Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Imposters #50: X-Men: Days of Future Past

There's no other way to put it: whoever made casting decisions for the X-series was lucky/brilliant twice. They hit on Sirs McKellan and Stewart, two men who could make a gripping and/or delightful tea ad. Then, a decade later, they snagged McAvoy and Fassbinder to play the same roles. I guess this is far easier for a casting director with the X-Franchise's budget.

But you have to be impressed that they found two young thesps who can legitimately (or actually?) hold a candle to their older peers. And you've gotta love that the promotional material never forgets: two men in their 70s are the most exciting elements of a teen-friendly action franchise.

So the divided image tells us a lot. The casts from X-Men: First Class and from the 2000s trilogy are in this. Hugh Jackman's Weapon X/Wolverine will play a central part. The first X-Spinoff establishes that the wild man ages slowly, so this story can involve both the past and present time periods in the series.

The inclusion of Jennifer Lawrence's part seemed weird to me at first. They must have her there because she's a big box office draw. Or because she's pretty. Or because baby's a freak, y'all..

Then I realized that she works as a mirror to Jackman. The whole graphic is mirrored: Some dudes fly in the air on the left, the X-plane soars on the right. One side of the picture has the new cast, the other has the original set. McKellan's and PStew's positions are reversed by the newbs, allowing both Prof X and Magneto to stand beside their own acolytes. Yet Fassbinder and Ian face the same way, as do McAvoy and Patrick. This contrasts with the other two figures, which are opposed to each other.

Lawrence is in a recessed position, whereas Hugh is ahead of her. The most consistent presence in this series is turned away from the viewer, while the actress who replaced a (more attractive) woman in the same role is forward-facing. It's a weird pyramid, to say the least.

But then I look at Wolvie's expression, and I can analyze no longer. His body's posture and seemingly... abashed(?) pose make me think: X-Men: The Passion of the Wolverine. And if Jackman would be willing to sing - and tap - while popping the claws and getting into fights, the tickets would be worth as much as they'd want to charge.

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