X-Men: Days Of Future Past ending explained (spoilers)

Extreme spoiler warning as X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer explains the ending

James McAvoy as Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days Of Future Past
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Following Logan’s apocalypse-avoiding (but not Apocalypse-avoiding) journey to 1973 in X-Men: Days Of Future Past, he wakes once more 50 years in the future, to be greeted by a new present – one which effectively retcons the events of X-Men, X2 and The Last Stand, as well as the standalone Wolverine movies.

While fans will doubtless have mixed feelings about the reboot, writer and producer Simon Kinberg has no qualms about taking advantage of the butterfly effect to do a bit of backtracking.

Logan and Deadpool (urgh) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Logan and Deadpool (urgh) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Simon Kinberg on rebooting the X-Men movie universe

“It was something that Brian [Singer, director] and I talked about from the beginning,” he tells SciFiNow exclusively. “When I started actually getting inside of it and thinking about telling a time travel story, I knew that there’d be ripples – butterfly effect – from whatever we did in the past into what is established history.

“I really wanted to be careful to honour the things that were most sacred about X1 through 3 – Charles Xavier’s relationship with Logan for example – and so some of those things we held true to. And then there were other things that, to be honest, I personally wanted to have a chance to erase or try again.

“I was very aware that we were resetting the reality of X-Men. Just like Logan says at the end of the movie, we all don’t really know now what happened between 1973 and that moment.”

It’s a neat little handwave, because there’s still loads of things we don’t know – like how Logan ended up in the Weapon-X project and got his Adamantium skeleton if he was being led away by Mystique-as-Stryker and not Stryker himself.

James Marsden as Cyclops in X-Men: The Last Stand
James Marsden as Cyclops in X-Men: The Last Stand

Simon Kinberg on bringing Cyclops back from the dead

The cynics among us might suggest that Fox are simply looking for a means to breathe new life into the hugely successful franchise by giving themselves the opportunity to start over from the beginning. But Kinberg reveals he had a personal reason for the controversial reset which brings Cyclops (James Marsden) and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) back in the film’s final scene to reveal that events may now have unfolded radically differently.

“I worked on X-Men 3, which I have some pride about and some guilt about. If I could do any movie in my life over again, that’s the one I would do,” he explains.

“I feel that we didn’t do justice to the Dark Phoenix story. I know the fans felt – and I feel the same way as a fan – that Scott didn’t get what he deserved. It was a very unceremonious goodbye. Frankly, some of that was because of scheduling reasons [James Marsden was shooting Superman Returns], but nevertheless the effect is that somebody you’ve grown to love and care about is just dispatched with.

“So I had this moment very early on in the process of outlining Days Of Future Past where I thought we could bring him back. I wasn’t sure where it would take place – initially it was slightly different – but we had this moment in the future where we could resurrect the people who we lost in the wrong ways.

“I saw the scene in the cutting room and almost every time it would bring tears to my eyes. We kept it hidden because we were so nervous about it getting out, so I thought I was a bit crazy and the audience would be like, ‘Who the fuck are these guys?’. But at the premiere, people went crazy when they saw it and I think that’s going to be true for a lot of fans.”
X-Men: Days Of Future Past will be released on 22 May 2014. Read our massive behind the scenes special in the new issue of SciFiNow and find out more about the comics that inspired the film with our awesome new digital magazine Uncanny Comics.