The name ‘Simon Kinberg’ doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in your average Marvel Comics fan. While the producer has worked on several well-received films, including both Deadpool movies and last year’s Logan, whenever Kinberg gets involved in a writing capacity, the results usually aren’t so lauded, with the Dark Phoenix director having co-penned the scripts for X-Men: Apocalypse and the infamous 2015 Fantastic Four.
But to give credit where credit’s due, Kinberg also served as scribe for X-Men: Days of Future Past, a work that was not only well-received in its own right, but managed to undo all of the unpopular plot points of another of the writer’s less-than-beloved efforts, X-Men: The Last Stand.
The 2006 film came under fire for a variety of reasons, from its rushed pacing to its sloppily orchestrated character deaths, and among these points of criticism is the film’s botched attempt at adapting one of the most beloved storylines of the X-Men franchise: the Dark Phoenix saga. With the time travel-based revisionism of Days of Future Past, however, Kinberg essentially erased this frequently derided installment from the series continuity, and this accomplishment remains a point of pride for the filmmaker.
“I co-wrote X-Men 3, the ‘Dark Phoenix’ story, which is probably the most sacred of the X-Men storylines in the comics,” Kinberg said in a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter. “Fanboys and girls did not love the movie [X-Men: The Last Stand]. When I wrote X-Men: Days of Future Past years later — it was a time travel story — I thought, ‘Well, here’s an opportunity to rewrite this mistake — bring Jean Grey back to life.’ I got to go back and essentially erase a $200 million movie.”
Now that Kinberg’s taking another shot at the story with next year’s Dark Phoenix, fans are naturally a little nervous again, and the ongoing reports of a troubled production certainly haven’t helped. Assuming all goes according to schedule from here on out though, the film will be hitting cinemas on February 14th, 2019, at which point we’ll find out if Kinberg’s learned from the mistakes of X-Men: The Last Stand.