X-Men Writer Explains Why Wolverine Does the Time Traveling in Days of Future Past

Wolverine has been one of the most popular super heroes for decades. In film, Hugh Jackman has successfully translated the clawed mutant’s popularity to the big screen. He’s been the focal character of all the X-films so far (except for X-Men: First Class) and so it’s not a surprise that he’ll be the main character of the upcoming film X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the film, Wolverine has his consciousness sent back in time to the 1970s from a dystopian future overrun by mutant-killing robots called Sentinels, for the purpose of trying to stop an assassination that changes the course of the future.

The screenplay is based upon a popular comic book story arc, wherein young mutant Kitty Pryde has her mind sent back in time to save the future. Ever since the announcement of the film version, many diehard comic fans have wondered why the script has switched around the main characters and given Wolverine the starring role, rather than Kitty. Ellen Page—who plays Kitty Pryde—is a talented actress who has proven she can carry a film on her own. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Juno. So why was she pushed into a supporting role in favor of Jackman’s Wolverine?

According to Kinberg, there are several reasons why it’s more logical to have Wolverine as the main hero, instead of Kitty. Kinberg said, “We made the decision for a lot of reasons, some of them obvious and some of them more nuanced, to make it Wolverine who goes back in time. One reason is that he’s the protagonist of the franchise, and probably the most beloved character to a mass audience. But probably the bigger reason is that when we started thinking about the logistical realities of Kitty’s consciousness being sent back in time, to her younger self, as opposed to her physical body being sent back, it was impossible. Obviously in the book it’s Kitty, but you’re talking about an actress who, in the age of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, would have been negative-20 years old. So we started thinking again, and the first reflex response to that was a character who doesn’t age. Wolverine is the only character who would look the same in 1973 as he does in the future.”

Do you think it was a good idea to make Wolverine the star of Days of Future Past, or should the studio start moving away from their over-reliance on Wolverine/Jackman and start building up other characters for the audience to bond with?