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!
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.
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