If you were to list all the superhero films to be released in 2019, you’ll probably rattle off the big guns like “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel,” “Joker,” Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and “Shazam.” But you probably won’t immediately think about Fox’s “Dark Phoenix.” The seemingly final entry in the 20-year-old ‘X-Men’ franchise (unless “The New Mutants” ever sees the light of day) comes out during the summer, but doesn’t have the buzz like the aforementioned films. And part of the reason is the fact that the film has been subject to some massive delays, diminishing the excitement of fans, who are just ready for Disney to gain control of the characters.
But according to the film’s writer-director Simon Kinberg, the extra time (the film wrapped its principal photography in October 2017) allowed for the vision for the superhero movie to fully take shape. Speaking to EW, the filmmaker talked about the struggles surrounding this film, and finding a way to wrap up a franchise that began two decades ago.
“I think the biggest challenge is modulating the film so that we have the big scale and visual-effects action that these movies require, but balancing that in a way that feels calibrated with the drama,” Kinberg said. “You have these big space sequences and trains flying through the air and people firing lightning bolts, but you also have a lot of emotional, four-page dramatic dialogue scenes.”
Part of that balance came after the film originally wrapped production in 2017. Kinberg took time to plan for extensive reshoots, where he’d change the location of the final act of the film from outer space to a train battle. And the director also changed the look of the titular character from fiery (as in the comics) to something more “cosmic” (as seen in one of the below pictures).
The director is also quick to say that “Dark Phoenix” is a “culmination” of all the ‘X-Men’ films prior to this, but isn’t ready to talk about what the future of the franchise is now, since the merger with Disney.
“I’m thinking about delivering and finishing this movie the best we possibly can,” the director concluded.
Well, if there is one indication about the future of this version of the “X-Men,” it would likely be the news that there is no post-credits scene at the end of “Dark Phoenix.” That means no cute set up for a sequel. And thus, the much-speculated reboot of the Fox franchise does seem to be a foregone conclusion.
“Dark Phoenix” hits theaters on June 7.
Here are a couple of new pictures from the film: