every day I can wander over and have a conversation about what to do next.

deadpoolSinger may get to oversee that if his next movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, does well. The director is already beginning work on that film (as much as he can while still working on this one), so the mash-up will have to wait. Fox doesn’t seem like they want to wait too long on making other Marvel films though. There’s already and X-Force film in the works and Deadpool is still “in development.” Then there’s that Gambit movie we’ve been hearing everyone’s so hot to make. Singer comments on Fox‘s plans to move forward with more superhero films:

I think they always understood that the X-Men universe is every bit as exciting and large and potentially fruitful as the remaining Marvel Universe. They’re different characters. The Marvel characters are very familiar, they have household names like the Hulk and Spider-Man, things like that, but that doesn’t mean the X-Men universe is any less rich. Time travel is something that is a staple part of the X-Men universe that we were able to explore, and a lot of great new characters. So at some point, it’s just doing it right, you can’t just whip up that formula and go “uh here is my Gambit movie and my Deadpool movie, this movie, and that movie, and they’re all gonna be hits!” You’ve gotta take care with each one. It’s different, they’re different, they’re not household name characters that you’re smashing together. There’s like Avengers for instance, some of them are ensemble characters, it’s kind of a different universe, it’s more thematic, it’s like a more serious universe, and it requires a different kind of care that I think Fox is anxious to explore.

Days of Future Past is shaping up to be something truly unique in the superhero genre, so we’ll have to see how Singer delivers on the Sentinel front to gauge whether it’s a good unique or a bad unique. The future version of the mutant hunters has already caused quite the commotion. As a final parting shot, Singer says that the film being pushed back to Memorial Day weekend was a blessing in disguise in a lot of ways. It makes sense thematically according to the director. He says “It’s a very good date for us and also from a thematic sense, it’s a post-Vietnam movie, it deals with notions of war and the idea of war. It’s a darker story and a more tragic story of the X-Men movies so I think Memorial Day, there’s something about that date thematically that works, and it’s traditionally very good for X-Men pictures.” What do you think about the Singer‘s comments? Do you like what you’ve seen of the Sentinels so far? Do you hope he gets to do his mash-up film one day?

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Source : Collider