Back in 2013, when it was announced that Bryan Singer was going to merge his X-Men universe (as seen in X-Men and X2) with the one Matthew Vaughn established in X-Men: First Class (a period film about the origins of the group of super mutants), X-fans were giddy, especially since Singer’s film would be based on the seminal X-Men story, ”Days of Future Past.” In it a member of the X-Men living in the bleak, distant future travels back in time to warn the present day X-Men of what’s to come and what they must do to change it.
Throughput the production, Singer, a master of social media, Tweeted pictures of the sets and the cast, including Anna Paquin, who portrayed Rogue in Singer’s groundbreaking superhero movies. Seeing as Rogue was a central character in Singer’s stories, it only made sense that she would play some significant role in his new X-Men film. Or so we thought.
As the release of the film drew closer, Singer and his writer, Simon Kinsberg, both felt that an entire subplot involving Rogue did not propel the story forward and that they could cut the 17 minutes of time this part of the story occupies on screen. Thus, the Academy Award winning actress who was the star of a hit HBO series was excised from the movie, save for a cameo at the very end. For anyone who saw the theatrical cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s almost jarring with Paquin shows up, more jarring than Kelsey Grammer in blue fur.
For those who’ve wondered what that storyline was about and how it played a role in Days of Future Past, 20th Century Fox now fulfills your burning desires with “The Rogue Cut,” an extended version of the film that includes Paquin and the rescue mission in the middle of the movie that brings Rogue into the fold. Having seen the theatrical cut (which I love) and this new version, I have to say I believe the right decision was made in making the cut. Not that seeing Rogue rejoin her mutant family and watching Magneto, Xavier and Iceman (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Shawn Ashmore) in action saving her isn’t great, but Kinsberg was right, it doesn’t add anything to the story. To further my point, they seamlessly edited around the scenes that Paquin was originally in.
Nevertheless, if you were a big fan of the theatrical version of the movie, this is still a great ride, with Evan Peters’ Quicksilver still stealing every scene he’s in. That’s an pretty impressive feat since he shares scenes with Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. Man, am I happy that Peters will return in X-Men: Apocalypse, hopefully in a larger capacity.
Some may gripe about Fox putting out this film in its new form is a rip-off to those fans who bought the theatrical cut upon its original Blu-ray release. I have the give the studio credit, though, not only did they include both versions of the film on this new Blu-ray, but they added over 90 minutes of new bonus material, including feature length commentary by Singer and his editor/composer John Ottman, a documentary about the making of the film and a sneak peek at Fox’s upcoming film, Fantastic Four.
X-Men:Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut is available now on Blu-ray and Digital HD.