Development on the sequel to last year’s stellar X-Men: First Class is moving full speed ahead with Matthew Vaughn returning as director and a firm release date recently set for July 18th, 2014. We know from the hubbub between Fox and Lionsgate over Jennifer Lawrence’s availability that she’ll have to wrap The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by the end of December in order to be free to shoot the X-Men sequel in January, but so far plot details have been firmly under wraps. Now it appears that a title registration with the MPAA has clued us in on a possible—and ambitious—plot line for the X-Men: First Class follow-up. Hit the jump for more.
The folks over at AICN have word that 20th Century Fox has registered the title Days of Future Past with the MPAA. This title should ring a bell for X-Men fans, as Days of Future Past was a two-issue storyline from the comics in 1981. I haven’t read the story, so here’s a handy synopsis per Wikipedia to give us the gist:
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.
Essentially, the Days of Future Past story could possibly serve as a way to reboot the future X-Men timeline and pave the way for a new iteration of the present day mutants, not dissimilar to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. It’s important to note that this storyline hasn’t been confirmed by the studio, and Vaughn may just be drawing from certain elements of the storyline instead of doing a direct adaptation. That said, this is the first semi-news we’ve had regarding the plot since Vaughn himself said he’d like to open the sequel with the JFK assassination, pulling back to reveal that Magneto is controlling the “magic bullet.”
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the possibility of flashing to the future in a First Class sequel. I loved the 60s setting of the first film and it seems like there are still a lot of stories to tell in that setting before moving into the present day storylines. Moreover, time travel is an incredibly difficult plot device to pull off successfully, and I would hope that the focus on keeping timelines straight wouldn’t pull away from the impressive character development we saw in the first film. Simon Kinberg is hard at work on the screenplay, so hopefully we heard some official word regarding the story soon.