"X-Men: Days of Future Past” does an excellent job finding meaningful roles for almost all of the major characters in the previous four films in the superhero franchise, but one character conspicuously absent from the final cut despite appearing in the movie’s first trailer was Anna Paquin’s Rogue. In an interview posted on Empire, the film’s writer, Simon Kinberg, revealed new details about the abandoned subplot involving Rogue and explains why Paquin’s character was cut from the film.
This story contains SPOILERS from here on out.
On an Empire Film Podcast posted earlier this week, Kinberg answered questions about several details in the film, including the revelation that JFK’s mutant power was “a telepathy, a mind-control, the ability to persuade people to do things.” Among the most pressing and mysterious was a subplot involving Rogue that “Future Past” director Bryan Singer had previously said would not appear in the film.
The details supplied by Kinberg reveal that the ten-minute sequence, which will appear as a special feature when the movie is released on Blu-ray, “was originally there because I wanted a mission for the older Charles and Eric to do, something like 'Unforgiven' – two last gunslingers, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman – that kind of a mission for them. I just loved the idea of that. Nothing in the story necessitated that, but just for a lark, I thought it would be a cool thing to see, because we may never see it again.”
In the film, Kitty Pryde is injured when Wolverine’s claws pop out, compromising her ability to control his mental time trip. After abandoning a “terrible” idea of a serum that could help her, he and story co-writer Matthew Vaughn realized there was one mutant who could assume her powers.
“Rogue could be the McGuffin of that mission,” Kinberg says. “They’d have to get Rogue out of some dark scary place, and that’s what happens.”
Although he calls it “a really nice sequence,” Kinberg said that it had to be cut because it didn’t “service the main story.”
“I thought it would increase the urgency and the stakes of the plot in the future, but it actually does the opposite, because it makes you feel like there is an answer out there. You think once Rogue gets here, we’ll have an unlimited amount of time. The ticking clock that we’d established with Kitty getting wounded and losing her powers… well, Rogue would show up and press stop on the clock. So for all of those narrative reasons, there was this ten-minute subplot that had to go.”
Singer told Entertainment Weekly that Paquin “completely understood” being cut from the film. Ultimately, although her screen time was reduced to a quick shot in the utopic, happy ending-verse at the X-Men Academy, it was probably a good thing that Paquin was cut from the film; the careful plotting that leads to parallel climaxes is one of the film’s biggest strengths.