An IGN interview with Bryan Singer, the producer on the majority of the Fox X-Men movies, has confirmed that the sequel to X-Men: First Class will indeed be called Days of Future Past.
Singer continued on and confirmed that director Matthew Vaughn will be returning for the sequel.
He also made brief mention of the potential to use this film to broaden the X-Men movie universe in ways similar to how Marvel has handled the Avengers multi-movie universe franchise.
Now what this could mean is many things.
What we do know is that Fox has several properties in the works that are connected to the X-Men. One that's the most vocal lately about having a future film has been The New Mutants. This alongside the Wolverine features gives them ample room for cameos and character interest building by using the future timeline. The potential is also there for Deadpool to be included in costume as he is meant to be.
So what does this mean for the possibilities within the sequel?
Well, we could see anyone from borderline any era in X-Men history, past and present. They could start to make audiences at large aware of The New Mutants characters for a future spin-off feature. They could include anyone from Academy X for the same reason. Cable has been much rumored to potentially make an appearance. X-23 could make an appearance, and with the entire future essence to the story, it opens up the door to let Summer Glau play her or they could opt to prep for an origin feature by casting a younger starlet to play the role. This would help prepare that character for her own film franchise and even tease for it. They could cameo Deadpool in costume, possibly even elaborate on how easy it would be to 'correct' X-Men Origins: Wolverine's take to still become the Deadpool fans have come to expect. This would also potentially help push along his own feature and create anticipation for it. We could see Sentinels, maybe even Nimrod or the XSE including Shard and Bishop. This being an alternate future also opens the door for Scott and Jean's daughter to be added to the cast. Really, the possibilities are endless. The only thing certain is that audiences are hungry for more expanded universe usage to wet their appetite and create anticipation for future films. This film can be used as a proving ground to gauge that interest and see which characters audiences at large are most interested in. I lean heavily on they should include X-23 in this as she'd also be a nod to the recent Wolverine and The X-Men animated series' take on the same idea. On the same token though, that could be said about Bishop, Shard, and Cable too. Cable also helps establish a potential Apocalypse story in a post X-Men 3 feature in the timeline. This also opens the door to seeing Patrick Stewart or Ian Mckellen to reprise their roles for the future timeline. That could also be used as a nod to the above mentioned animated series.
So far the only thing we do know story-wise is that the past side will take place in the 60s again(1963). Still roughly a decade away from when Scott Summers and Jean Grey joined the movie franchise's team, and still outright decades away from when Iceman would be able to join the team or Warren ever visiting the school. Though that too can be worked around thanks to the future storyline if they so tried. I'm just personally not sure if that would be worth the effort as it'd leave minimal room for the already established past timeline characters and potential future character spin-offs for new properties. We may also start to see potential character building for future X-Men franchise films though too. Like establishing a villian for the film universe that'll feature after the events of X-Men 3, but has been a steady growing threat since whichever prequel film they choose. Again, personally that's something I would save for the third prequel X-Men feature, and use the 2nd prequel instead to focus on established timeline characters and future characters to generate audience interest first. A third prequel feature, or possibly fourth would need to establish some minor things to pave the way for a post X-Men 3 feature by expanding on a handful of concepts like where Xavier learned about telepathic transplanting. A concept that's easy to explore by using Emma Frost of First Class to take possession of a younger diamond form, potentially that of Silverfox's sister from X-Men Origins: Wolverine sometime in the late 70s or 80s. This would allow her usage in modern films, and help create foreshadowing to the after credits scene of the third X-Men film. Beast is fine in the timeline now, as the serum he took in First Class has slowed his aging.
This film does have massive potential behind it though for any and all directions, and I look forward to seeing how it develops. Here's hoping that The Wolverine will also be taking these cues about establishing side details for use in future development. Like say someone taking a blood sample from Logan after they see his healing factor in usage against sword weilders. A sample they could sell on the black market that could potentially be developed into a certain side feature film that could very well interconnect into one of the characters from the Days of Future Past movie future roster.
Special thanks to Bleeding Cool for the heads up.