As we look forward to the next chapter in the cinematic history of the X-Men, Bryan Singer's forthcoming Days of Future Past, we've all got the same question in the back of our minds: Will it suck? Fox's Grand Poobah of Marvel Movies, comic book writer Mark Millar, says it won't, and to prove it he explains what was so wrong about X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In a new interview talking up the project, Millar brought up the challenges of avoiding the pitfalls that plagued The Last Stand and Wolverine. His chief complaint? Those X-Men movies failed because there were simply too many X-Men.
"I remember when I was writing Ultimate X-Men and people were saying 'I want to see Gambit, I want to see Rogue, I want to see...' Everybody has a list, and at first you think 'I'm going to please everyone' and then you realise you're pleasing no-one by just throwing in ten second cameos, you know. I think that was the major problem with that first Wolverine movie and X-Men 3. Bryan Singer did such an incredible job with that original movie - it's quite like Star Wars in that there's Episodes IV, V and VI, and we've got the Matthew Vaughn prequels, and I love that - I love the fact that it simplifies so well. X-Men in the Nineties was so convoluted in comic-book terms, and Bryan drove a knife through it and make it work and simplified the whole thing."
So it seems that when it comes to Days of Future Past, Millar is advocating a less-is-more approach to the mutant superhero team.
"I'd like to have that same approach and if we are bringing in a character then it shouldn't just be for a trailer or to get a picture up online, get people excited, it should actually have a point in the story. The trick with that is to try and keep the cast relatively small so that you actually care about them."
As for the other potential snares that could cause trouble with Days of Future Past, namely the time traveling and the handling of a very complex X-Men mythos, Millar's not worried, and he's already comparing the treatment of it to a sci-fi classic:
"I think as long as it's done right... I know how it's done, so I'm not worried. I've been in all these meetings and talked about it at length with everyone, and everything I hear sounds incredibly mainstream. It's no more difficult than The Terminator, or whatever, there's one element of time jump in it, but other than that it's absolutely fine."
So are you as confident as Millar is about the next X-Men adventure? What's your recipe for not screwing this one up?