by Brett White
Director Bryan Singer has really enjoyed keeping fans in the know as "X-Men: Days of Future Past" begins filming. So far he's been tweeting pictures of the cast as they undergo various costume fittings and special effects prep, showing off Professor X, Iceman, Storm, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. Each image has offered looks ranging from a glimpse to a full-on display of what each character will possibly be wearing in the new film, and they're all rather... odd when you look at them together.
They all seem to be somewhat cohesive, but they don't really look like a team. On top of that, none of them really look like X-Men uniforms. They all straddle the line between superhero costumes (Professor X and Storm) and edgy street wear (Wolverine and Kitty Pryde), without really belonging in either category. Iceman is just wearing a cool jacket with zippers. There's really nothing iconic or notable about any of these looks; they're all drab, looking more like the goth versions of the outfits seen in the trailers for "Star Trek Into Darkness."
As controversial and same-y as the X-Men's uniforms were in the first trilogy, they at least looked like a team, with every character allowed a little bit of individuality (only in piping color, but still...). The costumes were a big pet peeve of hardcore fans when the movies first came out over a decade ago, with myself included. But looking back, I have to say that they grew on me and looked good on the big screen. The leather uniforms at least went a long way towards legitimizing comic book superheroes for a mass audience convinced that superheroes were still for kids. Honestly, I'm not super bummed to see the leather look go, but I don't yet know if it's been replaced with something better.
This is even more confusing since "Days of Future Past" is the sequel to "X-Men: First Class," which expertly adapted the team's 1960s black and gold look into functional flight suits. I thought the X-Men looked great in the film.
One thing is clear, though, based on the five sneak peeks Singer has already given us. They're obviously shooting what I assume to be the future portion of the film, since every character shown is a classic returning character. We've yet to see photos of "First Class" vets like Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender or James McAvoy (we did get a glimpse of Beast, but whether or not that's actually Nicholas Hoult is unclear). It's possible that the 1973 X-Men will be sporting costumes as faithful to the X-Men's colorful '70s get-ups as the "First Class" flight suits were to the X-Men's '60s unifroms.
And that's what really bums me out about these set photos. I think the black leather was the right way to go back in 2000, but superhero movies have grown over the past decade and costume designers and filmmakers have figured out how to make a lot of the colorful comic book costumes work. Just look at how iconic/fun/cool/etc. the Avengers look.
They had to make a Norse god and a walking American flag work. And they did. Even the most recent Spider-Man costume just straight-up adapts the wall-crawler's look, circa the Mark Bagley-era. Maybe Wolverine's yellow spandex is a little bit much, but surely movie costumes could be made that echo all of the characters' iconic looks. I mean, the new costumes don't even have X's on them. Are they not X-Men?
This is, of course, a premature gripe based on a group of TwitPics. If the story dictates that the X-Men look this way, then that's fine (they are most likely living in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, if the film follows the source material). I will hold final judgement until "X-Men: Days of Future Past's" credits are rolling in front of my eyes next summer.
What do you think of the X-Men's new look? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!