Is There an 'X-Men' Sequel Coming with 'Days of Future Past' Story?
At the end of last month, Fox sent out a whole slew of new release dates for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the forthcoming sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and a 3D re-release of Independence Day. In addition, a surprise came in the form of X-Men: First Class 2 hitting theaters on July 18th, 2014. However, a more interesting tidbit about our favorite team of mutants comes from AICN who had a reader tip them off that 20th Century Fox had recently registered the title Days of Future Past with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. Comic book fans will be flipping their lids now, but for others, we'll explain.
Days of Future Past is a two-issue story arc from the X-Men comics published back in 1981 which deals with alternate timelines. For a more detailed explanation of the story, here's the Wikipedia entry:
The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men's failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future. (The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005 gave the numerical designation of "Days of Future Past Earth as Earth-811).
Now, I'll be honest, this doesn't sound like a storyline that would work in the universe that Matthew Vaughn created for X-Men: First Class. It seems like a giant sci-fi leap for only the second sequel in what is kind of a franchise reboot. Of course, since Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) did leave behind a crippled Charles Xavier with Magneto and his team of bad guys at the end of the first film, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for a more tame version of this story to end up in Vaughn's sequel.
However, this kind of storyline doesn't seem out of the question for X-Men 4, a sequel that producer Lauren Schuler Donner said was still coming over a year ago. It would allow for a sort of franchise reboot that wouldn't disrupt the events of the first three X-Men films, much in the same way that J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot leaves the original franchise intact in a different timeline. But considering First Class was a lead-up to the original X-Men franchise, this timeline split could work for Vaughn too. Either way, not every entity of Days of Future Past would likely make it to the big screen as it includes Sentinels and more, but I hope the story hits the big screen somehow. Hopefully we'll have details on X-Men: First Class 2 soon.