This article contains many spoilers for X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Despite appearing on many of the film’s promotional images, Anna Paquin’s Rogue was cut from all but the briefest of cameos in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. New interviews with screenwriter Simon Kinberg for the Daily Beast and Empire reveal more about Rogue’s subplot and why it ultimately got the axe.
Rogue’s appearance in the film was reshaped several times during post-production. In the film, Wolverine inadvertently hurts Kitty Pryde and weakens her time travel abilities, putting the heroes’ plan in jeopardy. In the final cut, Kitty simply powers through her injury, but in the initial script, Rogue was brought in to absorb Kitty’s power and keep Wolverine’s consciousness in the past.
In one cut of the film, Professor X, Magneto, and Iceman went on a lengthy mission to rescue Rogue from the Sentinels and bring her back to save the day. Kinberg claims he wanted to give Professor X and Magneto “one final adventure” mostly because “it would be a cool thing to see, because we may never see it again.”
However, in a later edit, that action scene was cut, leaving Rogue to show up and save the day without an explanation of how she got there. Finally, Rogue’s appearance from the dystopian future was nixed altogether, leaving Paquin with a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in one of the film’s final scenes and oddly high billing in the credits.
In response to why they eventually cut the subplot, Kinberg explains:
I thought it would increase the urgency and the stakes of the plot in the future, but it actually does the opposite, because it makes you feel like there is an answer out there. You think once Rogue gets here, we’ll have an unlimited amount of time. The ticking clock that we’d established with Kitty getting wounded and losing her powers… well, Rogue would show up and press stop on the clock. So for all of those narrative reasons, there was this ten-minute subplot that had to go.
There’s good news for Rogue fans, however, as Kinberg suggests the deleted scene will eventually appear on the film’s Blu-ray.