NEW YORK - Trapped in a dystopian future where marauding, shape-shifting robots have turned New York's Central Park into a concentration camp, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine has no choice in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" but to travel back in time to alter history.
The film, which opens in US theatres on Friday, is the seventh based on the Marvel Comics series that has grossed more than $2.3 billion at the global box office.
A sequel to both 2006's "X Men: The Last Stand" and 2011's "X-Men: First Class," the film begins in a future where Sentinel robots are trying to destroy mutants, and follows Wolverine as he travels back to the 1970s, when he does not have the use of his silver-coloured claws.
"The X-Men movies always have a theme of disenfranchisement or minorities or discrimination," said Jackman, 45, the best actor Oscar nominee for the musical "Les Miserables" whose action film career took off with X-Men.
"We're actually tackling real human issues in addition to having people fly and have lasers come out of their eyes," Jackman told Reuters, noting that the characters' powers come from emotional traumas they have faced.
The film, expected to be one of the biggest at the box office this year, has had a dose of unwelcome publicity after two men accused director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing them as teenagers, charges he denies.
As a result, Singer has not participated in the film's global rollout, leaving promotion to his cast of acclaimed actors with an increasingly international profile.
Academy Award winner Halle Berry ("Monster Ball") returns as weather-controlling Storm. Jennifer Lawrence, who picked up an Academy Award for "Silver Linings Playbook," is the blue, shape-shifting Mystique and Ellen Page ("Juno") plays Kitty Pryde, who can run through solid objects.
Much of the plot revolves around Mystique's actions and Wolverine's attempts to thwart them.