Hail, hail, the gang's all here. Bryan Singer took to the Twitters to reveal three new names added to the cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and they're actually old names: Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore and Anna Paquin. Page, you'll recall, played Kitty Pryde in X-Men: The Last Stand, while Ashmore was Iceman and Paquin was Rogue. With the return of Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, this means that the majority of the original cast is returning for the sequel/prequel. We're still waiting to hear about James Marsden, Halle Berry and Famke Janssen, but even if they don't show up, it feels like a solid returning cast.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on one of the most famous X-stories, in which Kitty Pryde of the future comes to the present day to warn about an impending event that will lead to a mutant apocalypse, in which most of the X-Men will be killed. The return of Page probably means we'll see a similar structure to the story.
The next question we will have is this: will these old-timers be full members of the cast or just cameos? It's quite conceivable that we could see Iceman and Rogue show up just for a couple of minutes, just long enough to get killed by Sentinels*. Or they could be really involved in the story. In the original comic only Kitty travels through time - might the prequel X-Men travel bodily forward to the future and interact with the characters from the original films?
And since these actors are all coming back, is it possible that X-Men: Days of Future Past is intended to reboot the franchise in some way, allowing dead or depowered characters to appear in X-Men 6? I have to imagine the powers that be would like to reset some of the changes made in Last Stand.
This is going to be another mutant-packed X-Men movie. At least they're staying true to the comics when it comes to character overkill.
* If they're going to be in the movie. Under Tom Rothman Sentinels were a dirty word, and I'm not sure that has changed with the new Fox regime.