X-MEN DOFP: Why Time Travel Might Close The Gap Between Marvel Movies and Comics
The inclusion of the Days of Future Past storyline means the big-screen adaptation will take a step in the direction that will separate fans and movie-goers and gear itself primarily to the Marvel faithful.
Time travel is a tricky business at the best of times: from potential romantic involvement with one’s own parents to the ‘Destruction of the Universe as we know it’ it has become a beloved trope of science-fiction enthusiasts everywhere. This being said, once you've incorporated time travel into your story, you’ve effectively given the ol’ shiv to realistic narrative in lieu of all out fantasy.
Director Bryan Singer announced that the X-Men: Days of Future Past sequel would revolve around the titular storyline and take a whack at the whole time travel gimmick.
This is good news because it effectively places the movie in an entirely science-fiction-centric universe, this as opposed to the trend made popular by Christopher Nolan of making superheroes gritty and realistic (arguably an unnatural position for any superhero to be in).
This is not to suggest that The Dark Knight trilogy was lacking for its realism, but that X-Men, a team entirely made up of super powered individuals, deserves a more surreal treatment.
The X-Men movie franchise has, up until now, maintained a hit-or-miss average with its movies and spin-off movies, while none has quite become universally reviled, one or two have toed the thin line between ‘charming but forgettable’ and ‘Razzie-award winner’ while the remainder enjoy a respectable position in the eyes of die-hard fans and casual movie-goers alike.
This being said, most fans agree that while the big screen adaptations have remained close to the source material, none have yet taken that leap into the vast and fantastical world that the comic books offer. Character trademark issues aside, the X-films have kept their world relatively constrained and concise including only the most popular players and ultimately following the ‘one-size-fits all’ guide-lines to appeal to as many people as possible, regardless of familiarity with the comics.
However, the inclusion of the Days of Future Past storyline means the big-screen adaptation will take a step in the direction that will separate fans and movie-goers and gear itself primarily to the Marvel faithful. This suggests that either the popularity of the X-Men franchise has moved beyond a primarily fan-dominated viewership to a more general movie-going reach or that there is a big enough fan-base to justify an unfiltered adaptation of the source material.
A brief (if dubious) synopsis of Days of Future Past portrays just another day for the mutants when team-member Kitty Pryde (Shadow Cat) is possessed by a future version of herself and warns everyone that the future don’t look so bright: concentration camps, giant robots and general hatred of the mutant population. The story includes a large variety of past and future versions of the X-Men and a stilted timeline of alternate universes: all in all the kind of plot that gives Christopher Nolan nightmares.
Singer has more or less confirmed these elements for Days of Future Past, promising sentinels and the return of popular characters which creates an obvious schism between Marvel and DC in terms of realism, the former finding its own niche in all-out fantasy with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (Avengers and its spin-offs) and the X-Men films. Whether or not this trend will expand further and the stars will align to unite all of Marvel’s hot titles under one series is yet to be seen but the future looks bright.
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