Warning - SPOILERS abound below, especially if you haven't seen X-Men: Days of Future Past yet.
If you have, though, then Simon Kinberg has been busy teasing some awesome reveals for the sequel, as well as opening up on some of the best bits of DoFP - and the reasoning behind them.
He kicked off proceedings - speaking to Vulture - by addressing the film's biggest reveal (and major relief to many, including this writer), the return to the X-Universe of Cyclops and Jean Grey:
For me, the fun of this movie from when I said, 'We should do Days of Future Past,' was literally the scene of changing the future and Jean is going to come back and Jean and Wolverine are going to have a reunion. Mainly because I carry such guilt over X-Men: [The Last Stand]. The way we killed Jean in X3 haunts me because I love the Dark Phoenix saga so much.
Asked whether or not he regretted X3 as a whole, he went on to add that:
It was a missed opportunity. That and Days of Future Past are my two favorite X-Men runs. So, I feel like what we did on "Dark Phoenix" was not make it the "Dark Phoenix" movie. We made "The Cure" movie with "Dark Phoenix" as a subplot. If I was going to do it now, and if we were doing it now because comic book movies are different, the darkness and the drama of that story would be differently supported.
And to discuss the original reasoning behind Cyclops' death:
People love Cyclops in the comics. Jimmy does an admirable job. Not to make this about X3, but in X3 we did what we did with Cyclops partly because we had a schedule nightmare. He was making, ironically, Superman with Bryan. We had a week with him and we needed to make a decision to integrate him into the film then lose him.
Moving on to the film's time travel elements, Kinberg reflected on the problematic nature of killing off most of your new cast members within seconds of meeting them:
There was definitely a line. The thing that's tricky about that is, you don't want the audience to think, 'Every time someone dies it's a trick, so I don't want to emotionally invest in them anymore.' But we wanted to establish Kitty's power as we've defined it, both visually and dramatically, as opposed to just verbally. And there's something radical about starting a movie with a bunch of characters and seeing how badass the villains, the Sentinels, are.
And of finding a way for Wolverine to survive prolonged drowning:
That was part of the challenge. Bryan and I asked, 'How do you actually put Wolverine in real jeopardy?' Not just getting shot or blown up. Bryan had some science for how the lungs would rebuild themselves.
He even discussed the nature of the Iceman/Kitty Pryde/Rogue love triangle, and what the film means for it (sharp eyed viewers may have noticed that despite the meaningful look between Kitty and Bobby early on, Kitty and Colossus seem very cozy in the final scenes, whilst Iceman and Rogue are obviously back together):
That is its own complicated thing because we shot a sequence with Rogue [for Days of Future Past]. But Rogue in that future, where Kitty and Bobby are living as refugees, is gone. She's gone from their lives. Even in the version we shot with Rogue, she was gone from their lives. And in the darkness and sadness of losing so many of their friends, and specifically Rogue, Bobby and Kitty ended up together. That's totally the intention of that look. We debated that look — would it confuse audiences? Would it look like a plan they're conceiving? It's just meant to be an emotional character moment between them. It's a subtle read. And the idea is that, once we've reset the world with the events of 1973, there was never a world in which their friends and Rogue were killed. So he never strayed from Rogue. He stayed with her as plotted in the original movies. Shit like that, in the whole movie with all the time travel stuff — what would have happened, what did happen, what changed — there's a rationale behind pretty much everything in the movie. We talked about a ton. I've never talked so much about a movie while making it.
And finally discussed both the subtle hint towards Quicksilver's parentage ("My Mom knew a man who could bend metal."):
A little tease. You know the intention of that tease. Hardcore fans will know. Some people who get that Magneto is a bit of a playboy will know.
As well as the lingering plot thread of Mystique impersonating Stryker at the film's close:
We really wanted to do something subtle with Stryker in this movie. We wanted it to be the beginning of the origin of him. He's in the shadows most of this film. In some ways, Stryker was included in order to trigger something for Wolverine. How would it impact Wolverine, going back in time and seeing this guy who is going to manipulate him in the future. That was just interesting. Stryker's been interesting in the books and the Brian Cox version was fantastic. But the last moment in the movie with the Mystique reveal … there's for sure more to that. As we follow the characters in to X-Men: Apocalypse, we have to address that and make it a real thing.
All of which doesn't get away from the most important thing: Cyclops and Jean Grey are back!
What do you guys think? Did anyone else get massively overexcited when they came on screen? Let me know below!
Cyclops and Jean Grey's return - excited?