WonderCon 2014 – X-Men: Days of Future Past Panel with Simon Kinberg

x-men-days-of-future-past-poster with ensemble cast

Writer and Producer Simon Kinberg attended WonderCon at 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past panel on behalf of the rest of the cast and crew. While no big revelations came out of the panel, Kinberg did have some interesting things to say about the upcoming film.

x-men-days-of-future-past--young Prof X, Beast, Wolverine

Goofy? Why, whatever could he mean…

Kinberg promised lots of new mutants, as we’ve already seen in the previews, while also getting to see most of our old favorites. He spoke about the difficulty of filming two different time periods in the same movie, with the cast from the original trilogy filming first in the dystopian future, and then the First Class cast filming next for the 1970’s. They tried to make the future look dark and somber in contrast with the bright colorfulness of the 70’s—though they also had to deal with the fact that 70’s costuming can get pretty “goofy” very fast.

Of the two casts, only Hugh Jackman filmed from beginning to end, since his character is the one traveling through time (he replaced Kitty Pryde in the original storyline—Kinberg did not go into the details of why the replacement was made). But there is a scene we’ve seen in trailers where Charles Xavier from the 70’s meets his future self, a scene that Kinberg described as bridging the filming between the two casts and time periods. Meanwhile, James McAvoy supposedly described it as a “nose-off.”

And speaking of time travel, they wanted to make it as real and accurate as possible, even consulting physicists to get it right, as well as director James Cameron. Kinberg promised that they set up rules for how it works at the beginning and stuck to them throughout.

Of the new characters and actors, Kinberg gave much praise to Peter Dinklage and his portrayal of the villain Trask. He was their first and only choice for the role, and Kinberg described him as bringing a gravity and humanity to the part. Another new character being introduced is one you might not expect: President Richard Nixon. Kinberg talked about how they had wanted to make the president more of a character, compared to the few flashes of Kennedy in First Class, and so Nixon interacts with parts of the cast, including a significant scene with Trask, hinting that some of the Watergate tapes that went missing had to do with mutants.

Kinberg also admitted to being a huge fan of the comics, and how daunting it was to portray such iconic things as the Sentinels. Days of Future Past was his favorite comic growing up, so we know that at least someone very passionate about the story was helping shape the film. But the best part of the entire panel, for me anyway, was when Kinberg admitted that they could have handled the Dark Phoenix story line better. Hopefully, they learned from their past mistakes.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in theaters on May 22 in the UK and May 23 in the US. What are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments!