|X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) concept art by Phillip Boutte Jr.|
There are a ton of mutants that have appeared over the years in the X-Men films, but there are hundreds of mutants in the Marvel Universe. Some have shown up and others haven't. For example, Jubilation "Jubilee" Lee appeared in two X-Men movies, but not the most recent one. She was played by Katrina Florece in X-Men and by Kea Wong in X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand.
The producers were planning to add a few more mutants, but had to cut them. Producer Simon Kinberg told Empire they almost sent back another mutant back to the past instead of Wolverine. "Initially, we explored the notion of Bishop being sent back,"Kinberg said, "Cable being sent back, a new character being sent back, who we could cast old and then sort of cast in the prominent part of his life as a new young actor." One storyline with Future Xavier and Magneto looking for Rogue to heal was cut because director Bryan Singer said, "the sequence became extraneous."
Still, there were a ton of mutant costume designs for the film and one of the artists that helped create the looks was Phillip Boutte Jr. Boutte Jr. is a professional concept artist who's worked on big budget projects like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013), Man of Steel (2013) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). He was kind enough to do an interview for my blog about his work on the film.
Click on the images to enlarge.
Maurice Mitchell: What was the biggest challenge in designing the period costumes for this film?
Phillip Boutte Jr.: I think the biggest challenge for me on this was shifting my focus between thinking about clothing from the future one minute and then getting myself in the head space to illustrate clothing from the 70's. Costume Designer Louise Mingenbach made this much easier for me by providing not only a slew of picture references but also an acute knowledge of the period. She loves diving in and out of period costume so I just really had to follow her lead and try to illustrate what she wanted to bring to the table.
She challenged me in a very great way but also provided a lot of patience if I was not able to get things on the first try. That is very important to the design process, especially when you are working to illustrate designs to match a Costume Designer's aesthetic.
MM: Besides the designs of the main characters were you involved in the designs of the hundreds of extras?
PB: No sir! Too much pressure! LOL No actually, there is a whole team of talented workers in Costume that are responsible for not only pulling costumes for extras but dressing them as well. There are a ton of fittings beforehand to make sure there is an overall cohesiveness in the costumes that you see on the screen. At the end of the day, Louise has final approval over the whole thing to make sure the costumes merge well and look natural. It is a huge task to dress all those people.
Can you imagine walking onto a set with 400 people all looking at you as to what they are wearing?! Nope, me neither! LOL
MM: What was the inspiration for the future costumes of the heroes? Was there anything specific for the characters like Xavier? Were the comic books of any help in these designs?
PB: This is a hard one. The source material always plays a huge part in the start of the design process for the characters. We looked at the Days of Future Past comic itself along with multiple iterations of the characters spanning the entire life the X-Men comics franchise. The key was to look at the core of the design lines of the characters and then try to make them fit into the world that was being created.
Louise really wanted to take the characters away from being completely black this time. She also did not want them to feel as though they had matching costume suits on. Their unity in the future comes from the fact that they fight everyday to survive. This gave freedom to give each character their own look which is a sentiment furthered even more by the comic. From there, we just tried to keep in mind that they are trying to survive and are being hunted so bright vivid colors would probably not be the best thing to wear if there are killer shape shifting robots looking to kill you....and are very good at it I might add. Hence, you will notice that everyone seems to have a hint of color that pertains to what they wear in the comic but some designs had to be changed to accommodate the reality of what was happening around them. I think there was a balance found there.
Louise did a great job and I was just happy to be along for the ride with her!
MM: I notice in the costume designs that you have designs of Jubilee. I've heard rumors that she was considered for the film along with Cable. Can you talk about that?
PB: I honestly don't know. This was a movie where you are trying to bridge so many characters and story arcs together. Some characters just got lost in the sauce! I was super excited that Bishop was there however. He has always been one of my favorite characters. Growing up, there were not many characters that looked like me so I was naturally drawn to him.
On my first day of work, I pretty much bombarded Louise and said, "So, can I just draw Bishop right now and get it out of my system? Know that if I don't get to draw him, I will bug you everyday until I get to draw him!" Ha! I wasn't that bold but I did suggest to her that I would love to work on his look and she was gracious enough to let my inner nerd child have a little fun.
Jubilee has always been a fan favorite so I was sad to see her go but I did follow fans very closely by putting in the likeness of Jamie Chung. That was a choice fully dictated by what I found online of fan's choices of who they thought should play her. I can't say I disagree, she would be great! I love Cable so I hope he appears at some point. I'm in the same boat as fans everywhere. I want to see it happen but know nothing about anything! lol
Jubilee has always been a fan favorite so I was sad to see her go but I did follow fans very closely by putting in the likeness of Jamie Chung. That was a choice fully dictated by what I found online of fan's choices of who they thought should play her. I can't say I disagree, she would be great! I love Cable so I hope he appears at some point. I'm in the same boat as fans everywhere. I want to see it happen but know nothing about anything! LOL
Thanks for the interview Phillip! See more of Phillip Boutte Jr.'s totally def portfolio at http://phillipbouttejr.carbonmade.com and his blog at http://modusmaleficium.blogspot.com
Click on the links if you want to see more of Phillip Boutte Jr.'s work or X-Men: Days of Future Past artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen X-Men: Days of Future Past what do you think of the costumes?
Official X-Men: Days of Future Past Summary
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.
Directed by Bryan Singer
Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel
Production Design by John Myhre
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Lawrence, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart
Release date: May 23, 2014 (USA)
Official Site: www.X-MenMovies.com
© Copyright 2014 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, The Donners' Company, Simon Kinberg Production, 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved
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