If you’ve ever seen any of the X-Men films (or heck, even any of the advertisements), it would be pretty obvious that Hugh Jackman’s character, Wolverine, is a heavy focus in the series. Notably, he is the only character to appear in each of the franchise’s titles, even making a cameo appearance in X-Men: First Class.
For that reason, among many others, it didn’t come as a surprise to most fans when it was revealed that Wolverine would hold the most vital position in the upcoming mash-up film, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Deviating from the source material, this move was met with unease from many fans that saw it as an attempt to cash in on Wolverine’s marketability.
In the upcoming film, Wolverine’s consciousness is sent back in time to the body of his younger self to stop the apocalyptic future he is living in from happening. However, in the source material, written by Chris Claremont, it is another character, Kitty Pryde (played by Ellen Page in the films), who gets sent back. Given that the character has been firmly established in the film series and will be appearing in the newest installment, the shift seemed unwarranted (story-wise).
On Tuesday, December 3, screenwriter Simon Kinberg responded to these concerns in a statement to Total Film, providing an explanation for the change. In addition to admitting that there was a certain economic factor involved in the decision, the writer had this to say:
"Probably the bigger reason is that when we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back...it was impossible. Obviously in the book it’s Kitty, but you’re talking about an actress (Ellen Page) who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative 20 years old. So we started thinking again, and the first reflex response to that was a character who doesn’t age. Wolverine is the only character who would looks the same in 1973 as he does in the future."
For the most part, this decision makes sense, as X-Men fans definitely didn’t need another CGI fountain of youth effect after X-Men: The Last Stand (seriously, did Patrick Stewart really look any different?). That said, with Jackman having played the pivotal role in seven movies already (the upcoming film included), it might be time to explore the depths of new characters and give the anti-hero a well-deserved rest.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is set to hit theaters May 23, 2014. (See preview below)