IGN recently spoke with Bryan Singer, who it seems is on the press circuit for his new release, Jack the Giant Slayer, which is due out March 1st. During their interview, they asked whether the director was eager to see the characters Cyclops and Jean Grey return to the franchise. Apparently, Singer laughed, responding, “Who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t? That’s all I can say.” Though it’s early days yet – the film’s not due out till July of next year – we at AP2HYC are gonna take that as a non-denial confirmation. Whether, to borrow Nightcrawler’s party trick, it materializes remains to be seen.
Cyclops and Jean Grey, previously played by James Marsden and Famke Janssen respectively, were both killed off in X-Men: The Last Stand, the final installment of the original trilogy and the only one not directed by Singer. Given Marsden’s prior commitment to Singer’s Superman Returns – he played Superman’s love rival for Lois Lane (yeah, not a part I’d envy either) – the character’s death at the hands of the reborn and newly Phoenix-ized Jean Grey occurred off-screen. Given that Brett Ratner‘s time as franchise helmer is widely regarded by fans as a bit of a mistake, not to put too fine a point on it, IGN also quizzed Singer on the possibility of making amends:
IGN: One thing that’s interesting about the alternate universe/timeline in Days of Future Past is that it could potentially give you the opportunity to revisit things that happened in the third film in terms of characters and endings that you might like to see changed.
Bryan Singer: You mean, what you’re politely saying is, “fix s**t.” Is that what you’re saying? That’s what I’m hearing. [Laughing]
IGN: [Laughing] Maybe…
Bryan Singer: There’s going to be a little of that, a few things I can repair.
At the very least, Singer seems aware of his successors’ failings, and, with Matthew Vaughn‘s far better-received prequel, 2011’s X-Men: First Class, to build upon, there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful.
While we’re on the topic of IGN‘s interview – which, credit to them, covered a lot of ground – Singer confirmed that new addition to Days of Future Past cast, the diminutive but immensely talented Peter Dinklage, would not be playing Puck. Given that Puck, a member of Canadian superhero team Alpha Force, is the only dwarf in the whole Marvel Universe, it’s nice to see they’re not going down the obvious route.
Singer also stated that Dinklage would not be hidden behind CGI, but rather:
He’ll be himself. Not that he’ll be playing Peter Dinklage, he’ll be playing this character. It’s not a shy character. He’s just such a phenomenal actor; I’m a huge fan of Peter’s and Game of Thrones. He was my first choice and I was really happy.
As such, Dinklage’s exact role in the franchise remains unconfirmed, though sources suggest he’ll be the film’s main antagonist. Rumors similarly suggest that he may be appearing as Bolivar Trask, creator of the mutant-hunting Sentinels – who play a vital and deadly role in the comic book storyline on which the film is based. Trask previously featured in The Last Stand in the form of 6 ft 4½ genre icon Bill Duke, but given the franchise’s fast and loose approach to canonicity that doesn’t necessarily rule him out.
To sum up: Singer says he’d like to see Cyclops and Jean Grey make their return, promises to “fix shit”, and says that Peter Dinklage will not be playing a CGI character, nor will that character be shy. So, for the most part, evasions and fan baiting, as we’ve come expect, but even so, I for one am hugely excited by the prospect of X-Men: Days of Future Past: I’m sort of a sucker for time travel, and anything that promises a meet between both sets of Professor Xs (Xi – how do you conjugate that?) and Magnetos (Magnetoes?) – not to mention the star of The Station Agent – has me hooked.
As of writing this, only just over 500 days to go!