How Days Of Future Past Affects X-Men Movie Timeline

'X-Men: Days of Future Past' screenwriter Simon Kinberg has commented on how the ending of the latest movie impacts what has gone before in the 20th Century Fox/Marvel series.

Anyone who’s been out to see ‘Days of Future Past’ already will no doubt have gathered the film has seriously changed things for the X-movie universe, and may well appreciate the writer’s take on all this.

However, those who haven’t seen Days of Future Past’ yet might prefer not to read on, as there are major, major spoilers coming up.

Okay, if you’re still with us we’re assuming you’re quite happy to get spoiled…

The ending of ‘Days of Future Past’ would appear to undo… well, more or less everything that has happened in the X-movies to date, with the exception of prequel ‘X-Men: First Class,’ and the early scenes of ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ and ‘The Wolverine.’

When Wolverine is released by Kitty Pryde from the psychic slumber that sent him back to 1973, he awakens into a 2023 that does not remotely resemble the Sentinel-dominated post-apocalyptic nightmare he leaves behind in the early scenes of ‘Days of Future Past.’

Instead, he finds himself and all the other mutants safe and well back at Xavier’s school - and, humourously, himself with a history lesson to teach.
Perhaps most significant of all, two people who were most definitely dead by the end of ‘X-Men 3: the Last Stand’ - Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey, and James Marsden’s Cyclops - are notably alive. (Anyone who’s seen the post-credits stinger of the third X-movie should understand why Xavier’s survival of that film was not a similar surprise.)

So, what remains of the previously established timeline, and what has been eradicated completely? Speaking to Collider, Kinberg offers this by way of vague explanation:

"The end of ‘Days of Future Past’ in 1973 does change the timeline of the established film universe. But one of the things we posit in the film is the immutability of time. So what you see at the end is a future that has been shifted but not completely transformed.

"Our characters are back in the mansion, as we saw them in ‘X1-3’ with some obvious changes… Yes [‘Days of Future Past’] changes the timeline. No it doesn’t completely erase everything.

"Hopefully the X-movies to come will help define that for audiences. Our next film, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ will fill in more of the timeline between ‘Days of Future Past’ and ‘X1.’

"Characters can change, but, like time, they are on a general path that cannot be completely undone."

So… some stuff has changed, other events remain intact. As for just which events fall either side of that equation - well, your guess is as good as ours right now.

That said, the final 1973 shots - showing Logan’s inert body captured by William Stryker (or rather Mystique in disguise) - would seem to suggest that he will still go through that whole Weapon X, adamantium-grafted skeleton ordeal again, poor chap. And, of course, he still wound up at Xavier’s place somehow, as did Anna Paquin’s Rogue.

Also, the survival of Jean Grey and Cyclops would suggest Jean never become Dark Phoenix - but, presumably, this is something which could still happen again, somewhat differently to how it happened in ‘The Last Stand.’

In other words - nothing that went before is sacrosanct, so the possibilities for the future are more or less limitless. Who knows - maybe in some way this change in the timeline might even explain how Halle Berry’s Storm lost her dodgy Jamaican accent between ‘X-Men’ and ‘X2’…? (Yes, that was just bad joke.)

How did you like ‘Days of Future Past?’ What are your hopes for the future of the X-movies now? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ben Bussey is a freelance writer and comic book movie/sci-fi fantasy/horror enthusiast, who was pretty impressed with ‘Days of Future Past,’ and would rate it probably the third best film in the series after ‘X2’ and ‘First Class.’