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What if, somehow, you could go back in time and correct a past mistake, thereby preventing a devastating future? Those paying close attention know that’s the basic premise behind Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, which makes its way to theaters later this month. And in preparation for the time-traveling comic book thriller, perennial Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, used technology to go "back" in time and interview himself – in 1999, the year before the very first X-Men movie came out.
Here’s what I most appreciate about the bit, shared via Yahoo Movies. Hugh Jackman half commits. They decorate the set for 1999 Jackman with a lava lamp, some generic toys, and put the actor in what looks like a Varsity football jacket to "sell" the time period. But Jackman’s wearing the same t-shirt, and didn’t even shave the goatee. I mean, he’s invested in the bit… but not really going for broke here.
Visually, Jackman might not commit, but he does have a lot of fun with jokes pertaining to his longevity in the film business, in the X-Men franchise – and to the age of this X-Men: First Class franchise. "Some of whom have just been born," he riffs about 1999. Hey, Hugh Jackman! Jennifer Lawrence was born in 1990, thank you very much.
Jackman also gets huge bonus points for recognizing that Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain are two of the best movies he worked on over the course of his career. Hard to argue.
Let’s take this gag one step further. Here’s Hugh Jackman from an actual X-Men interview in 2000:
In someone else’s hands, this promotional bit could have been cheesy. But Hugh Jackman saved up enough audience cred to be able to pull off this marketing while still making it charming and funny. And thankfully, there are still plenty of ass-kicking X-Men: Days of Future Past action scenes floating around the Internet to help gets fans revved up for the film’s opening weekend. But the gimmick that 20th Century Fox needs to position to non-fans (or casual fans) is the time-travel aspect of the Days of Future Past plotline, and I think this Yahoo Movies clip does that, nicely.
For an alternate take, watch Jennifer Lawrence take down a room full of soldiers in this exciting tease. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens everywhere on May 23.