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It's not exactly a secret that Wolverine is the A-list star of 20th Century Fox's X-Men movies. Including the cameo in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, the anti-hero mutant is the only character to appear in all of the franchise's titles, and as a result Hugh Jackman holds the record for playing the same superhero the most times in a live action comic book film. As a result, it wasn't a complete surprise when it was revealed this past summer that the plot of Bryan Singer's upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past will feature Wolverine in the story's most important role. But now screenwriter Simon Kinberg has revealed to Total Film (via SlashFilm) why having Logan be the key to the new movie's plot actually makes the most sense logically as well as economically.
In the upcoming superhero epic, Wolverine has his consciousness sent back in time from an apocalyptic future overrun by mutant killing robots to try and stop a cataclysmic event that winds up changing the fate of the world. In the original comic book arc, written by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin, it was actually Kitty Pryde - played by Ellen Page in the movie - who sent her mind back to the past, but that detail has been changed. So what's the explanation behind the change?
"We made the decision for a lot of reasons, some of them obvious and some of them more nuanced, to make it Wolverine who goes back in time," Kinberg explained. "One reason is that he’s the protagonist of the franchise, and probably the most beloved character to a mass audience." Beyond that, however, there was also logic and details within the timeline that the writer and Vaughn had to consider while penning the screenplay. Said Kinberg,
"Probably the bigger reason is that when we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back..it was impossible. Obviously in the book it’s Kitty, but you’re talking about an actress [Ellen Page] who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative 20 years old. So we started thinking again, and the first reflex response to that was a character who doesn’t age. Wolverine is the only character who would looks the same in 1973 as he does in the future."
While I agree that this approach does make sense, it would also be nice to see the X-Men franchise start moving in other directions. Jackman is great as Wolverine and as a life-long comic book fan it's nearly impossible not to appreciate the work the actor has done for the series over the last 13 years, but the X-Men universe is so huge that it doesn't really make sense to just keep focusing on one character. In addition to Days of Future Past we'll be getting a sequel to The Wolverine in the near future as well. Perhaps after that the franchise will start to move on to some of their other starring players.