X-Men: Dark Phoenix Director Explains Why It Won’t Be Like The Last Stand
As the co-writer of the less-than-beloved X-Men: The Last Stand, Simon Kinberg isn’t a name that inspires a lot of confidence in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but the scribe, director, and producer of next year’s superhero sequel continues to insist that he’s learned from his mistakes.
The 2006 trilogy-closer was the Fox franchise’s first attempt at tackling the Dark Phoenix storyline, and by the accounts of most comic book fans, it was handled pretty sloppily, with Jean Grey’s arc having to compete for screen time amidst about half a dozen other plot strands. Earlier this month, Kinberg apologized for his prior mishandling of the saga, and in a recent interview with Screen Rant, the filmmaker took the opportunity to clarify why his next feature won’t suffer from the same faults.
“The biggest lesson learned from X-Men: The Last Stand or X3 was that if you are going to tell a Phoenix story, tell the Phoenix story. Don’t make it the subplot of the movie. Make it the plot of the movie. So in this movie, Jean/Phoenix is the absolute center as you see her on the one-sheet of the poster. She’s the center. The movie is about her. The movie’s about her crisis and the ways that it then affects all of the people around her. Some of whom love her. Some of whom see her as an enemy. Some of whom want to take advantage of her. But she’s at the center of it.
“So the lesson we really learned was to tell the Dark Phoenix story the way that it was originally told. And it’s been told in other iterations, whether it be other versions of the comics or versions in the cartoons, she was always the center of it. It was always about her emotional, psychological breakdown and all of the things that they broke.”
After The Last Stand left the X-Men universe in a messy state, 2014’s Days of Future Past essentially erased the events of that trilogy-closing film through its time travel plotline, creating a clean slate for this next adaptation. Nonetheless, ongoing reports of difficulties behind the scenes as well as numerous delays suggest that it’s hardly been smooth sailing for this second attempt. And in the wake of 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, it’s clear that many viewers are once more growing weary of these mutant adventures.
We’ll see if X-Men: Dark Phoenix can make this latest crack at the comic book story worth the lengthy wait when it hits theaters on June 7th, 2019. If not, then here’s hoping that the Disney/Fox deal can at least give this franchise the fresh start it needs.