By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of how X-Men: Dark Phoenix was an unfortunate box office bomb. Though I’m certain being panned by critics didn’t help matters, the delays and reshoots undoubtedly didn’t instill consumer confidence. Hey, when something has nearly a year of negative press preceding it, failure is virtually inevitable.
Personally, I didn’t hate the flick and thought it was fine for the first hour or so, but it was pretty easy to tell that the third act had been reshot. As an individual product, it wasn’t entirely bad. But as a finale, Dark Phoenix simply didn’t work as a conclusion to a nineteen-year-old film franchise with its obviously rushed ending.
One element that was very noticeably subjected to change was that of the invading alien race, or D’Bari, if you will. Aside from their leader, Vulk (played by Jessica Chastain), being the least developed comic book movie villain since Thor: The Dark World‘s Malekith, their place in the grand scheme could’ve been so much more. In fact, I couldn’t help thinking of them as Skrulls because I reported on that very species appearing in the production two years ago.
Well, Tye Sheridan, Cyclops himself, recently appeared on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast and confirmed as much. According to Heroic Hollywood’s breakdown of the discussion, “there was originally going to be a battle between U.N guards and Jean Grey that took a surprising turn when the guards are revealed to be Skrulls.”
My best guess is that Fox rebranded the shapeshifters because of their name and likeness heavily featuring in Captain Marvel. Had the delays not happened and Dark Phoenix originally been released in November of 2018, then the Skrull name probably would’ve stuck. But once the suits knew they’d arrive second to the party, changes were no doubt implemented.
To shine a little more light on the subject, this would’ve flown from a legal standpoint. You see, the Skrulls were among those Marvel characters existing in a grey area that were fair game for both Fox and Disney to utilize. I’m sure you recall both studios boasting their own unique versions of Quicksilver, though Disney blinked first in that instance by killing off their guy in Avengers: Age of Ultron.