Avengers: Endgame may not be the only comic book movie finale of 2019.
Per EW, director Simon Kinberg has acknowledged the very real possibility that Dark Phoenix will be remembered as the final chapter in this current X-Men saga, before those loveable mutants inevitably revert back to Marvel Studios as part of the Disney-Fox merger.
When, exactly, that reunion takes place is still subject to debate, but for now, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg is quietly preparing for the end of the X-Men franchise as we know it. That’s not to say this summer’s X-blockbuster will be the very last time we see Jean Grey and Co. on the big screen – far from it, in fact – simply that these characters are likely to be reborn once the Mouse House has sealed its acquisition.
Here’s what Kinberg told EW about the impending merger and its lasting effects:
I truly don’t know. I haven’t had formal talks with Disney. I know [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige very well. But we haven’t had formal talks because until the merger is official, they’re not allowed to have those kinds of conversations with the folks at Fox or myself. What’s interesting is obviously I started this movie long before Disney purchased Fox, and I approached the movie knowing that it was the fourth movie with our First Class cast and that the Phoenix story for me is the ultimate X-Men story.
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Hailed as the “climax of the franchise,” Dark Phoenix is the closest thing to a one-to-one adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga since The Last Stand disappointed X-fans the world over back in 2006. Can Kinberg’s starry epic make amends for what’s come before? That’s the big question coming out of last night’s trailer, though the director remains confident.
I approached the movie like it was the culmination in some ways — not that there couldn’t be other movies, but I did approach the movie as if, like, if you spent 20 years of living with this family, this is the movie you see the family truly tested, fall apart, and hopefully come back together. There was something about that sense of closure for the family, that sense of test, that sense of loss. It felt like not this is the end necessarily, but this is it for them.
It is the climax of this franchise. When we did the hair and makeup tests for this movie, I had the Doors song “The End” playing just to set the mood for the actors and the crew. It was this feeling of this is the climax of a lot of stories and a long relationship that we’ve all built up. It felt like it was time at least to give them some huge explosive story that demanded a different kind of resilience from them. I really felt on this one I couldn’t imagine where else to go with these characters after what they’ve gone through in this movie.
Dark Phoenix descends into theaters on June 7th, and only then will we know if the X-Men will be able to contain Jean Grey once and for all.