You saw speculation on MTV Splashpage about what villain ’Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage is playing in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ this morning… But thanks to a tipster who prefers to remain anonymous, but is extremely reliable, we can tentatively confirm: Dinklage is playing Bolivar Trask, inventor of the mutant hunting robot Sentinels in the movie sequel.
Which makes a lot of sense: there’s already been rumors of Sentinels in the movie, which this fits right in with; there are also Sentinels in the dystopian future of the comic book version of Days of Future Past; and most importantly, Dinklage, in this Variety article is called the “main antagonist,” not the villain. Why is that last part important?
For that little bit, we’ve got to go into who Bolivar Trask is in the comics:
First introduced in Uncanny X-Men #14, waaaay back in 1965, the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby created character was an inventor and anthropologist who was threatened by the increasing number of mutants popping up in society.
So naturally, he did what any anthropologist would do, and created gigantic robots – or Sentinels, if you will – to protect humans and hunt down mutants. Do those robots go crazy? Have you met any scifi robots before? Of course they do!
Anywho, Trask eventually finds out that the X-Men aren’t so bad – some of Trask’s best friends are mutants! – and ends up sacrificing his own life to save the X-Men. That’s where the antagonist/villain difference comes into play: if Petivar Trasklage follows the same path as comic Trask, he antagonizes the X-Men, but ultimately isn’t a villain.
There’s another, similar path that Trask goes on in Marvel Comics’ alternate “Ultimate” Universe. In those books, he’s a member of the government science team creating giant robot Sentinels as a direct response to Magneto’s attacks on the President of the United States – an attack that’s long been rumored as a plot point in the upcoming X-Men sequel. The Ultimate Trask is a little more abjectly evil initially, but still ends up killing himself once he realizes the horror his bots have caused. And to think, he could have just watched Terminator once and saved everyone the trouble.
Oh, and one more wrinkle to the story: Trask has two kids, who are both mutants. The first, Larry Trask, was able to see the future until his Dad found a way to suppress his powers… Elements of which were used for Stryker’s relationship with his son in ‘X2.’ The second, and more important child of Trask? Tanya, who can travel through time. Yeah, chew on that for a bit.
Now, grain of salt time. Naturally, someone could be fooling our source, or things could change from the time Dinklage is cast, to filming. Plus, Trask has already appeared on screen once, played by Bill Duke in X-Men 3. And though we’re in awe of Dinklage’s acting ability, playing the same part as a giant bald African-American man is a bit of a stretch. But if Dinklage is playing the creator of the Sentinels, we’re all for the casting. Time will tell whether our source was accurate, or if we have to take him/her to trask. I mean, task.