The cast is ridiculous
OK, so we already knew this before the panel, but seeing the array of actors that Bryan Singer had assembled for his epic time-jumping prequel-sequel was just insane.
Sitting on the panel were – deep breath – Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Omar Sy, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters and Nicholas Hoult.
If the chemistry’s anything like it is on stage, then this should be an ensemble to remember.
Hugh Jackmans Wolverine will play a key role
Not content with leading his second solo movie in 2013’s The Wolverine , it looks like Logan will be hogging a key role in Days Of Future Past.
In the 3D trailer we were shown (Singer was keen to point out that the film was shot in 3D), future Wolverine – leather seems to be very much in vogue in the future, if his vest is anything to go by – is the one whose consciousness is sent back into the past to try to avert the impending mutant apocalypse (the caused of which isn’t detailed in the trailer).
He’s taking over Kitty Pryde’s role from the comics, although presumably she’ll still have something important to do, as Ellen Page is back in the cast.
Professor X asks him to be patient with his younger self, before Wolvie retorts: “Patience isn’t my strongest suit.” Looks like another character arc's in store for the adamantium-skeletoned badass.
Charles is two very different people
“I don’t want your suffering. I don’t want your future!”
X-Men: First Class introduced us to a very different Charles Xavier to the one we’re used to. Putting James McAvoy’s younger Charles in the same film as Patrick Stewart’s worldly-wise older version will make that contrast even more stark.
Charles the elder dominates the trailer, his imperious tones laying out the scale of the threat. It seems that McAvoy’s Prof – decked out in long, lank hair and ‘70s styling - isn’t necessarily going to be instantly accepting of his future self’s message.
The trailer closes on the elder addressing the younger face-to-face, imploring, “We need you to hope again.”
Peter Dinklage is Bolivar Trask
It’d been rumoured since his casting was first announced, but Peter Dinklage finally confirmed that he would be playing Bolivar Trask in Days Of Future Past .
The comics character is best known as the creator the Sentinels. An army of robots that’ll be instantly familiar to X-fans. Created to hunt down and kill X-Men, the threat they pose will likely lead to the need for Charles to send back Wolvie as a preventative measure.
Despite the fact that the Sentinels had a presence at Comic-Con 2013, they were wholly absent from the footage shown.
We did get a glimpse of Dinklage addressing a boardroom though, with a luxuriant shock of ‘70s hair, and thick Tom Selleck-esque moustache (Singer, laughing, said he reminds him of his dad).
Beast gets mad
In the montage of footage in the trailer, one of the most striking images is Beast, in full-on feral mode.
Nicholas Hoult’s character has been given a slightly updated look for the sequel, and his trailer moment sees him losing it with Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, scrapping with him and slamming him into a fountain.
Given how First Class ended, the reasons for the fight could be manifold, but we wouldn’t mind betting it has something to do with Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique…
Mystique is changing
It looks like Jennifer Lawrence will have a significant role in this one, with the Hunger Games superstar confirming that she'll be continuing her journey towards the Mystique character we know from the earlier films (as played by Rebecca Romijn).
She certainly seems like that more familiar Mystique. Now that she no longer has an X-Men uniform, she struts around in her blue skin a fair bit, and there’s a shot of her taking down a bunch of assailants in Mystique’s trademark acrobatic tyle (it looks like the scene takes place in the White House). There's also a nifty little glimpse of her changing form while walking through a bustling crowd, as well as a look at Lawrence in military fatigues and a cap (presumably on some sort of nefarious infiltration mission).
And there’s another shot of Fassbender’s Magneto using his powers to drag her helplessly along the streets towards him. Are those two going to have a testy relationship in DOFP ?
Magnetos powers are developing
As well as the whole Mystique-dragging business, there’s a brief glimpse of Michael Fassbender levitating (as hinted at in one of Bryan Singer’s previous Twitter snaps), as Magneto begins to develop his metal-manipulation powers further.
It’s not clear whose side he’ll be on in the past, but in the future, McKellen’s version is willing to rekindle the on-off bromance with Charles for the sake of mutantkind: “You’ll need me as well. Side by side to end this war, before it ever begins.”
It’s not clear if Magneto the younger will be quite so willing to team up though…
One thing that we didn't see in the trailer? The helmet and cloak that Fassbender was sporting at the end of First Class .
Quicksilver will be very, very fast
Quicksilver was a controversial addition for DOFP , as he was announced after it was clear that Joss Whedon was incorporating the character into Avengers 2 (AKA Age Of Ultron ).
Quicksilver couldn’t be seen in the trailer, but Evan Peters was on the panel, and he was asked what he could say about his character: “He’s very fast. He’s very fast. He’s just fast, he talks quick, he moves quick. Everything else is very slow compared to him, it’s like he’s always at the ATM waiting for the bastard in front of him to finish. It’s always kinda like that.”
Michael Fassbender then added, cheekily, “He’s got excellent genes,” in a reference that delighted X-fans.
Bryan Singer said of the whole situation: “Quicksilver was always a part of the story as we were developing it. The casting took a while to find the right actor for this role, and I’m a huge fan of Evan’s, I thought his work was really fantastic. I can’t speak for The Avengers , but our character exists.” Singer also confirmed that the character would have a '70s costume.
Bishop looks impressive
Bishop was one of several future characters glimpsed in a brief shot in the trailer. Omar Sy was on the panel, but he didn’t’ have the opportunity to say too much about his character. He sure looks imposing in costume though.
Among the other characters spotted, we noticed Warpath (Booboo Stewart) and Blink (Bingbing Fan).
Singer will have his work cut out juggling the ensemble, but this first trailer made it seem like he might have just pulled it off. It helps that the characters are so recognisable, with many of them already established in the movies (and then there's the comics...) Although it wasn’t clear how much of the narrative would be set in the future or the past.
The trailer did give a good idea of the tone though…
Its set to be ominous and epic
The main feeling we took away from the DOFP trailer was that the film was striving to be the first truly epic X-Men film. The score set the tone, capturing the gravity and the scope of the story.
It looks like Charles Xavier and Wolverine will be at the heart of the plot, with some of the mutants likely to have only small peripheral roles.
And, like X-Men: First Class , this’ll have significant historical links, with Richard Nixon set to make an appearance. As well as the aforementioned White House fracas with Mystique, there’s also a shot of Tricky Dicky looking aghast at some unfolding events.
It all added up to a very stirring teaser. If only we could transport our consciousness to our 2014 self right now.