Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker Talk X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE and Next WOLVERINE Solo Movie, and More

     May 22, 2014


Opening this weekend is director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.  As most of you know, Days of Future Past finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants.  The film also takes place in the future, so we’re going to see the original X-Men cast and what will happen if Wolverine fails.  I caught a screening last week and am very happy to report the film is great.  It’s loaded with awesome character moments and tons of mutant action.  You’re all going to love it.  For more on the film, watch these five clips and nine minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, and click here for all of our coverage.

At the New York City press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker.  They talked about checking Twitter after the first press screening, the length of the first cut, who they invite to their friends and family screenings, how they’d like to shoot  X-Men: Apocalypse and the next Wolverine solo movie back-to-back, the status of other Fox properties like X-Force, New Mutants and Deadpool, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

And if you missed my video interviews with Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg, or Peter Dinklage, click the links.

Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker:

  • Were they on Twitter after the first press screening?
  • How long was the first cut of the movie?
  • Who was part of their first friends and family screening?
  • How they would want to shoot X-Men: Apocalypse and the next Wolverine solo movie back to back to help Hugh Jackman and when would they want to shoot them?
  • How are the other X properties going for movies like X-Force, New Mutants and Deadpool?

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  • Polarboy

    Just back from seeing Days of Future Past, very pleasantly surprised with how good it was given the not spotless record of Singer and the X-men franchise in general. For those who were worried about Quicksilver he is one of the best parts of the movie.

    • Valeri

      Just came back too,here in Estonia. Only issue for me is that they pretended like the 2 worlds are the same,despite huge inconsistencies,like Moira Mctaggert being in both X3 and First Class, only in First Class not a Scottish scientist and about 45 years older,a cia agent,american etc. Also,in X1,Xavier told Logan how he met Eric at age 17,and in First Class he was 30 in 1962 when he first met him. In X2 Erik said he and Xavier built Cerebro,which again is incorrect in First Class,where it is Hank who built it. We saw Storm and Cyclops via Cerebro at age 12-14 in in 1962,thus 25 years older than they were in the trilogy. Mistique and Xavier did not know each other in the trilogy,unlike besties in First Class for 18 years. Full of holes.

      • McA

        Yep, it was a mistake joining these ’2 worlds’ as you put it. They are tonally very different as well. I’ve seen it too and I’m somewhat disappointed. Plus they did away with the brilliant First Class score and brought back the X2 theme. Yawn.

      • Valeri

        mostly, its the ages and Cerebro,because X2 was about Stryker torturing Magneto to get intel on how to build cerebro,blueprint,tech,electronics,he apparently knew it all. And then in the end of X2,he switched all the hundreds of plates around,knowing where each would go,this requires to be the inventor/engineer of said tech,which he claimed he was alongside Xavier in X2(and I think in X1 Xavier also says this about Erik).

        In First Class,Hank built it,then it was destroyed,in the mansion he was too busy training,making a serum for himself,analysing Mistiques dna,making Havoks focus tech, wings for Banshee, they had no cerebro,otherwise theyd find angel,azazel,whiplash pronto,not wait for Kennedy to tell them via the news where they may be. THen Eric left,in 63 went to prison in pentagon,where he remained until DOFP,by which point we saw Cerebro room fully ready as it is in trilogy. So Eric played no part at all(So how did Mistique know to poison the tubes in X1,to kill Xavier,and Magneto didnt authorize her to kill Xavier,she improvized ?!!) . So Stryker cant get any intel from Fassbenders Eric,thus no problem,Jean doesnt get mentally suckerpunched into a mental bubble ,hit by water,no Phoenix in X3,thus. Scott lives, Jean lives, Xavier doesnt have to jump into his braindead twin bros body shown in early X3 and end credits.

        So First Class and further DOFP cant allow for X2-X3 to exist to begin with. Then the age thing 17,not 30. And I assume they ignored Wolverine film entirely,the 70s,cause in late 72 Stryker recruited Logan,and by january 1973 they were looking for adamantium with his team,not chillin on waterbeds ,being a part-time bodyguard,part-time gigolo love toy for rich chicas. He was motivated with Stryker&team,he had no time work for others and just party. Now,he left Stryker somewhere in march-july 1973,cause ”6 years later” sign in 09 film,and the march 28 1979 ”3 mile island incident” was the historical focal point when the movie ended,deadpool causing it. Singer wrote First Class as a reboot,new origins,he even said that,and he wrote X1-X2,and the initial story for X3 until bailed to do Superman and took Cyclops with him,so Kinberg had to rewrite it,kill off Cyclops etc.

        Singer knew all the contradictions,he intentionally did it for First Class,and yet,now, pretends its all SAME timeline,even rubs it in via Logans Stryker flashbacks to X2,and Xavier reading Logans mind with events from X1-X3. I mean, it isn’t possible, Eric doesnt know anything about cerebro,they met much later in their 30s, much older Moira. Emotionally powerful,logically an even bigger mess than Origins: Wolverine(where it was 15 years since experiment, Stryker said in X2,thus 1988,not 1979)

      • Django9000

        You would have the most horrible of times trying to keep up with the comics continuity. To most fans, DOFP is the film equivalent of an editorial rewrite. In other words, those books you bought that most fans didn’t like, even though they were flashy & maintained sales during a creative vacuum- simply don’t count anymore. Now, the original creative team is back to usher in a new direction. Sit back, enjoy & sorry for all the holographic foil covers. :)

      • McA

        First Class was the new direction and DOFP has f**ked that up.

      • Valeri

        Not an american,so curious about the ”holographic foil covers” mention.What does that reference imply exactly,if you don’t mind explaining? Always keen to learn the local lingo/urban dictionary. Does it mean a background(foil)(events of past movies being past of 2023 future,making FC and X1-X3 to be one timeline,though it makes no sense) that is covered(by undoing trilogy),though due to flashbacks etc it’s covered holographically(as in,fact of connection not really covered up). Is that the meaning ? :D

      • aFabricationUnlikeAnother

        X-Men DOFP and X-Men Apocalypse are the only two films that are of any relevance at this time. The other films didn’t happen as far as the moviegoer is concerned. This should also be true for you but that is your prerogative.

      • Valeri

        youre missing the point,this current film DOFP makes no sense,given that first class and trilogy differ drastically in history and people/events/ages/relationships, and yet they claim its all one timeline,all past movies. And they arent.Thsi makes DOFP invalid.

      • aFabricationUnlikeAnother

        Your incessant and unexplainable need to ignore what’s in front of you in favor of what happened in a few scenes from films that have no relevancy moving forward is what makes DOFP invalid, for you. Again, that is your right but I would suggest for your stop clinging on to the past and enjoy this piece of entertainment, because that’s what it is, entertainment. Its not the word of (insert your preferred omnipotent entity here) sent down from the heavens that deserves the cognitive function required for meticulous study and scrutiny.

      • Valeri

        um,it does make sense,given that First Class still happened,and since it did,in 1962,events of the 2023 sentinel future can’t even exist,and the events shown on site for this DOFP movie) can’t exist either beyond the 90s,because FC events undid all the events of X2-X3 and parts of X1. So,there can’t even exist a Sentinel future as shown in DOFP movie,because and the X1-X2 movies show how the development of Mark X Sentinel was created after the worldwide mental attack on humanity by Xavier in X2,which lead to Phoenix born and destroying,as well as Cure being financed more quickly in X3. But events of FC show that Eric never built or knows how Cerebro works,so events of X2-X3 can’t/won’t happen,and thus there will be no near extinction of humanity in X2 nor X3 events that lead government to finance mark X. To ignore this is to be a sheep who doesn’t care for movie logic,imho.

      • Polarboy

        Well I found the film entertaining enough to not focus on those inconsistencies. Also I would just disregard what happened in X3 for the most part because that seems to be what Singer did apart from that one flashback. I think given the mess that was X3 he did a pretty good job of rewriting that and having things back to where they should be.

      • Valeri

        X1-X2 cant even exist,the events,Stryker cant build cerebro,because Eric doesnt know anything about it,he didnt build it in First Class.I wrote a reply above to a person,please read if you care to.

      • Polarboy

        Well to be fair Eric was there when it was being built in First Class and even though we didn’t see it he could have helped with the construction, putting the plates in place and so on. I really think these inconsistencies are minor enough to overlook when you take into consideration the difficulty of putting the two franchises together and how enjoyable the film was.

      • McA

        Valeri is right, it’s wipes out X1-X3. Which is fine (well, if you loved those, maybe not), I don’t care but linking it to First Class was a mistake. Plain and simple.

      • Polarboy

        Well that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it but I disagree.

      • McA

        Fair play. I know a lot of folks who will enjoy this movie but I can’t let go of the inconsistencies and my belief that linking these two franchises was a mistake. But you’re right, to each his own.

      • Valeri

        No,Eric was not there. Watch the film. It was long built before they met Hank.And once it was destroyed at CIA HQ,Hank didnt build it in the mansion in that film because he was too busy synthesizing Mistiques blood to create a serum to control their appearances,also made wings for Banshee and energy portal for Havok,also trained himself. If he had built Cerebro ,they wouldve used it pronto to find angel,azazel,whiplash etc,not wait around for a clue on tv in the news when kennedy gave them a clue where Shaw could be. They had no cerebro,Eric built nothing,was not there when it started even,and to actually know how it works you need to actually engineer it and build it,look at the level of expertise Magneto had in X2,he switched hundreds of plates into unique positions exactly,knew all of them to the last,to make it work on humans,to kill them. And Stryker built his replica thanks to torturing Eric for intel on how to build it,electronics,tech,all of it.

        Eric knows nothing,and he spent 10 years in prison till DOFP,by which time we saw cerebro fully built as it was in trilogy,in 1973.And originally he wasnt broken out in 73,he was there for many years to come in that prison. To just put in plates in place etc when building is not actual knowledge as to where they need to go to kill humanity(cause the real cerebro had no missing plates,replica did,eric would have no clue how they need to be positioned to focus on humans only,only the actual engineer of the source code and hardware would know that,of the replica,not the real cerebro even. It was a plot device in X2,to build tension. But in First Class Eric knows nothing,any bum can put plates into walls,that doesn’t give him intel on how to build it from tech to electronic hardware/software etc.

        Minor inconsistencies ? X2 and X3 can’t even exist due to events of 62-73,and pretty much big chunks of X1 also deleted. The only reason they even put those 2 casts together is cause avengers was a hit,and by fall 2012 they contracted singer to have a story to involve both,and DOFP was a way to do so,SInger then ignored his own new origin he wrote for ”First Class” and rubbed in the inconsistency by showing flashbacks with young xavier seeing X1-X3 events.

        Emotional movie,yes,nice,I cried actually,moist eyes throughout,heart/throat/stomach chakras overwhelmed,mini-spasms,had to hold it in to not burst,so breathed deeply. it was an escalation of pain and tragedy for all sides,the ambience was disheartening,empathy in high gear,even when eric and mistique kept being dark,I really felt compassion and pain for them too. So I get it,but that’s my heart. My mind sees the holes,and that just seems like disrespect/incompetence towards audiences. It could’ve been neatly all done fixing differences,this was ideal,either travel to 1920s,someone,change it all,butterfly effect,Moira born 1931 OR have logan inadvertently enter a parallel universe history. Or one other way. But no,just pretend all is same world :/ i have a love/hate relationship with this film now.

      • Polarboy

        Seriously do you honestly expect me to read that entire wall of text, paragraphs were invented for a reason man ;). Anyway it has been a while since I’ve watched First Class so I had forgotten that the prototype cerebro was built at the CIA HQ. In my opinion these minor plot point inconsistencies shouldn’t affect ones enjoyment of the film.

        It doesn’t really take away from the film because the plot point of Eric helping Charles invent it was to communicate that they were once friends at least in X1, and allow for plausible sabotage later on, but the important part was that they were once friends . I think the reason they changed it to Hank was to make it more in line with the comics as he is the lead engineer/scientist in the group.

        I read a lot of comics so I am used to things being retconned neatly and otherwise, there being different timelines and so on. As long as the end product is enjoyable and it doesn’t take major liberties I don’t mind in the least. It may even turn out that Apocalypse has been tampering with the timeline when we see the next movie.

      • Valeri

        sorry for no paragraphs,fixed it. But you call it minor inconsistency. How is it minor if events of 1962-1973 that we’ve been shown in First Class and beyond,that these events delete events of X2-X3 out of existence,simply because Eric was not part of building or engineering Cerebro. In X2 he knew all intel on electronics,tech,blueprints,wiring.He EVEN,knew where the hundreds of different plates had to go,switched,to kill humanity instead of mutantkind.

        Only a source code engineer and developer of the original Cerebro(in the 60s) could know this,and in FC Eric was not part of any of this,so X2-X3 events can’t happen,Stryker won’t get any intel,Jean/Scott don’t die,no mental attack on humanity in X2,or phoenix and magneto attacks in X3,thus no big threat to put Sentinel Mark X into production(as it was the X2-X3 events that triggered governments to do it) .the Sentinel future of 2023 we saw can’t even exist due to events of First Class :/.

        Apocalypse did not tamper in this film,since we saw that First Class events still occured as they did,and even flashbacks to trilogy all same,Eric was in prison for 10 years,cerebro already built,so again no X2 and X3 events can exist. Apocalypse might change stuff,but that’s after DOFP events in 73,which means trilogy events already deleted long before his input.

  • asianrage

    Steve, always an excellent interviewer, always with the right questions.

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