In an interview with Polygon, the writer behind Days of Future Past explained how the introduction of a “hard sci-fi” theme like time travel in an X-Men movie allowed other franchises to begin exploring alternate realities and timelines. “It sort of opened up what we could do because even though it wasn’t technically the multiverse thing that, ultimately, I think in some ways spawned it, it was outside the bounds of linear storytelling on Earth. It was other dimensions,” Kinberg explained. He continued on to say that while Fox didn’t push back on the concept, it apparently wasn’t too eager to pay for the movie’s expanded cast of characters that included both young and older versions of established mutants.
Days of a Franchise Past
Despite worries about the budget, X-Men: Days of Future Past proved to be a massive success both critically and commercially. The ambitious narrative focuses on Wolverine, who is mentally sent back in time to 1973 in a bid to stop Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask, an event that prompts the United States government to create the Sentinels. An army of adaptive robots programmed to annihilate all mutants, their existence causes a Hellish future where all of those with the X-gene are hunted down and brutally murdered.
Beyond the complexity of its story, Days of Future Past is beloved for uniting two generations of X-Men as veterans of the franchise like Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, known for roles as Professor X and Magneto, respectively, came into contact with their younger variants introduced in X-Men: First Class in the form of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. The events of Days of Future Past, often regarded as the best live-action X-Men movie, led to X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Pheonix, neither of which managed to impress critics.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently available to stream on Max.