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Anna Paquin as Rogue (Photo: Fox)
When it comes to “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” there just might be too many mutants … and at least one of them has ended up on the cutting room floor (or in the recycle bin — however it works with editing movies these days).
This will come as sobering news to Sookie Stackhouse fans, as it’s Anna Paquin’s Rogue who apparently won’t be appearing in the overstuffed superhero mashup, which combines the cast of the original “X-Men” trilogy with the young’uns of “X-Men: First Class” (2011). Director Bryan Singer has revealed that he’s cut an early rescue sequence that features Rogue and fellow “X”-alums Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman).
"It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it," Singer said to EW.com. “But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it.”
[Related: 'X-Men: Apocalypse Announced for May 2016]
Singer also assured that the decision had nothing to do with the acting skills of the Oscar-winning Paquin, whom he worked with in “X-Men” (2000) and “X2” (2003).
"She did a fantastic job," said the Singer, adding that Paquin "completely understood" about the change and that, like some "X-Men" characters, "films evolve."
There’s a chance that Paquin will still appear in “Days of Future Past” via the film’s upcoming reshoots, but for now, don’t expect to see Marie D’Ancato amongst the many, many faces of the mutant lineup.
Actually, there are other superhero flicks from the days of both the future and past that could’ve benefited from following Singer’s lead. The comic book movie genre has been struggling with overloaded ensembles for quite some time. More than one Batman movie being criticized for having “too many villains,” from Joel Schumacher’s reviled “Batman & Robin” (Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and that thing that was supposed to be Bane) to Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” (Catwoman, Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, and Bane).
The ultra-ensemble approach to superhero movies is only getting … well, bigger. Based on the trailer, it looks like Andrew Garfield’s wall-crawler will be facing off against the triple threat of the Green Goblin, Electro, and Rhino in next summer’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” as Sony paves the way for the mega-villain mashup, “The Sinister Six” — and seems to be favoring the bad guys over the good, as Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson was cut from the film earlier this year.
Meanwhile, “Batman vs. Superman” has already made Gotham and Metropolis overcrowded with the addition of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and whoever “Game of Thrones” alum Jason Momoa might be playing (fans are speculating either Martian Manhunter or even Aquaman).
[Related: Meet the New Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot]
Joss Whedon proved that he knew how to make a superhero ensemble work in “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012), but he arguably has a more challenging task ahead of him with the 2015 sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which will include the addition of at least two extra good guys (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) … and maybe even a second bad guy to go along with James Spader’s Ultron, per the recent rumors that H.Y.D.R.A. bigwig Baron von Strucker will be making an appearance.
We’ll have to see if any of these upcoming superhero movies will suffer any “Days of Future Past” kinds of character casualties in an attempt to slim down the ensemble and streamline the action. It wouldn’t necessarily be an act of villainy.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" will hit theaters on May 23, 2014.