While everyone is currently focused on Marvel’s epic superhero movie, there’s another superhero conclusion on the way in a little over a month with Dark Phoenix. Although no one is officially calling it the end to the X-Men saga, the merger between Fox and Disney all but guarantees that the next X-Men movie will be a reboot in the hands of Marvel Studios (although it’s likely we won’t see that reboot for a while). But as we barrel towards Dark Phoenix, it looks like the film underwent some pretty major changes as it came to its final form.
EW reveals that although production wrapped in October 2017, they decided to do reshoots to change the setting of the third act climax:
the filmmakers decided to revamp the look of Phoenix in post (more “cosmic” and less “flamy,” according to the director) and shoot a new third act (instead of taking place in space, the climax finds all the X-Men kidnapped and on board a military train).
We’ve seen that train stuff in the trailers, and it looks fine. And the look of Phoenix is fine. But it’s tough to be excited for this movie because they just haven’t put in the work on Jean Grey that they think they have. Here’s what James McAvoy and producer Hutch Parker said about Sophie Turner preparing for the role:
“The movie is about Jean evolving from this character into something else, and that’s what Sophie did. She went from being honestly a kid on [2016’s] X-Men: Apocalypse to being unbelievably committed to the work and showing up with a level of preparation that definitely said, ‘Oh sh—!’” Turner’s costars were equally impressed. “If Sophie had to do 10 hours of work, she’d do 20 hours of prep,” says McAvoy. “She definitely put herself in the hands of Simon and relied on him, as well as helped him to create this dynamic.”
And that’s all well and good, but the audience doesn’t have a strong investment in the Jean Grey character. This isn’t like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine turning on the X-Men. It’s pretty much relying on one movie to make its case, and that movie wasn’t very good. I’m going to try and remain optimistic about Dark Phoenix because I’m an X-Men fan, but right now it looks like the series headed out with a whimper rather than a bang.
Dark Phoenix opens June 7th.