The first official trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was released on Oct. 29 and the highly anticipated comic book crossover looks every bit as epic as promised.
The tone of the trailer is perfect. Plot specifics are outlined but big action scenes are judiciously withheld and the primary story remain ambiguous. In a smart movie that emphasizes the scope of the franchise, the trailer instead gives us glimpses of the many mutants Marvel fans have come to love over the course of the X-Men sequels, prequels and spin-offs.
In the case of the best X-Men movies, the actors have always elevated the material and “Days of Future Past” wisely leans on brief shots that reintroduce us to an ensemble that includes esteemed thespians (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as now-really-old Professor X and Magneto), Oscar winners (Halle Berry as Storm, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique), likely future Oscar winners (Michael Fassbender and James Mcavoy as young Magneto and hippie Professor X) and young actors who have followed up on the promise of their early roles in the X-Men universe (Anna Paquin as Rogue, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde). We also get Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine for the 27th time.
There are a few reasons why “X-Men: Days of Future Past” looks like it could be the best film in the franchise. First, it involves time travel, and everyone knows time travel is cool (speaking of which, did you catch that crew of mutants in the dystopian future-verse? According to MTV, they include Bishop, Warpath, and Sunspot, all of whom have had major roles in the X-Men and X-Force comics). That conceit provides an organic narrative connection between the worlds of the first three X-Men movies and the prequel “X-Men: First Class,” giving “Days of Future Past” an unusually epic scope.
Most hearteningly, it also marks the return of director Bryan Singer to the franchise. His first two “X-Men” movies are among the best in the superhero cannon and his career has since followed an up-and-down trajectory that’s not dissimilar to the X-Men films themselves. After initially signing on as just a producer, Singer decided to move into the director’s chair and his enthusiasm for the project has been well documented on his social media feeds.
From the “Inception”-like music cues to the tantalizing teases of characters old and new (Peter Dinklage!), the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” trailer does a flawless job building anticipation for the film. It’s enough to make you wish for your your own time machine (or future-body-inhabiting brain-switcher person) to leap forward to the movie’s release date, May 23, 2014.