Eager fans packed WonderCon Anaheim's biggest arena, waiting to see the opening sequence from "X-Men: Days of Future Past." What they didn't expect was "Past's" writer-producer Simon Kinberg to admit that the biggest installment yet in the Fox-Marvel franchise has to make up for arguably its most disappointing entry: "X-Men: The Last Stand."
"It's our attempt to right the wrongs of the past," Kinberg said at the panel, where he replaced director Bryan Singer. "We probably should have done better with Dark Phoenix, so this is our attempt to do better with 'Days of Future Past'."
Judging by the applause, the filmmakers have done just that.
The footage begins with the series' signature push in through the locked door to Cerebro, revealing a snowy, post-apocalyptic skyline filled with drop ships deploying Sentinels.
The mutant killers surprise a ragtag band of X-Men huddled in a bunker, including Iceman, Bishop and Kitty Pride - with the latter two racing to a secret room as several mutants buy them time.
Highlights from the film's insanely tense opening set piece include the future Sentinels' collective hive mind enabling them to be more effective killers. For example, as one Sentinel absorbs Sunspot's "fire" powers in one room, another is able to use those powers against Iceman in another.
The sequence ends with the Sentinels burning through a thick, metal door - just in time to see Kitty say, "You're too late, assholes," before vanishing from the room with Bishop in tow.
After a crazy long round of applause, Kinberg discussed why it was important to the film's story to depart from the source material, especially in regards to making Wolverine the time traveler instead of Kitty.
"[Logan] is the only character in the film who exists in the same two time periods," Kinberg began. "[Hugh Jackman] gets to play two different versions of the character, which is great."
Kinberg went on to say that while the Sentinels are bad guys, fans can expect an even bigger threat to come from their creator, Bolivar Trask - played by "Game of Thrones'" actor Peter Dinklage.
"Past" hits theaters May 23.