The future is now as the latest trailer for "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has landed in the present, and with it a shocking revelation: the potential death of at least one major graduate of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
We're speaking of Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, the weather-controlling badass beauty played by Halle Berry in the original "X-Men" trilogy. In recent weeks, Berry and director Bryan Singer refuted speculation that her role had been considerably cut from the final version of the film.
Emphasis on the "cut" in today's trailer: at the 26-second mark, Storm appears to get ambushed by a Sentinel (one of the mutant-stomping robots created by Peter Dinklage's Bolivar Trask). This may be an ode to the heroine being impaled in the original "Days of Future Past" comic book run (specifically "The Uncanny X-Men" No. 142, as pointed out by ComicBook.com).
Storm might indeed be one of the fallen comrades that a somber Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is referring to later in the trailer when he says, "I've watched a lot of friends die." Hey, "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006) had no problem killing off a lot of the ensemble (including James Marsden's Scott Summers/Cyclops and Famke Janssen's Jean Grey), so there's no reason not to think the body count won't be even higher in "Days of Future Past."
Meanwhile, "somber" is certainly the best way to describe the new trailer, which is filled with images of sad, moping mutants caught in one doozy of an existential crisis.
"So many battles waged over the years and, yet, none of them like this," a voiceover from Patrick Stewart's Professor Charles Xavier declares ominously at the beginning. "Is the future truly set?"
Things get a bit more literal when Professor X tells Wolverine that he needs "to go into the past—"
"To end this war before it ever begins," Ian McKellen's Magneto says, finishing the sentence (much like we imagine Stewart and McKellen do in real life). And, thus, the mind-twister of a title is explained.
With the mutants on the brink of extinction, Wolverine painfully heads back to the era where Professor X and Magneto looked a bit more like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively. They're "being given a second chance," young Magneto notes.
It's not all doom and gloom, as shots of Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique changing faces and bodies from blue to dude and back again, new faces like Adan Canto as Roberto da Costa/Sunspot working his flame-throwing powers, and a rather rousing moment in which young Charles and young Erik face off as Evan Peters's Quicksilver (complete with Pink Floyd T-shirt) looks on remind us that this is, indeed, a rollicking summer comic book movie.
The trailer ends on a rather moving note as an older Charles confronts his younger self. "You're afraid. I remember," says Stewart, as usual bringing gravitas and class to even the most outrageous sci-fi settings.
We predict you'll remember, too, after you see "X-Men: Days of Future Past" in theaters on May 23.
Breanne L. Heldman contributed to this report.