X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 7

There was a lot to absorb in that first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Original trilogy X-Men were bumping up against First Class X-Men, new characters were showing up left and right, and the emotional arc was cresting just as action and mayhem broke out in both timelines.

Fortunately, director Bryan Singer is happy to guide fans through that jam-packed promo. “It really is what we wanted from the first look at the movie,” he said. Hit the jump for his commentary on some key moments.

Empire sat down with Singer to talk through the trailer. It’s a fun read for any X-fans who want to really delve into the finer details of that video, and we’ve collected a few of the highlights for you below. All the blocked-off quotes below are directly from Singer

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 1

It’s [Patrick Stewart's] eyeball! It’s him asking, ‘what’s the last thing you remember?’ It’s a line from the movie, but in a way he’s also asking the audience. We’re about to go back into a familiar world – what’s the last thing you remember?’

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 2

The grey in the hair is something I took from X-Men Days Of Future Past, it’s a look in the comic. I liked it, even though he hasn’t really aged physically it’s something that shows how tough things have gotten in the future, and brought that out in him and given him a little more world-weariness.

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 3

She’s one of the last surviving X-Men in this post-apocalyptic world. She’s part of that with Wolverine and Charles and Magneto; they’re some of the last folk standing from the original X-Men. They’re at the spearhead of this mission, this last chance at saving the world. This is their only hope, their mission into time. Can you actually go back and affect time? Can you go back and change things or will time correct itself? Will history fight you back and is your destiny pre-determined or can you change it?”

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 4

They’re not really fresh recruits. They’re more refugees that are living day to day in this hideously ruined world. They don’t have much hope in the future. They’re on the run and they join forces with the remaining X-Men to try to do this one last attempt at fixing the world.

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 5

Although it’s Kitty who goes back in time in the comics, Singer decided that in the movies, Logan would be sent back because his fast-healing power would make him the only one capable of surviving the procedure. As he explained in an earlier interview:

She’s the prime facilitator – it’s her power that enables that to happen. But it’s Wolverine who has the strength and the stamina to be able to go back on this journey.

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 6

Fassbender knew that he would be, well, not sharing the frame with Ian McKellen, but sharing the movie with Ian McKellen, so where on First Class he tried to be as different as possible from McKellen, because that was a very different character, he now knows as an actor he’d have to bring his performance slightly closer to Ian’s because he’s heading in that direction.

X-Men DOFP trailer breakdown 7

It’s an abstract scene, without giving away its origin and how it happens. It’s a trippy scene, it has a bit of ’70s style in it and the entire scene involved a lot of interesting practical photography using mirrors and other things. It was fun to shoot, and it was great to get the two actors together.

I did get goosebumps. I’ve got a picture on my iPhone of the two of them talking to each other. These moments need to be photographed.

X-Men: Days of Future Past stars Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Bingbing Fan, Booboo Stewart, Omar Sy, and Adan Canto – and those are just the folks seen above. It opens May 23, 2014.

Now that you’re armed with all those new insights from Singer, revisit the full-length trailer below:

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