Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
Matt Risley writes for Total Film about Bryan Singer’s decision to cut Anna Paquin from X-Men: Days of Future Past…
“With so many characters already taking up screen time, it was inevitable that some would be lesser-served, although the decision to cut a recognisable star out of the finished product is still surprising.
Still, fans can look forward to hopefully seeing the sequence on the DVD release, and as Singer’s still keen to sing Paquin’s praises, there’s every chance she could appear in the next X-Men movie, Apocalypse.”
Read the full article here.
Originally revealing this to Entertainment Weekly, Bryan Singer praises Paquin (she’s even in the trailer!) – but her role was ultimately unneeded. As Risley states, it is surprising that of all characters, she is lost. In X-Men, Rogue and Wolverine were the driving force behind the film. It charts Rogue – and Wolverine’s – allegiance with the X-Men and, in the climax, reveals how Rogue gained her unique-streak of white hair. Shawn Ashmore will still feature as Iceman next year – yet, in the 2000, Iceman was merely a (passing?) love-interest to the lead character of Rogue.
Clearly, X-Men: Days of Future Past is primarily using the cast from X-Men: First Class, but this particular role I was interested to see develop further. This recent news gives the impression that developing roles from the first three X-Men films is not the priority and it is more likely that the 2014 blockbuster will be establishing a defined cast to drive the series forward – and closing the door on cast members who do not want to remain involved. Anna Paquin, now a TV star in True Blood, may have no intention of re-teaming with the X-Men in the long-run, as her character featured so briefly in the first place – to the point that it was easily cut out.
Then again, her character (alongside many, many others) lost her powers in X-Men: The Last Stand. Rogue decides to be “cured”, Magneto and Mystique lose their powers while Professor X explodes into a million pieces. All these questions, and more, I hope are answered in Days of Future Past, and I have a feeling that this decision means story is taking precedence. If this feat of connecting over thirteen-years of backstory and, in many cases, unconnected narratives don’t ring true, then fans will be disappointed. X-Men in 2000, set the benchmark for blockbuster, modern super-hero storytelling. Due to what Bryan Singer achieved in 2000, the future was set – leading to The Avengers and The Dark Knight. The success of the film – and its sequel – showed that modernising comic-book characters for a contemporary audience was not only possible, but highly profitable. X-Men also dug deeper with themes of oppression and discrimination running through the series – a notable scene showing Shawn Ashmore’s ‘Iceman’ “coming out” to his parents in X2 remains a high point in the franchise.
Anna Paquin was part of those early days, and though I respect Singer’s decision to cut her out for the sake of story, I hope she returns. If the story fails in X-Men: Days of Future Past, then the chance of Anna Paquin returning to the series at all is even more unlikely and what a loss that would be.