WonderCon 2014: President Nixon and More X-Men: Days of Future Past News

X-Men: Days of Future Past

With X-Men: Days of Future Past coming out next month, 20th Century Fox showed fans at WonderCon in Annaheim an extended scene from the film this weekend. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg spoke about the film and revealed some '70s tidbits from the time travel film. For one, President Nixon himself will appear in the film.

"We used clips in First Class of Kennedy," Kinberg said. "In this we wanted to actually make the president more of a character. There are scenes between Richard Nixon and Mutants, and a significant scene between him and Bolivar Trask. We wanted to play with the period and even the notion of potentially some of those tapes that went missing might have something to do with a mutant encounter."

In Days of Future Past, Wolverine goes back in time to help the X-men stop the Sentinels from destroying the future. "Some of the challenges are in the '70s are that the hair and the clothes can be very goofy very fast," Kinberg said. "And, like any time travel movie, we are in two eras that are interacting and they intercut on the screen. They have to have their own distinct looks but they also have to be able to play with each other. So you’ve seen both the future, it’s darker more somber look, and we have a very bright, splashy color palette for the '70s. Visually it was a challenge and narratively just to be between two periods where you have often cases of one character being played by two actors adds this challenge of going back and forth between old and young Magneto and Xavier, and old and young Wolverine."

The trailers feature young and old Professor Xavier facing off, with James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart in the same frame. This scene is even more significant than it might appear in the trailer, said Kinberg.

"That scene between old and young Xavier was the first day James McAvoy was on set. James doesn’t get terrified but he definitely was a little intimidated I suppose. What was neat is it was the bridge between, we shot the first period of the film for about six weeks with the original cast, with Ian and Patrick, Halle [Berry], Ellen Page and others. Then we transitioned into the First Class cast and they were the rest of the movie which was the bulk of the movie. So that hinge between the two periods and the two casts was the only scene in which they interacted. James joked that he and Patrick were having a nose off. A lot of the scene is actually profile as in the trailer. They both have significant noses."

Peter Dinklage also stars as the villain Boliver Trask. "When we stared talking about who could inhabit one of the most iconic villains in the history of the X-Men, it needed to be an actor who could stand alongside and face off with Fassbender and McAvoy and Jen Lawrence and Nic Hoult and Hugh Jackman, that level of actor. Very clearly he was our first and only choice, and luckily the Game of Thrones people were nice and let him out long enough for us to shoot with him. He gives a sort of gravity and humanity to the part that is hard to do with a villain."

X-Men: Days of Future Past arrives May 23.

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