Writer-Producer Simon Kinberg Talks About the Shocking ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past′ Ending [SPOILERS]
First of all, if you plan on seeing ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ but haven’t yet, this is your one and only warning that a lot of spoilers are contained from this point on. Are we good? OK, here we go…
After Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness is sent back in time to his younger self, this creates a ripple effect that completely changes everything that previously happened in the earlier X-Men movies. When Wolverine wakes up back in the future at the X-Mansion, he immediately runs into the older Beast (Kelsey Grammer) — and, more shockingly, Cyclops (James Marsden) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who both perished in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’
Coincidentally, not only did Simon Kinberg write ‘Days of Future Past,’ he also co-wrote ‘The Last Stand,’ a movie that this new film nullifies. How secret were these scenes? As Kinberg explains, when he first started screening the film, he wasn’t allowed to show these scenes even to his closest friends.
Was the goal of ‘Days of Future Past’ to almost reset the franchise?
You know, at the end of this movie, they do return to the world and the location and many of the characters of ‘X1,’ ‘X2,’ and ‘X3′ — but, with some things changed. But it is absolutely this notion of sort of reshuffling and, in a way, laying out coherently the continuity, which was a big conversation.
I never thought I’d be so happy to see Scott Summers.
[Laughs] I killed him.
And now you brought him back to life. How does that feel?
It feels really good to bring him back to life. I really love the character from the books and the truth is, when we were making ‘X3,’ we didn’t have a lot of time with James because, ironically, he was shooting ‘Superman Returns’ with Bryan [Singer]. So, we did what we could with the character in the time we had allotted, that I would do differently in a perfect universe.
It was odd to have the leader of the team killed off so quickly and almost unceremoniously.
Yeah, that’s for sure true. I’ve seen ‘Days of Future Past’ with a few sort of friends kind of audience, but we’ve never shown that last scene of the people coming back because we wanted to keep it secret. We didn’t even trust friends to keep it secret. And hopefully it will stay secret [until the movie is released]. But, I know when I saw those scenes for the first time when we were shooting them, it feels really good. It’s a really weirdly — it’s so emotional.
And you killed Jean Grey and now you brought her back, too. You’re undoing all of it.
If another writer had brought them back to life, negating ‘X3,’ a movie you wrote, would you have been mad?
I don’t think so. I think I would have been happy to see them back. Yeah, no, I would have been probably as happy as everybody in the audience — and maybe even felt a measure of relief.
Why relief? That’s an interesting way to put it.
Because, you know, I love those characters and I wish they had had stronger — especially for Cyclops; for Scott — I wish Scott had had a more dramatic end to his run in the franchise.
Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.