The perhaps unfairly maligned Dark Phoenix has suffered a number of ignoble landmarks since its release. As well as taking a critical drubbing, the X-Men movie will reportedly leave a $100 million hole in studio 20th Century Fox’s balance sheet. The pic’s box office disaster is a shame, as while Dark Phoenix is flawed, it’s far from a complete train wreck. However, for eagle-eyed viewers at ScreenRant, some of Dark Phoenix‘s biggest spoilers had already been teased by Deadpool 2.
The Deadpool movies have consistently played up their anti-hero’s proximity to the Fox X-Men canon, whether that means putting in obscure cameos, or straightforwardly acknowledging the absence of major characters. In Deadpool 2, they went one further by having Wade Wilson move to the X-Mansion to wallow in grief alongside Colossus.
For a fleeting moment, we see the Dark Phoenix-era X-Men in the background of a shot, closing the door before Wilson has a chance to notice them. This cameo was apparently always part of Deadpool 2‘s script, with footage shot by director David Leitch being sent to Dark Phoenix helmer Simon Kinberg to edit into a shot of his cast.
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What wasn’t so obvious at the time was the absence of the two major characters to die in Dark Phoenix: Mystique and Jean Grey. Although this gap may have been as much about scheduling as a sly nod to the plot twists of Dark Phoenix, in retrospect it sets up some intriguing questions about whether the throwaway gag had a deeper meaning.
This may be a stretch, especially given that Deadpool 2 doesn’t seem to take place in the same era as the 1990s-set Dark Phoenix. Still, it’s not the most bizarre thing to happen to Dark Phoenix this week, as the movie managed to overlook a phoenix-shaped plot hole from X-Men: Apocalypse as well.
In any case, Dark Phoenix and its many confusing moments are currently on wide release. Although, you may be better off re-watching Deadpool 2.