Now We Know Why Rogue Was Cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past

The thing is, we already knew why Rogue was cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past.

In an interview with Empire last year, screenwriter Simon Kinberg said: “[Rogue’s involvement] does not 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.”

As a result, a 10-minute subplot involving a mission to rescue Rogue was cut from the theatrical release of the hit Bryan Singer film, essentially relegating Oscar-winning actress and X-Men alum Anna Paquin to a silent, split-second cameo appearance at the end of the film.

Fans wanted more, and Fox, being a for-profit company that, gasp, likes to make money, has released a new Rogue Cut version of the movie so that it can get fans like you to cough up another $20 for what is essentially the same movie. Thankfully, I typically get my DVDs and Blu-rays for free (a perk of being a movie critic), and so I don’t feel cheated by receiving a Blu-ray package that includes both the theatrical and Rogue Cut versions of a pretty solid film.

Now that the Rogue Cut has been unleashed, it’s pretty obvious that Kinberg was quite honest about why Rogue was cut–in fact, more honest than you normally get from these types. X-Men: Days of Future Past isn’t much better or worse with Rogue in the movie, simply different, and that’s not a good or bad thing. A few observations:

  • The Rogue Cut adds 17 minutes to the movie’s already long length, though the film’s pacing doesn’t really suffer as a result.
  • Some of the additions are a few added seconds or scenes here or there, not all related to the presence of Rogue. Since it’s been over a year since I last saw the movie, I didn’t pick up on some of the more nuanced changes.
  • The obvious alterations don’t appear until at least an hour in, when Rogue–or the discussion of Rogue–finally enters the picture.
  • Interestingly, Rogue is primarily used as a plot device–as Kinberg said, to give a couple of the future X-Men something to do (an issue I had with the theatrical version)–and she herself doesn’t have much, if any, of a character or story arc herself. Paquin says very little.
  • Rogue is brought into the movie to (mini-spoiler) take over duties from Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), who has been injured by Wolverine. Since Rogue can steal others’ powers, she absorbs Kitty’s and becomes the conduit for Wolverine to travel back in time. Again, as Kinberg explained, this actually diminishes the stakes of the plot in the future, because as the movie approaches its climax, not only are the future X-Men trying to fend off the Sentinels long enough for Wolverine to save things in the past, but a seriously wounded Kitty is trying to stay conscious long enough to do the same. With Rogue taking over, this second source of suspense is eliminated.
  • With a few small tweaks, Bryan Singer was able to cut Rogue from the movie and shorten the film’s length considerably. Any time a director/editor is able to do this without negatively affecting the film’s narrative, this is a good thing.

All in all, X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut is as entertaining as the theatrical version, but the addition of Rogue doesn’t truly enhance the story in any way or form. Ultimately, it’s a director’s cut that is 17 minutes longer. If you already own the original version, is it worth buying this alternative cut? Probably not. But it’s still worth checking out.

Read my original X-Men: Days of Future Past review.

By Erik Samdahl
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