It’s fair to say Dark Phoenix has not been the final hurrah X-Men fans were hoping for for the franchise. Though it was sold to us as The Last Stand done right, the movie has somehow earned even worse reviews than the 2006 effort and sunk rather than soared at the box office, earning the lowest-grossing opening weekend for an X-Men film ever.
We already know that it was the victim of extensive reshoots, but it now sounds like some corporate conflicts might have impacted Dark Phoenix‘s quality, too. Longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner – who’s been credited on every X-project since 2000’s origins movie – actively disowned DP in a now-deleted tweet.
Presumably in response to messages from fans about the unfortunate flopping of the film, Donner wrote: “Save your condolences. I had zero, nothing to do with Dark Phoenix. Or Apocalypse, or New Mutants.”
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Rumors in the past have pointed to writer/producer Simon Kinberg – who made his directorial debut with DP – using his sway to push Donner out of the proceedings. While that remains to be confirmed, going by her social media outburst, it seems like she hasn’t had an active role with the franchise since Days of Future Past.
Presumably, Donner is still very involved in Legion, though, as an exec producer. A quick glance through her feed shows that she regularly retweets and shares promos and posters for the upcoming third and final season of the X-Men TV series. We could speculate that’s because Kinberg isn’t heavily involved with the show, but again, the supposed bad blood between them hasn’t been officially confirmed.
Not that it matters going forward though, as the Fox era of X-Men is functionally kaput. There’s just The New Mutants to go next February, and we’re hearing that reshoots could actually turn it into a sort of backdoor MCU film.