Bryan Singer Talks X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Timeline and Locations; Describes the Film as an “Inbetwequel” [UPDATED with New Set Photo]

     July 31, 2013


Director Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the most anticipated releases of 2014, but it’s also one of the more confusing.  The film is based on a comics storyline of the same name and involves post-apocalyptic futures and time travel, and with nearly every single actor who has ever appeared in an X-Men movie onboard as part of the cast, many have been wondering just how all the pieces fit together.  The viral site for the film revealed a few details about Trask Industries CEO Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), who begins the mutant-hunting Sentinel program in the 1970s that eventually leads to worldwide destruction sometime after the year 2020.

Now Singer has spoken a bit about the timeline of Days of Future Past, revealing just how long after X-Men: First Class and X-Men: The Last Stand the past and future portions of the film take place.  Hit the jump to read on.  [Update: Singer has also now shared a new image from the set, which involves Mystique violently kicking someone in the neck.]

x-men-days-of-future-past-hugh-jackman-nicholas-houltSpeaking with Empire, Singer revealed the specific timeline of events for DOFP in relation to the other X-Men films:

“I’d say it’s not a sequel to one of the others. It’s an inbetwequel — that’s what I call it, for lack of a better word. It takes place about ten years, give or take, after X-Men 3; and in the past it takes place about ten years after First Class.”

Given the character wardrobe and the appearance of President Richard Nixon in the official set photos, we had already gathered that the past portion of DOFP would be taking place in the 1970s, but ten years after The Last Stand isn’t a large span of time to get the Sentinel program up and running.  The tag for The Wolverine offered an early tease of the future portion of the film, but the footage we saw at Comic-Con was quite a bit more apocalyptic in nature.

x-men-days-of-future-past-richard-nixonSinger also talked about the film’s “epic” scope, noting the many locations in which Days of Future Past takes place:

“It takes place in the future and the past and then all over the world, from Russia to China, then France, and Washington, New York. It’s got scope, but most of the scope is in the breadth of the story.”

Finally, Singer offered a tease of where we find the relationship between James McAvoy’s younger Professor X and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto:

“They’re in a radically different place. Charles is in a very dark hole when we meet him, and Erik has been gathering his power.”

Having seen the footage at Comic-Con, I can confirm that Charles Xavier is in a very dark place indeed.  X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in theaters on May 16, 2014.

Update: Singer shared the following image on his Twitter without comment, but we can surmise that this is Mystique’s doing:


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  • Greyson

    Just take my money!

  • bidi

    pretty excited for this one. i might have to check out the Wolverine just to see the post credits tease!

  • Varyus

    “…but ten years after The Last Stand isn’t a large span of time to get the Sentinel program up and running.”

    I would’ve agreed if they hadn’t destroyed a Sentinel while training in the Danger Room in the opening of The Last Stand.

    • Darren

      The Sentinels don’t seem to be a part of the main timeline, they’re a part of the separate one. If you look at the Trask Industries website, they talk about Sentinels being deployed in the 70s.

      • Nerdgasm

        Right. They are made in the 70′s but discontinued. Much like a lot of the story line that feature the Sentinels. There are always a first couple that are made but then trashed for obvious trust type issues. Then they get deployed in a real big way much later in the future. if you look at alot of the viral stuff…none of that is set in the 70′s.

  • Trick

    It is my understanding that the apocalyptic future is an alternate timeline in which the sentinel program was allowed to move forward due to anti-mutant sentiment (and in which prof x is alive) caused by some event? Sending Logan back should (if we ignore some new multiple universe theories on time travel re-set the time line to be what we have seen in the movies (maybe minus Last stand pls).

    • mattritchey

      I’ve only read the Wikipedia synopsis, since I was never an X-Men reader, but yeah, isn’t it a future Kitty Pryde in an alternate timeline that goes back and warns herself about the Sentinels destroying every last mutant? Regardless, I have pretty high hopes for this flick.

  • John

    I wonder how they will give Wolverine his adamantium claws back….

    • John Smith

      Can you please put Spoiler before a message like that, not for me but for people who haven’t seen “that movie”. I have and im also wondering how they will do it but others haven’t so please, thanks!!

    • hockablah

      magneto will probably help him out with that.

    • Guest

      you are a fuck and i hope you die.

      • Joe

        Wow? Really? Because he made a mistake in revealing a plot point?
        Have you ever made mistakes? Or did something unintentionally?
        You need to get a grip of reality and grow up.
        Your comment reflects your immaturity.

    • Greyson

      you are a fuck. i hope something bad happens to you.

      • Nerdgasm

        Wow it was a slip up on John’s part. Smith, Guest, Greyson you are the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child. Bunch of assholes who jump all over someone for making a mistake…he’s only human. You three are below humans, fucking shit for all I am concerned. Calm the crap down. It’s a movie and pretty mediocre one at that. Go cry some where else… This page is to talk about a movie that HAPPENS after X3… I see no one yelling at the people who mentioned deaths in X3 and I know plenty of people who haven’t seen that. “But that movie was terrible.” Well it’s considered part of the canon as Singer has stated that they have figured out ways to fix it but not ignore it so go fuck yourselves.

      • Greyson

        So…. you tell me I’m an asshole and then jump down my throat with name calling. If you are going to try and draw a parallel between this situation and you being bullied as a kid, at least don’t be a hypocrite. You are assuming he did that by mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. He just did it. All you have to do is say *spoiler* before something and people won’t read it. I’m a calm and gentle person, until someone starts throwing out spoilers. And….. at least I didn’t tell him I hope he dies. I was leaning more towards bumping his toe on something hard.

      • Joe

        @Greyson – your retort is disgraceful. Just so you know.

  • Zak Wojnar

    Wait, May? I thought it was gonna be a July release?

  • Nomis1700

    Prepare to get your neck cracked by J-Law!

  • mike_thoms

    I guess what I don’t get is why there is a Sentinel at Reagan’s inauguration since the rest of the world, outside the government (I guess) didn’t know about mutants until around the time of the first X-Men movie. Right?

    • mbmarquis69

      I’m confused by this too, but I assume it will be some sort of alternate history a la Star Trek 2009. If it means The Last Stand never happened, I can live with that.

    • mbmarquis69

      I’m confused by this too, but I assume it will be some sort of alternate history a la Star Trek 2009. If it means The Last Stand never happened, I can live with that.

  • Strong Enough

    the movie to beat in 2014.!

  • Phoenix

    SPOILER: The following contains information from “The Wolverine.”

    Up until I saw “The Wolverine” I was really hoping that the future that would be presented in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” will be an alternate one, mainly due to the casting of Patrick Stewart. I was also hoping that Singer was keeping the casting of Famke Janssen and James Marsden a secret for the fans. But the mid-credit scene in “The Wolverine” totally debunked that hope.

    It’s clear that the future will be from the same timeline as “X-Men: The Last Stand” which is a shame because I really wanted Jean and Cyclops to return. But I suppose Rebecca Romijn might make a quick cameo since we saw that Magneto had regained his powers.

    • McA

      I wouldn’t be so certain that it isn’t an alternate reality. Singer revealed that he’d talked to James Cameron about time travel, string theory and multiverses and given that the viral site has just come out with the whole history of Trask industries – it’s pretty clear that First Class isn’t in the same timeline as the original X Men trilogy.

      I’d guess that a big reveal in the movie is perhaps a powerful mutant (I dunno maybe the most badass of them all – En Sabah Nur) has been screwing about with the timelines via time travel.

      Bishop is the movie after all so we could see some time travel shenanigans going on apart from Wolverine having his mind zapped back in time. I was a bit disappointed after seeing that after credits scene in The Wolverine but after seeing that viral site for Trask, I think or at least I hope I know where they’re going with it.

    • Andrew Sanders

      I’m also really disappointed that Famke (& James)will not be returning for this,…especially since I had read on this site in an earlier interview,that she was keen to return & waiting for a call from Singer.
      Also,did I read it right that the time-switched Kitty Pryde in the DOFP storyline in the graph novel is now Wolverine in the movie?
      As much as I luv Hugh Jackman,…isn’t it about time somebody else took centre stage in the X-Men movies.They should’ve stuck to the original character from the story I reckon.

  • rhizomeman

    I’ve got to say, I don’t get all the Last Stand hate from the geek community. I feel it’s mainly because Brett Ratner directed it. Imagine an alternate timeline where Bryan Singer directed exactly the same movie – everyone would love it:)

    • Andrew Sanders

      Perhaps it’s because the whole Phoenix/Dark Phoenix storyline is(along with Days of Future Past)one of the best graph novel stories,…ever!
      And for most of Last Stand,Jean/Phoenix just stands in the background looking moody.They also had a Phoenix under the lake at the end of X2,…where the hell was it in X3?It’s what the fans wanted to see!
      And don’t get me started on the mutant cure thing with an injection & killing off half the X-Men as well.
      It should’ve been so much better.
      I didn’t hate it,…but I also didn’t really like it either!

      • Faptain America

        Agree. It was a letdown after X2. Still, I enjoyed it, especially the ending battles.

      • rhizomeman

        I guess – but as a movie, I don’t see X3 as better or worse than X1 or 2. To me all three make an excellent trilogy. Of course, the comics have MUCH more stuff in them.

      • mbmarquis69

        I sort of understand your point. Although I didn’t like it as much as X2, I thought it was on par with the first movie. But my view has hardened over time. It was never a good idea to unceremoniously kill off or humanize so many iconic mutants. Cyclops deserved better than an off screen death. Mystique deserved more than to be turned into just a “scorned” chick. And Magneto… god, why mess with Magneto? I get that it was supposed to be for shock value but in Ratner’s hands it came across as clumsy and ill planned. Not being knowledgeable about the comics, I can’t speak to the Dark Phoenix aspect, but X2 seemed to promise much more than what The Last Stand delivered.

      • Andrew Sanders

        Cyclops untimely off-screen ‘death’,i read,was down to time constraints,as he was currently shooting scenes in Singer’s Superman Returns at the time.
        I also read somewhere that,had Singer not departed to do Supes,we may have had a ‘proper’ Phoenix storyline,with Jean’s return & slow corruption by Emma Frost/Hellfire Club in the third movie,before going full on Dark Phoenix in the fourth X-Men.
        That was how it should’ve played out.
        Yes,i’m glad to see Singer back in the X-Men fold with Days of Future Past.But i’m still annoyed with him for leaving X3 in the hands of Ratner.

      • rhizomeman

        I guess – but as a movie, I don’t see X3 as better or worse than X1 or 2. To me all three make an excellent trilogy. Of course, the comics have MUCH more stuff in them.

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    I can not wait for ‘X-Men – Days Of Future Past’. It sounds and looks awesome, ‘The Wolverine’ is AWESOME, best comic book movie this year and best movie this summer, it deserves much more at the box office.