If there was a problem with X-Men: First Class, it was that it didn’t quite jibe with the Bryan Singer X-Men films. Even though the film was supposed to take place in the same continuity as the X-Men films that came before it, but there were glaring changes (the Beast being a beast far earlier than 2003, Xavier getting crippled in 1962 yet walking in 1980, Mystique losing a personality) that made the connection very shaky.
That shouldn’t be a problem with the film’s sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, because it’s quickly turning out that most of the cast will be made up of actors from the first three X-Men films. Singer has announced via Twitter that three more of the cast members from those films will be joining Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen in Days of Future Past.
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) January 26, 2013
Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) were cast by Singer for the first X-Men film and appeared in all three. Ellen Page, however, was cast by Brett Ratner as a replacement for Katie Stuart in X-Men: The Last Stand when the role of Kitty Pryde was made larger. Good to see Singer isn’t holding that against her.
The only question we have is, “who’s next?” Let’s run down who’s left from the original films who as of yet have not been confirmed as having a role in the film.
- James Marsden and Famke Janssen: While both Cyclops and Jean Grey died in Last Stand (uh, spoilers), they could both show up here. Marsden is a Singer favorite (he brought the actor with him when he did Superman Returns) and his death technically was off screen. Janssen is another story entirely. Although the actress is rumored to have a cameo in The Wolverine, most of the press for that movie makes a point of saying that it follows Last Stand. I think, and this is just blind speculation, her cameo will be in a flashback to the end of that third film where Wolverine killed Jean Grey to save the world (uh, more spoilers?). So, as it stands, I think Jean Grey is dead in this continuity, and Cyclops might still be alive. So Marsden is more likely than Janssen. Of course, with time travel, you could make it so both are alive. Anyway…
- Halle Berry: Rumor has it that she will be reprising her role as Storm in this film. Rumor also has it that she and Singer didn’t get along in those first two films. From a plot aspect, it seems like she is a no brainer to return considering who else is coming back. And it is not going be a large time spent with Singer. But if she was coming back, it should have been officially announced by now, don’t you think?
- Tyler Mane/ Liev Schreiber: The two men that played Sabretooth. Odds are the scenes these actors appear in will be dystopian future (present?) where all mutants have to band together to fight off extinction. So, bad guys and good guys will come together. Whether or not Sabretooth makes the cut is anybody’s guess, and who would play him is an even bigger mystery. Will it be Mane, who Singer cast yet played the character as a monosyllabic brute, or the charismatic Schreiber, who played the character in a film producers are pretending never existed? Probably option three: avoid the problem and keep him out of the film.
- Ray Park: Toad didn’t have that big of a part in the first film, but the character did make it quite far into the process in X2: X-Men United. That might show that Singer has an affinity for the character. Or not.
- Rebecca Romijn: Romijn already had a cameo in First Class playing and adult version of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. Also, if the film wants to follow the comic book story, a member of the X-Men in the future will have to have their consciousness sent back in time to inhabit a younger version of themselves. In the comics, it was Kitty Pryde. That doesn’t play here. Odds are it won’t be either Xavier or Magneto sent back. So, the most likely candidate would be Mystique. I can’t see why Romijn won’t be coming back.
- Alan Cumming: He was cast by Singer to play Nightcrawler in X2 and planned to have a cameo in Last Stand. However, the cameo was scrapped supposedly because the cost of the makeup against the amount of screen time didn’t make sense, budget wise. Unless the cost has gone down considerably in seven years, Cumming is dubious at best.
- Aaron Stanford: He played Pyro in X2 and Last Stand. His rivalry with Iceman played a big part in both those films. Now that Ashmore is on board, could he be added to the cast? Maybe.
- Daniel Cudmore: Colossus plays a big part of the comic book story the film is based on, but a lot of that plays on the relationship the character had with Kitty Pryde in the comics, one that didn’t carry over to the film. Still, having Colossus in the film would be a nice bit of fan service, and Cudmore was the only one to play him.
- Kelsey Grammer: Beast is one of the few characters to appear in both the original trilogy and First Class. However, Grammer is two years away from being 60-years-old. Not to be ageist, but that might be a little too old for him to reprise his role as a bouncy furry monster.
- Ben Foster: He’s a good actor who would not be above doing a cameo. But his character of Angel in Last Stand was essentially a MacGuffin–not give much development other than what was need to move the plot along. Foster and the character deserved better, but as it stands, I doubt they’d bother to bring either back. See also Cameron Bright (Leech from Last Stand)
- Vinnie Jones, Dania Ramirez, Eric Dane or the rest of Magneto’s crew in Last Stand: While there are recognizable names in the mix, their characters were even less developed than Angel or Leech. Their involvement would only be as cannon fodder, and I doubt the actors would come back just for that.
- Taylor Kitsch and Ryan Reynolds: As I see it, these guys have three strikes against them. 1). They are all fairly major stars (even Kitsch, whose horrible 2012 hasn’t stopped him from getting prominent roles); 2) neither Gambit nor Deadpool has appeared in the main franchise, instead they 3) appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the film producers of The Wolverine have stated their movie was essentially rebooting. Doubtful they’d make an appearance here.
We’ll see how this all plays out in the coming weeks and months. X-Men: Days of Future Past arrives in theaters on July 18, 2014.