Magazine article Reason

We Are All Mutants Now

Magazine article Reason

We Are All Mutants Now

Article excerpt

Simon Kinberg is a screenwriter and producer on the latest movie in the long-running X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past. The time-travel story follows the adventures of Marvel's mutant superheroes through an alternate version of the 1970s and a dark near-future. Kinberg's resume includes a slew of Hollywood blockbusters, and he will write and produce the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, The Fantastic Four, and Star Wars Rebels.

In July, Kinberg spoke with Reason TV producer Tracy Oppenheimer at San Diego Comic-Con about the politics of superhero films, the legacy of Richard Nixon, and why we alt relate to mutants.

Q: Part of why X-Men is so successful is how relatable it is to a wide audience.

A: With the X-Men, there's something inherently relatable to the idea that everybody feels a bit of an outsider, feels a little different, feels like they have something that makes them embarrassed or ashamed. For everybody there's something about mutantcy that we can connect to, relate to.

It's probably truest for teenagers who are sort of going through physical transformations and not in total control of their bodies.

Q: They start out as outcasts, but society grows to accept them. Can you talk about how that might parallel our society?

A: Obviously being different and an outsider, and the majority world being xenophobic and prejudiced against those people, is something that can stand as a metaphor for racism, for sexism, for anti-Semitism, for homophobia.

Different people read mutantcy and anti-mutantcy different ways. [Director] Bryan Singer, when he started the film franchise with X-Men and then X2 and now Days of Future Past, he's a big gay rights activist, and the homophobia angle of it was interesting to him. But he's also Jewish, and I think the anti-Semitism was interesting. …

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