It was back in January when X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer revealed that the growing cast of the X-Men: First Class sequel would also see the return of familiar faces Iceman, Kitty Pryde and Rogue, played by Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page and Anna Paquin, respectively. They, along with most of the franchise staples from the original X-Men movie trilogy return for the sections of the Days of Future Past story that take place in a post-apocalyptic future – in an alternate timeline.
With so many mutant characters vying for screen time in the ensemble(s), we knew many major characters from Marvel Comics wouldn’t get much to do, especially with star Hugh Jackman describing the project as three movies in one. It’s so packed in fact, that at least one of the major characters won’t even make it into the theatrical version of the film.
EW spoke with Bryan Singer who confirmed that Anna Paquin’s scenes as the X-Men character Rogue had to be cut.
“Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous. It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it.”
Singer continued, explaining that the decision to remove Rogue from the theatrical cut entirely had nothing to do with Paquin’s performance.
“She was awesome in the sequence. She’s a brilliant actress. I would work with her in a heartbeat.”
The scene in question involved Rogue, Iceman, Professor X and Magneto and a rescue mission and parts of that appear in the X-Men: Days of Future Past teaser trailer. We heard that she only had a few scenes but that they were relatively important ones so the fact they she’s cut out entirely could mean there have been some late-stage tweaks to the project.
It’s possible that since X-Men: Apocalype just recently became an official project in the works for a 2016 release – with Singer, Simon Kinberg, Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty working out the story - that Days of Future Past has changed since it finished shooting. Perhaps now it was re-worked a bit with the extra weeks of shooting that occurred this month to lead into and setup Apocalypse but that’s just speculation. We still don’t know who’s returning from Days of Future Past for the next sequel outside of the main stairs of X-Men: First Class who are contracted for three pictures each.
As for Rogue, fans disappointed in how the character was underutilized in the X-Men trilogy – and arguably ruined in X3: The Last Stand - are so desensitized to her not getting a fair shake in the film universe that Anna Paquin’s scenes being cut will have no effect. It’s par for the course after all. While promoting X3, Paquin made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t too impressed that after three films she still didn’t get to acquire additional powers and partake in the action. That trend continues here, but in this case, it seems to be in service of polishing the story which we can’t complain about. More reason to pick up X-Men: Days of Future Past on home video?
Rob Keyes blogs at Screen Rant.