X-Men: Days of Future Past doesn’t release until May 23, but the film’s already generating buzz for its new auxiliary website, www.25moments.com.
25 Moments chronicles over two dozen fictional events taking place between the original X-Men films and the prequel, X-Men: First Class. If you’re a fan of the series, check out the site. It’s pretty fantastic.
Those who follow the comic series will quickly recognize photo #9. Set in 1984, the image features a middle-aged preacher speaking in front of a large banner that reads, “No mutants in my America.” To the right is the scene’s title: “‘The Human Majority’ targets Mutants as God’s Curse.”
The minister bears a noticeable resemblance to the X-Men villain William Stryker (AKA the Prophet). Making his first appearance in the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, Stryker is a Christian televangelist who uses his platform to sway popular opinion against mutants. In the comic books, Stryker’s character bears an intentional similarity to the late Christian leader Jerry Falwell (Striker first crops up in the early eighties). Also notice the correlation between “The Human Majority” mentioned on 25 Moments and Falwell’s now dissolved political machine, “The Moral Majority.”
If Prophet does make an appearance in Days of Future Past—the site implies he just might—it’s likely to raise a number of questions regarding the church’s use of political clout to dictate public policy.
There is, however, one big difference between the X-Men graphic novels and this Days of Future Past campaign. Stryker’s character has already been re-imagined in the film franchise, with no mention of his religious roots. For continuity’s sake, producers created a separate “Stryker,” complete with a brand new name.
What did they choose to call him you ask?
Yes. “Popular televangelist minister, Bob Bell.” Sound familiar?
I’m not certain how Days of Future Past will conclude, but I think we all hope love wins.
X-Men: Days of Future Past stars Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Ian McKellen. The film releases May 23.