With director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past essentially erasing the events of X-Men, X-2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, the movie's reset created a brand new slate on which to write the new adventures of the X-Men; just as we saw durting this weekend's X-Men: Apocalypse. But as with Everything Time Travel, the question is: are the new movies now heading towards that brand new future we saw at the end of Days of Future Past? Or is this future also not set in stone?
In a new interview with Collider, Singer and producer Simon Kinberg discussed the movies’ new timeline and explained if the future films would be moving toward the new future we saw in Days of Future Past, as well as towards the beginning of the first X-film. Here’s what Singer said:
“It’s not leading necessarily toward exactly where we found Patrick Stewart and the X-Men at the beginning of X-Men 1. There are some things that lead in that general direction, that was part of the philosophy we had at the end of Days of Future Past is that you can’t fully change the course or current of the river, but you can just divert it a little bit, and we diverted it a little bit. So some things will be surprises; people could die that were alive in X-Men 1, 2 and 3, or people could survive that died during 1, 2 and 3.”
“What happens when you use Days of Future Past to erase movies like X1, 2 and 3, yes you can erase those events that occurred, but I also was very adamant about having what we call ‘The Tivo Scene.’ The scene in that room with all the video cameras in Days of Future Past, I call it the Tivo scene. ‘I developed this piece of technology that records television;’ the point is time’s immutability. The idea that time is like a river. You can splash it and mess it up and throw rocks in it and shatter it but it eventually kind of coalesces and this is, again, quantum physics theory. It’s all based in quantum physics.”
Even though fans will have a tendency to use the first X-Men trilogy of films as a point of reference as to what will/could/might/should happen to our mutant heroes, Singer says audience expectations may not be met and the reason for creating the new timeline is the freedom it gives him to create new stories.
“So what I’m doing with these in-betweenqueels is playing with time’s immutability and the prequel concept, meaning that yes we erased those storylines and anything can happen. That means the audience goes into the movie thinking that anything can happen. I mean anything, anyone could die. Any possibility could occur, but characters are still moving towards their immutable place. Jean and Scott, are they meant to be together? Is Scott, this guy who hates schools and hates authority, destined to become a leader? You don’t know. Is Jean ever going to discover the full potential of her power? You don’t know, but we move in those directions character-wise but then we have the freedom story-wise to do whatever the fuck we want because we erased those three movies.”
“The prequel, you don’t know where it’s going and yet you do kind of know where you want it to go, where you want to see those characters end up, and that’s the beauty of it, of Days of Future Past, of what it did for me. That’s why I fought so hard to make sure we have Hank McCoy talk about the theory of time’s immutability, because that defines what I’m doing with this universe and with these prequels to X1, 2 and 3, which are erased—or are they not?”
On the other hand, Simon Kinberg argues that the new timeline is now moving towards the future we saw at the end of Days of Future Past, the one where Wolverine wakes up in to see everyone was still alive and kicking.
“All these movies now exist in the same timeline and certainly the intention at the end of Days of Future Past was that final future we saw was the destination for the characters. So barring another time travel or something else that would upset the timeline, that would be the fate of those characters.”
On the other hand, Singer points out that this “New Future” isn’t actually the definite endpoint. Um. Okay.
“Time can always be fucked with, we’ve now learned that. We’ve now learned that once you alter time that could be the future, but I don’t believe if you look at all the X-Men movies and Days of Future Past, I don’t believe that’s definitive.”
“I’ll kill any of those characters any day I want. They’re all fair game. Anything can happen. When two things are happening simultaneously in quantum physics it’s what’s called the Super Position and when the Observer finally observes the outcome that’s called the ‘Collapsing of the Super Position’ which is what happened when Wolverine woke up and saw all the happiness. So yes that is the outcome we hope for, that is the outcome we aspire to, and that’s the outcome we are moving towards, but we saw in Days of Future Past another dark world. What says that can’t happen again? What says the awakening of a being that has such power and can acquire the power to destabilize that? So anything is possible. That’s what we’d like to think happens, that’s what Simon would like to think is a good outcome, but to me it’s fair game.”
There you have it. What do you think about Bryan Singer’s views on the new timeline created by X-Men: Days of Future Past? Does it help to clarify things for you?