Leading up to the release of Fox’s “Dark Phoenix,” the running theme of the news surrounding the film seemed to be about the last-minute reshoots and changes made. Considering the end result being so poorly-received, fans were clamoring to find out if it would have been a better film if director Simon Kinberg and the studio stuck to their guns and released the film, as it was originally conceived.
We’ll never know the answer to that question, but as the actors and filmmakers finally finish up their publicity tour for the film (before burying it forever), fans are starting to get a real idea of what Kinberg and company had cooked up before the reshoots.
Speaking to the ReelBlend podcast, Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan talked about the original ending of the film and revealed one of the film’s biggest changes — Jessica Chastain’s villainous Vuk. In the film, she’s called Vuk, the leader of the D’Bari alien race. But outside of that, no real history is given for the character. And it appears, courtesy of Sheridan, that the reason we don’t learn more is that her character was altered in a massive way.
Here’s what Sheridan had to say about the original finale (via GeekTyrant):
“It’s really hard for me to remember what the ending of this movie is. [laughs] Originally, it was scripted that Charles and Scott go to the U.N. because — man, I’m totally going to mess this up — they go to the U.N. because they’re going to try to tell the President that, ‘Hey, we’re under attack by aliens, and they’ve now captured Jean Grey.’ Or, you know, whatever it is that we’re going to tell him.
“And then Jean comes down in the front of the U.N., and causes… there is this huge battle between the guards at the U.N. and Jean Grey, and all the guards turn out to be Skrulls. And then Jean and Scott are — Scott is fighting Skrulls in the fountain. He gets thrown into the fountain in front of the U.N. And then Jean comes down and basically fights all of the Skrulls off, and then blasts back off into space. [She] basically says goodbye to Scott and Charles. And then it’s all over, I guess.”
This isn’t a huge revelation to anyone that is familiar with Marvel Comics. After I watched the film, it was clear as day that the villains were supposed to be Skrulls, as Jessica Chastain’s character and the alien race used were not in any comics previously. Also, they only mention her name and the name of the alien race once, in an obviously ADR’d line.
It’s sad that Fox felt the need to change the Skrulls in “Dark Phoenix.” Fox and Disney both had shared rights of the alien race, which is why Marvel Studios could use them in “Captain Marvel.” And clearly, Kinberg was going for a more classically evil slant on the aliens for “Dark Phoenix.” So, instead of altering Chastain’s character in the very last minute (throwing together some questionable and unexplained abilities for good measure), Fox could have given us another take on the Skrulls.
It appears the final story behind the troubled production of “Dark Phoenix” has yet to be written. We’ll just have to see what is revealed next.