IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg Talks 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Blu-ray/DVD, 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' Another Original Trilogy Cast Film, 'Gambit,' and the 'X-Men/Fantastic Four' Crossover Movie

Sunday, 05 October 2014 20:07 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg Talks 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Blu-ray/DVD, 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' Another Original Trilogy Cast Film, 'Gambit,' and the 'X-Men/Fantastic Four' Crossover Movie

Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has worked on some of the most popular fan-favorite franchises of all-time!

Kinberg has written such successful films as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jumper and Sherlock Holmes. But it was his work on the screenplay for X-Men: The Last Stand that made him a household name among comic book nerds everywhere. Since then he has gone on to produce X-Men: First Class, write the recently announced Gambit solo movie, and write and produce the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. He also wrote and produced last summer’s critically acclaimed X-Men: Days of Future Past, which will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning October 14th. But Kinberg isn’t just an X-Men eXpert, as he also wrote and produced next summer’s highly anticipated Fantastic Four, as well as writing and producing the new Star Wars Rebels TV series. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is based on the classic X-Men comic book storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, begins 10 years in the future where giant robots called Sentinels are killing mutants and humans alike. In a desperate final attempt for survival, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) use Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 in order to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), which caused the world’s hatred of mutants and the advancement of the Sentinel program. Now in the past, Logan must unite an emotionally shattered young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) with Magneto, (Michael Fassbender) who has been imprisoned for the assassination of JFK. With the help of Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and a mutant named Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters), they break Magneto out of jail and journey to stop Mystique before it’s too late, in the process, hopefully, changing the future for the better.

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Simon Kinberg about his work on X-Men: Days of Future Past, as well as X-Men: Apocalypse, another original trilogy cast film, Gambit, and the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie. The accomplished writer/producer discussed X-Men: Days of Future Past, the challenges of adapting a two-issue comic book story into a feature film, how X-Men: Apocalypse will be the completion of the First Class cast trilogy, if Hugh Jackman will appear as Logan/Wolverine in Apocalypse, if Gambit will be reintroduced in Apocalypse or his own movie first, if there will ever be another film featuring the original trilogy cast set in the new Days of Future Past continuity, and which X-Men franchise actors and characters will appear in the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie. 


Here is what writer/producer Simon Kinberg had to say about X-Men: Days of Future Past Blu-ray/DVD, X-Men: Apocalypse, another original trilogy cast film, Gambit, and the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie:

IAR: To begin with, congratulations on X-Men: Days of Future Past. As a longtime X-Men fan, I think it’s the best film in the series so far. 

Simon Kinberg: Thank you very much. That means a ton to me. I am very proud of the movie. I would say X2 is still my favorite of the X-Men movies. But even to be neck and neck with that movie is good enough for me.

The X-Men comic book storyline that inspired by X-Men: Days of Future Past is actually only two issues long. Can you talk about the challenges of adapting the two-issue story, filling it out with the current X-Men cinematic continuity and making a new original film?

Kinberg: Yeah, it was a big challenge. Obviously, the biggest logistical challenge was who to send back in time. That was a huge decision and that was the place we deviated the most from the books. It has been pretty well documented why. I think ultimately what it gave us was more emotional depth. I knew going into this, that this would be Charles’ movie. First Class was Erik’s origin from being a loner to being a guy who says, “Call me Magneto,” and has the beginnings of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants behind him. So this movie would see Charles go from his darkest place to essentially the beginnings of becoming Professor Xavier. Once we had the architecture for the movie, really what filled it in was all the character stuff. It was making it a movie about the core relationship that we created in First Class between Erik, Charles and Raven. That sort of triangle in the film in some ways provided almost everything else in the movie. That is what inspired Raven being not just the character that you cannot let fall into the villain’s hands, but also the MacGuffin of the movie. It is what motivated the midpoint turn in the film where Erik tries to kill Raven and goes from potentially being an ally to being the enemy. It was that core relationship, that was perhaps more true to the movie universe than certainly the Days of Future Past comic book universe, that provided a lot of material for the film.


You’ve recently said that X-Men: Apocalypse will “complete the trilogy” that you began with X-Men: First Class. Has there been any talk of doing an X-Men film with the original cast set in the new continuity we see at the end of Days of Future Past?

Kinberg: You mean with Ian (McKellan), Patrick (Stewart), Halle (Berry) and the original cast? Potentially. We have really been in truth so focused on what the next movie is, which is its own vast undertaking. All of our energy is really focused on X-Men: Apocalypse right now, which is the continuation and in some ways completion of that First Class trilogy. That’s not to say we are not also going to follow those (First Class) actors and characters past Apocalypse, but it emotionally completes the relationship arcs from First Class. But, listen, I love that (original) cast. That is the cast I first worked with 10 years ago. We worked on X-Men: The Last Stand, then I came to really care about many of them. I am a fan of theirs too.

Has it been confirmed that Hugh Jackman will return as Logan/Wolverine in X-Men: Apocalypse?

Kinberg: I think we are not announcing that yet. I have to check the Internet to see if that has been announced.

It was reported that Jackman, and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker confirmed that Logan would appear in Apocalypse at the Days of Future Past theatrical press day.

Kinberg: Whatever they said I agree with. 


You are also writing the Gambit solo movie screenplay. Will Gambit be introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse or not until his own film is released?

Kinberg: I would say also to be announced at a later point. But we are just starting to figure out the Gambit movie, so there is a lot to be figured out.


Finally, if X-Men: Apocalypse is, as you say, the “completion” of the First Class trilogy. Then which X-Men franchise actors and characters would appear in a possible X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie?

Kinberg: I have no idea. Honestly, I am not being coy. The truth is I am so focused on completing the Fantastic Four movie and getting Apocalypse started, that we are not really thinking many movies down the line. There is an overall timeline for each of the franchises that we have been talking about. We want to tell stories in a larger way, the way that Marvel has, creating a tapestry of multiple movies that can stand alone but feel that they are part of something larger. I have said this before but the challenge in doing an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover is that they take place in different dimensions. In the Fantastic Four universe there is no acknowledgement of a world of mutants or that a stadium dropped on the White House in 1973. In the X-Men world there is no real talk about public super heroes like in the Fantastic Four. It has challenges. We have seen comic books do it. As a fan of those franchises, and as a fan of the crossovers in the comics, I would like to see it but for now we are very focused on the individual movies.

X-Men: Days of Future Past will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning October 14th. 

To watch our 2013 Comic-Con video with director Bryan Singer and the cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past, please click here

X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled for release on May 27th, 2016.

Gambit is currently in development.

X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie is currently in development. 

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