days-of-future-past

Those who’ve read the original issues that make up the Days of Future Past storyline know that, among the many apparent differences between the comic and film tellings of the tale, there’s one huge change that fundamentally changes the story.

In the comic version, it is the young Kitty Pryde who goes back in time in an attempt to prevent the development of a dystopian future in which mutants are savagely hunted. In the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, it is Wolverine who acts as the time-jumping lynchpin. Why the change?

There’s an obvious answer to the question (“duh, Wolverine is the star of these movies”) but there’s also a narrative explanation. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg explains below.

Kinberg told Total Film:

We made the decision for a lot of reasons, some of them obvious and some of them more nuanced, to make it Wolverine who goes back in time. One reason is that he’s the protagonist of the franchise, and probably the most beloved character to a mass audience.

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.

The bigger question is whether or not Kitty Pryde will ever become an A-list character in the X-Men films. She’s been played by three actresses so far, and until we know how Ellen Page (returning to the role after X3) fares in Days of Future Past, it’s too early to know what to expect. Pryde is a fan-favorite comic character for reasons that go far beyond the fact that she’s got a pet dragon, and it would be great to see her get her due on screen.

If Kitty had a proper introduction on screen, the obvious go-to for another “solo” Wolverine movie would be the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini-series story from 1984. It’s another tale set in Japan, and which links pretty easily to the story that drove this year’s The Wolverine. But that’s getting too far ahead — let’s see what this film has in store first.

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