'X-Men: Days Of Future Past': Send In The Retcons


"X-Men: The Last Stand," while decently entertaining, isn’t really held up as one of the better comic book movies, mostly because of its patchwork plot and fan service instincts in the wake of Bryan Singer’s unexpected departure. Brett Ratner, who replaced Singer on the movie, went for the crowd-pleasing move every time without wondering about how it might affect the franchise’s direction—though, to be fair, there wasn’t much of a franchise future blocked out ahead of time.

Still, Singer will get a chance to correct some of the movie’s more egregious transgressions in "X-Men: Days of Future Past," as he revealed in an interview with IGN. "There’s going to be a little of that, a few things I can repair," he said when asked about whether he’d be addressing the continuity.

Here are a few suggestions for what he might do.

Bring back Cyclops Sure, Scott Summers isn’t the coolest mutant, but he deserves more than the bum rap he got in "The Last Stand" with an off-screen death following a half hour of the most blubbering, unsympathetic whine-fest over the death of his girlfriend. As the X-Men comics have recently shown, there’s multitudes behind Cyclops’s unerring red gaze, and it would be nice to see James Marsden get a proper final appearance in the franchise—if only because the rest of his friends will be there, too. "Who wouldn’t?" Singer responded when asked if fans would like to see Scott and Jean return. "That’s all I can say."

Reboot the extraneous mutants Apparently unconcerned with creating characters anyone might care about, Ratner loaded "The Last Stand" with a number of no-name mutants sharing the names of more established Marvel mutants—but with little to connect them to the source material. Callisto, Psylocke, and Multiple Man were some of the mutants to get the short stick, and even though the world is hardly clamoring for a Psylocke or Callisto solo movie or even extended subplot, it seems pointless to block off a character’s potential by removing their uniqueness in the service of saying, "Hey, we’ve got Psylocke in the movie!" Plus, Psylocke wouldn’t be out of placed in a rebooted team because no one minds a British ninja.

Explain what’s up with Beast’s age Okay, so this is a fairly minor thing to wonder about—but if "First Class" takes place in 1963 and "The Last Stand" some 50 years later, then how is Hank McCoy still a spry ape capable of bouncing about and fighting? (To say nothing of his fur-less cameo in "X2.") Maybe the mutant gene retards his aging progress? This unexplainable patch cannot be allowed to endure for a moment longer.

Bring back Patrick Stewart This is obviously happening, as we know that Stewart’s already been announced for at least a cameo in the new movie. But "The Last Stand" sought to get around the trickiness of Stewart potentially not returning for a sequel by banishing Professor Xavier’s consciousness to a new body after being killed by Dark Phoenix—allowing the studio to cast a new actor while claiming, "It’s still him!" The future may not bring any more movies where Stewart plays Xavier, but again, he should get a better sendoff than disintegration and cheap replacement.

In fact, just ignore the whole thing I mean, what good really came of the third movie? Three of the major X-Men were dead; several of them were depowered; several of them were unmemorable; and not many positive developments going forward were created. Mainstream audiences won’t remember and fanboys won’t mind—so despite the awkwardness if Singer and Ratner were to see each other at some future party, they may as well just forget it ever happened.

This Mutant Life explores all corners of the cinematic X-verse, from the kids of "First Class" to the berserker rage of "The Wolverine." Suggest topics for future columns in the comments or on Twitter!

Previously on This Mutant Life:

» What Awaits The X-Men At Comic-Con This Year?

» Peter Dinklage Joins 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past,' And Raises The Stakes

» What Happened in 1973?

» When Characterization And Casting Go Wrong

» The All-New X-Women

» 'Wolverine' Director Says All The Right Things

» Please, Let 'The Wolverine' Be Good

» Should Bryan Singer Adapt 48 Frames Per Second?

» How The "X-Men" Avoided Doom And Gloom

» Looking Into Patrick Stewart And Ian McKellen's "Future Past"

» "The Wolverine" Claws Into "Days Of Future Past"

» Bringing "All-New X-Men" Together For "Days Of Future Past"

» The Return Of Bryan Singer

» Sentinels? Yes Please!

» "Wolverine" Gets Modern

» Mark Millar Rights the Ship

» Can Mutants and Marvel Heroes Coexist?

» Is Phoenix Rising?

» Wolverine's Film History In Photos

» Should Patrick Stewart Return as Charles Xavier?

» How Much Does Continuity Matter?

» The Value of Bryan Singer

» Talking "Wolverine" With Chris Claremont

» Claremont Looks Back on "Days of Future Past"

» Why "Wolverine" Should Stick To His Own World

» Hopes For A "First Class" Sequel

» The Status Of "X-Men" On Film