'X-Men: Days of Future Past': Decoding CinemaCon's Time-Traveling Clip (Analysis)

New footage suggests that Wolverine isn't the only time-traveling character in Bryan Singer's new movie -- but what does that tell us about the story?

Longtime X-Men fans have bemoaned the fact that this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past sends Wolverine back in time to prevent a particularly dystopian future instead of Kitty Pryde, who served that role in the original comic version of the story. But what if there’s more going on than people suspected?

New footage from the movie shown at CinemaCon appears to suggest that Kitty Pryde does, in fact, attempt to time-travel in the movie -- along with another mutant known for his time-traveling habits.

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The footage includes Kitty and Bishop disappearing from a warehouse following the two attempting a ritual not unlike the one seen in Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s original Days of Future Past comic book. Not only that, but their disappearance also seemingly removes both Sentinels and damage from the warehouse, suggesting some kind of interruption in the timestream.

The choice of Bishop as Kitty’s time-traveling companion is a neat Easter egg for fans. The comic book incarnation of the character came from a future where humans and mutants had joined forces to end the threat posed to both by the Sentinels created in the Days of Future Past movie by Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask. If he is indeed jumping to the past in the movie, he’s not only staying true to his comic book roots, but arguably playing a part in the creation of the threat he’s known all his life.

Any possibility that Kitty and Bishop do travel to the past creates new questions relating to Wolverine’s purpose in doing the same thing later in the movie. Does something go wrong with Kitty and Bishop’s mission? Are they working at cross-purposes to each other? Or is something else entirely happening in the scene shown at CinemaCon?

Here’s some idle speculation: What if Days of Future Past owes something to The Terminator? In the original comic story, future Katherine Pryde travels to the past to prevent Mystique from murdering a U.S. senator in what amounted to little more than an act of terrorism for its own sake. What if, in the movie, future Wolverine travels to the past in order to prevent the murder of Bolivar Trask by Mystique, working with (or for) future Kitty and Bishop, a murder which would prevent the creation of the Sentinels in the first place and end the future extinction of the mutant race?

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Sure, it’s somewhat pretzel-ated logic, but that’s hardly unheard of in a time-travel movie. Such a setup would also mean that future Wolverine has an added emotional stake in the story, as he’d be up against a protege from his own past — but would it further complicate a movie already threatening to be filled with so many characters that audiences won't be able to keep up?

X-Men: Days of Future Past will be released in theaters May 23, ending speculation and undoubtedly causing more than a few headaches brought on by time-travel paradoxes.