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'X-Men' Producer Talks Balancing Being a Fan and Filmmaker

26 Jul, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

SAN DIEGO — Simon Kinberg, producer and writer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, spent a panel July 25 at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International discussing how difficult it can be to make decisions for an “X-Men” film when you’re also a huge fan.

He then interrupted himself when he saw a fan in the crowd dressed as Wolverine, asked the man to come forward, and took a few pictures.

“I Tweet these to Hugh Jackman,” he said, adding that he wasn’t joking.

Kinberg, who also produced X-Men: First Class and is a producer for 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, admitted it’s a delicate balance filming a franchise you’re in love with. He grew up with Marvel comics, he knows the stories inside and out, and he knows fans can be fickle when you change things up.

“I appreciate these as what I would want to see, but also innovate and integrate them into the existing canon,” he said. “The mistake you can make is to go in only as a fan. You want to feel like you’re going back to a world you love, but it’s a new story.”

For X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kinberg had to let go of some of the things he wanted (originally it was Juggernaut leading the way to break out Magneto) and changing parts of the original story (Wolverine going back in time instead of Kitty Pryde). “We were going to break some rules,” Kinberg said. And he said he was prepared for any backlash.

“You weigh the consequences of facing [the fans],” he said. “I want to know what the fans are excited or angry about.”

Sometimes for a filmmaker, being a fan has no choice but to play second fiddle to making the movie, he added. “There’s stuff all the time you do that [doesn’t follow] your creative instincts, but your managerial or fiscal instincts,” he said.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has set an Oct. 14 disc release date for the film, which has pulled in about $740 million at the worldwide box office to date. 

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