Bryan Singer Talks X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

As part of their exclusive X-Men: Days of Future Past reveal today, Collider has released another exclusive interview, this time with director, Bryan Singer. Come see what he has to say about time travel, reuniting with the old cast, and more!

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By KingPatel - 2/19/2014


Collider has just posted quite a few X-Men: Days of Future Past exclusives, come check out their interview with the director, Bryan Singer.

He starts the interview by discussing bringing back the older cast. He says that as soon as Patrick and Ian agreed to the film, they knew they had a film. He says their relationship and evolution as characters is what is really at the center of the story. After those two were on board, Singer reached out to Hugh Jackman. He was optimistic about his return, but wasn't sure until Jackman returned his call and said he'd love to do the film. After that, he was fairly certain they could get almost everyone back. The younger cast was already under contract, so they knew they would be back, but getting Stewart, McKellan, and Jackman was key in getting the rest of the cast back together.

He admits that shooting this film almost felt like shooting two different films. They started in the beginning with the original cast, shooting scenes from the future. He says this about the future scenes: "...it’s not a majority of the picture but it does interweave through the picture much like Usual Suspects" After those scenes finished up, he moved onto shooting with the new cast, "With one lap-over day with a scene between Xavier and himself, sort of.

Singer says this is a true time travel movie and says he took inspiration from films like Time Machine, Back to the Future, Terminator, and Looper. He says this about finding his original characters in the 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."

Like Jackman, he only briefly touches on the Sentinels, not wanting to reveal too much. He says due to films like Transformers, Iron Man, and Pacific Rim, he knew he had to approach the Sentinels in a different way than these films had already done, make them more interesting. He didn't want the movie to be just be another "robot attacks people" kind of movie. He also teases that the Sentinels are "not exactly the whole of the technological threat."

When describing the Sentinels, he says: "We 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. Since Magneto is a member of the team, it was important to make this detail known. He explains how they had "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.

He then goes on to discuss the continuity of the film and how the time travel element may help correct a few decisions made in X-Men: The Last Stand. He says: "...yes the film potentially alters things but it also brings the characters closer to who they are destined to be." He describes his initial pitch for X-Men: First Class and said the main issue was that how would he explain how Xavier and Magneto became friends, "frenemies," and then how the finally became the characters played by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. "It wasn’t so much the belief system and in the end you have a hint of Patrick Stewart because Xavier is wheeling up to a school potentially, or to his mansion, and with Erik you have the same thing, you have Shaw’s theology, which he acknowledges agreeing to, but they haven’t put them into practice and you haven’t started to see them become those characters that you met in the early X-Men films. So you’ll get to watch that kind of happen."

Singer admits he was the one who originally thought of casting Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask. Outside of being a huge Game of Thrones fan and both of them being from Jersey, he says he just felt something about Dinklage that made him perfect for the role, besides him being incredibly talented. "I like the idea of not a very big guy building very big robots, something ironically interesting about that. But he’s first an foremost, carries the screen, and there’s not a second that you take him for, he even talks about that in a little speech he gives in congress in the movie about when he was young he was underestimated, don’t underestimate small things.

He goes on to further discuss the time travel element, a genre he is known to be a big fan of. He says, first and foremost, he just wanted it to make sense. "...this is a rare film where past and future are co-existing, so I had to create a set of rules where that made sense to me.

He discusses his thought process of creating the time travel rules for the film and how he ultimately got on board with directing the film himself. "When do things change? Who observes the change? Who has no memory of the change? Who has no memory of what was and who does, and how that works. I think I cracked it, I think I figured it out but that was my first, when Matthew left the picture and I took it on, that didn’t exist, there was a structure but there was no concept of time travel or how it works. So until I figured that out I had some misgivings about doing the movie. Once I figured that out I was very hooked, I felt like they had me cause I was like now I know how to do this and shoot this."

Singer says any change made in the past will not have an immediate effect in the future. "This is a story about a bad future, not a bad situation with an individual, but a bad future and how do you go back and change that. So it’s a very simple conceit and I pitched it to James Cameron when I was in New Zealand and he put it into physics terms and I wish I could articulate the physics of it, the experimental physics. It deals with the notion that objects and things evolve differently and behave differently when they’re observed and when they’re not observed. So I play with the principle of the travel, in this case it’s consciousness that moves into your younger self, and that traveler is the observer and the observer perceives one thing while the rest of the world perceives something else. In this case, Hugh is the observer."

He then goes into the technical aspects of the film, specifically the 3D element. He reveals that most of the film was actually shot in 3D. He says the only stuff they didn't shoot in native stereo was the complex action scenes.

He says he understands how complex this story might be for casual viewers and/or viewers not familiar with the original films. He says there's a bit of a recap of the characters near the beginning of the film that will help people get caught up and help new viewers familiarize themselves with the film. He also teases a brief Easter egg with Quicksilver, which will tease a larger universe.

Speaking of Quicksilver, he discusses what it was like shooting him. "with the Phantom (camera) I can shoot over 3000 frames a second or something to that effect. So I’m doing like a variety of different things, high speed photography, slow speed photography, just a bunch of different technologies, motion controlled cameras. So sometimes we’ll be at our own speed, sometimes we’ll be at his. So we’re using that technology and it’s all 3D technology so we can shoot all of that native stereo, even at that speed.

He confirms we won't see a lot of Quicksilver though: "He’s not in the movie a lot, he’s just sort of in one section of it but there’s a fun sequence which will be fun to watch in 3D. Lots of stuff.

He doesn't say much about X-Men: Apocalypse, which at the time of the interview hadn't been announced yet, but he does say this about a future installment in the X-Men series: "...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.

He also adds this about Fox's future plans with the X-Men universe, "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.

Singers also reveals that the script never went over 140 pages. He also briefly mentions moving the release date from July to Memorial Day 2014. "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.

Check out the full interview at Collider where he discusses his filmmaking process more in-depth, his social media presence, and more!

Check out Hugh Jackman's Interview HERE
Check out James McAvoy's Interview HERE




The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original "X-Men" film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from "X-Men: First Class," in an epic battle that must change the past -- to save our future.


X-Men: Days Of Future Past features:
Director: Bryan Singer
Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine
Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
Ian McKellen/Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme/Mystique
Halle Berry as Ororo Munroe/Storm
Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask
Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast
Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde
Shawn Ashmore as Bobby Drake/Iceman
Anna Paquin as Rogue
Lucas Till as Alex Summers/Havok
Evan Peters as Quicksilver
Daniel Cudmore as Peter Rasputin/Colossus
Booboo Stewart as James Proudstar/Warpath
Omar Sy as Bishop
Fan Bingbing as Blink
Evan Jonigkeit as Toad
Adan Canto as Sunspot
Josh Helman as William Stryker


X-Men: Days Of Future Past hits theaters on May 23, 2014.


Source: Collider
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81 Comments
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JordanKing - 2/19/2014, 9:47 AM
Buu - 2/19/2014, 9:50 AM
Wow, there's a lot to read. I read half it so far. I can't wait for this movie!
JoJo1982 - 2/19/2014, 9:50 AM
I did lol
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 9:59 AM
Ugh!

This guy...
cipher - 2/19/2014, 10:08 AM
Hahaha, HANG IN THERE, NOMI!! Don't go having a heart attack on us, man. We need ya.
Buu - 2/19/2014, 10:13 AM
That doesn't clear anything up. That just lets you know Wolverine will be the observer, which quite frankly, was obvious.

You can't travel to the past and change something that directly effects the reason you're traveling to the past because it creates a time paradox. Singer didn't give a clear explanation as to how the time travel is going to play out, but if he wants to make a credible time travel movie, he, at all costs, must avoid creating a temporal paradox.

The fact he stated that the movie wont deal with time travel like Looper is a good sign. Looper is a terrible time travel movie.
JoJo1982 - 2/19/2014, 10:16 AM
I liked Loopers
But it had soo many plot holes much like butterfly effect

Still both are entertaining movies
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 10:35 AM
@ cipher - LOL! I'm cool, Ciph, thanks. :)

it's just I was so just so upset with reading this that I was at a lost for words.

Havenless - 2/19/2014, 10:36 AM
GOTHAM announces its biggest name casting to date, DOFP is all over the place with set visits, interviews, and official images of the cast, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 has started showing behind the scenes pictures out of nowhere... all in the last 2 days.

It's like they're all trying to catch up to the hype of something that happened... hmm I wonder what it was.
MsDarkPhoenix - 2/19/2014, 10:43 AM
'Well we knew we had a movie when Patrick and Ian were on board, because they’re really the center of the story, their relationship and their evolution.'

You're lying Singer, the center of the story is Wolverine! Why don't you make great movies like the Usual Suspects anymore??
TheRationalNerd - 2/19/2014, 10:50 AM
Here Singer is going into detail about 2/3 of the things fans are complaining about and yet people choose to ignore the insight he's bringing to these questions to only act dumbfounded when a trailer or set pic releases. People want to complain but no one wants to do the research...smh
Buu - 2/19/2014, 10:55 AM
^ and that's the truth! All the naysayers are no where to be seen, because half of the dumb shit they've been using as a basis to moan have been explained. Yet, I guarantee, like you just said, that those same naysayers intentionally ignoring informative articles such as this will continue to complain about the same shit, even though it's been answered, just for the sake of complaining.
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 11:01 AM
If Singer would've done these movies RIGHT from the start then he wouldn't have to be answering all the things fans are complaining about.

dellamorte1872 - 2/19/2014, 11:03 AM
It's kinda obvious....the XMEN win. They defeat the sentinels and prevent that future but when LOGAN goes back it's even worse, why? Apocalypse! It's a very predictable script
dellamorte1872 - 2/19/2014, 11:11 AM
If he really cares about fan reaction hasn't he heard all the NEGATIVE buzz this films getting? What as long as it's be talked about it like "free" marketing? Be prepared to have another BOMB on your hands SINGER
dellamorte1872 - 2/19/2014, 11:18 AM
A bleak victory was guaranteed once APOCOLYPSE was confirmed for the sequel. The sentinels would have quelled APOCOLYPSE basically the XMEN assure his second coming
MexicanChinman - 2/19/2014, 11:31 AM
@Nomis, give it a rest bro and stay classy.
MexicanChinman - 2/19/2014, 11:33 AM
@dellamorte1872, every superhero movie is predictable.
IcemanX - 2/19/2014, 11:40 AM
"the quality of writing in television is probably much better than most film writing."


so true
CaptainAmerica - 2/19/2014, 11:55 AM
The whiny bitches like Nomis will cry no matter what he says or what he does. It doesn't change the fact that all the X-Men movies he's been in have been epic.
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 11:58 AM
@ MexicanSuperman

JoJo1982 - 2/19/2014, 12:03 PM
TheBlackNerd - 2/19/2014, 10:50 AM
Report Comment
Here Singer is going into detail about 2/3 of the things fans are complaining about and yet people choose to ignore the insight he's bringing to these questions to only act dumbfounded when a trailer or set pic releases. People want to complain but no one wants to do the research...smh

^
^
^
This!!!
ForMeToPoopOn - 2/19/2014, 12:09 PM
Spidey10 - 2/19/2014, 12:47 PM
What I don't get is if they do change everything in the past how does it not have an effect on the future...Ill just wait to see the movie but I feel like its prob going to have to come with instructions or something because this still doesn't make sense and apparently based on what he said theres only one universe not a multiverse
dellamorte1872 - 2/19/2014, 12:49 PM
Touché @mexicansup
dellamorte1872 - 2/19/2014, 12:51 PM
He gives it away more to with the back to the future reference Marty changed his parents lives not essentially his own
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 12:54 PM
CherryBomb - 2/19/2014, 12:56 PM

Okay so ...
"Anna Paquin joins DOFP as Rogue"
then
"Sorry we had to cut her out"
then
*Picture appears on Empire magazine*
then
"We didn't remove her completely, she'll be in the movie."
then
*No Rogue in any of the newly released promo pics*

STOP MESSING ME AROUND SINGER!
InfiniteMonkey - 2/19/2014, 12:58 PM
I read all of it!

It still casts a bit of doubt that he will right those wrongs but, its just a bit.

I hope he does make sense out of all this and bring back characters who are suppose to be front and centre, like Cyclops. Leader of the X-men but nowhere to be seen instead its Wolverine (never in costume and had another director just give a hint of his classic one and it was deleted) and the supporting casts.
We've heard him talk all kinds of procedures and stuff like this before and I hope he follows through...if not, fail.
TheClemster - 2/19/2014, 1:01 PM
Don't even care

Didn't even read what you said Singer

Just what KingPatel wrote
Spidey10 - 2/19/2014, 1:12 PM
BRING BACK CYCLOPS AND JEAN
YoungThanos - 2/19/2014, 1:18 PM
Read most of it but still not buying a ticket...

I love X-men but I hate FOX.

See my dilemma?
Shamo - 2/19/2014, 1:19 PM
Perfect interview, he pretty much tackled all things I need to know going into the film. And it's good to hear his thoughts on what makes an X-men story an X-men story, which I agree with completely. Can't waot
CherryBomb - 2/19/2014, 1:22 PM
"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. "

YES, he's so talking about Jean and Cyclops! Hopefully young Storm too.
mctrinket - 2/19/2014, 1:25 PM
Nomis - 2/19/2014, 1:31 PM
LittleDanglyThing - 2/19/2014, 1:38 PM
So basically what I'm reading is nobody read anything Singer said because this movie pretty much has nothing going for it?
Enphlieuwince - 2/19/2014, 1:41 PM
It's a solid interview, guys. It's long, but worth the read IMO. Singer sounds like he, but moreso FOX, have a long term plan for expanding their universe. He even likened their expansion plans to the MCU, but, it almost seems as if he and FOX came up with the idea independently from the start. That aspect of this interview is similar to the article about his alledged "Superman Returns" sequel that was more like "Man of Steel" before Snyder's version. Besides that, it sounds like he has gotten some good guidance from James Cameron on his time travel aspect, but, he was unable to articulate the principles, which is slightly alarming. Once again, he gives me the impression of being unsure but confident. Not a good combination... But, he may not be a good interviewee and much better at putting his ideas into action. Hopefully this is the case because he really has all the elements of a blockbuster at his disposal.
CherryBomb - 2/19/2014, 1:42 PM

Look, time makes people think. I'm sure Singer looked back and saw where he went wrong, where he went right and what he can do to improve. Especially with Marvel majorly stepping up their universe and production, Fox and Singer will and have already with the huge budget, put more faith into making a good movie.
dethpillow - 2/19/2014, 1:49 PM
rad. great interview. i was so down about this just last night. now i'm actually more excited about this movie than i have been. just seeing him say things that made sense and were relevant and not just trumpeting about this and that, sometimes that's all it takes.

puts it more in perspective, all this dysfunctional mess i have going on with Fox X-Men and ok.. this is cool. this is a movie coming out and i really like what he said about time travel. cuz it's not just that he talked about time travel but what he's saying actually implies good things.

right on, Bryan Singer. this is the first time i've ever come out of any interview or news article about this movie impressed and better off becuz of what the article itself said.

i should seriously quit while i'm ahead with this. there is peace in my heart about this right now.
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