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What Are The Expectations for Dark Phoenix?

June 1, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix has had a bumpy ride getting to the big screen. Production problems, its release date has been moved back twice, and the buzz for its release has been pretty tame.

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg is making his directorial debut and picked a whopper of a project, focusing on Sophie Turner as Jean Grey and the beloved Dark Phoenix storyline.

The big question besides if the movie will be…good, is what’s the story with the reshoots and delays?

Jennifer Lawrence did an interview with Entertainment Weekly and talked about the shoot. “It was unrecognizable. Everything was on time. Everything was organised. These movies have always been fun amidst chaos, and now they were fun with no chaos.” Hutch Parker, producer on all the X-Men movies since X-Men: Days of Future Past, added that Kinberg’s strength was in creating “a really stable and nurturing environment […] You don’t necessarily solve problems more quickly if you’re yelling and screaming.”

Looks like everyone is towing the line as far as first time director jitters. As far as the reshoots, we all should know by now that reshoots are par for the course.

Dark Phoenix had extensive reshoots in late 2018, delaying its release by more than a year. Kinberg admitted that they had to redo the movies climax, moving away from the comic book storyline. Recently James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender gave more details on the changes.

“The finale HAD to change,” McAvoy told Yahoo Movies. “There was a lot of overlap and parallels with another superhero movie that came out… a while ago. And we had no idea that we were…”—“That they had spies on set,” Fassbender jokingly interjects.

It didn’t take an expert to connect the dots to the recent Captain Marvel and it’s finale battle in space.

Now that Dark Phoenix has moved away from the comic book’s last chapter, what other things will be different?

“I think if I had four hours to tell this story I would’ve included the Hellfire Club, I might’ve included Lilandra,” Kinberg explained. “Because I wanted it to be so focused on Jean and I wanted to really tell a character story a little differently than we have in the past in the X-Men.”

“In the past it’s been a little more horizontal, meaning there was a breadth of character, there was a bunch of characters. In this one I wanted to go a little more vertical, I wanted to go deep with our main characters, and especially with Jean.”

“So while I loved the Hellfire characters and their role in the Dark Phoenix saga in the comics, and I loved the Lilandra storyline in the comics, all of those felt like they were going to start to compete with the main story of Jean and her emotional crack-up and the break-up of the X-Men family,” he continued. “And I didn’t want to draw away from that main emotional through-line.”

As much as I would have loved a proper Hellfire Club and epic rendering of Lilandra and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, I understand the need to work within the parameters you’re given in terms of budget and time.

Where will X-Men: Dark Phoenix end up in relation of the rest of the X-Men cinematic offerings? We’ll know soon enough. What’s your excitement level?

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Dark Phoenix, Steve Gustafson