With the Disney/Fox deal on the horizon, there’s been much talk that a reboot is imminent for the X-Men property, and at least as far as the core franchise films go, a lot of Marvel fans probably wouldn’t object to the idea, either. Nonetheless, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is on course to continue the saga next year, and according to director Simon Kinberg, the upcoming film is just the beginning of a new chapter for the decades-spanning series.
In an interview with CinePOP, the filmmaker and regular X-Men producer discussed how Dark Phoenix will break new ground for the property in terms of the tone it adopts.
“I see it as a new chapter,” Kinberg says. “I see it as taking the franchise in a different direction tonally. And that doesn’t mean that the next one will have the same tone, it just means that the next one can have a different tone.”
Kinberg then went on to reflect recall how the X-Men franchise first came to screens at a very different time for superhero cinema, arguing that it’s important for the series to adapt as it goes along:
“I think for many years, the X-Men, Bryan [Singer] really transformed the superhero genre in 2000 or 2001 when the first one came out. That’s almost 20 years ago. It is a long time ago. And at that time, superhero movies were not wildly popular, actually. There had been a few failures in the mid-90s, and there hadn’t been a lot of superhero movies, if any, around that time and X-Men sort of was revolutionary in its moment. But that was 20 years ago and I think, I really felt like it time to really change the look, the feel, the tone, the vibe of these movies. And that doesn’t mean this is the one going forward, it just means that if it’s me or whoever directs the next one, you can make it different, and you have to make it different.”
While Fox’s Marvel universe has been consistently messier and less coherent than the MCU, this lack of regard for interconnectivity between films has in many ways proven an asset, allowing for very different works like Deadpool and Logan to occupy the same space without having to compromise for the sake of multi-movie storylines.
Granted, the core X-Men pics haven’t been quite so creatively unbridled, but even the adventures of Xavier and his peers have a semi-improvised quality to them that’s perhaps best exemplified by the time X-Men: Days of Future Past revamped the timeline while erasing the events of X-Men: The Last Stand from the continuity.
We’ll find out if X-Men: Dark Phoenix can make this property fresh and relevant again when it hits theaters on June 7th, 2019, but with all these characters soon to fall into the hands of Kevin Feige, it certainly feels like the true moment of reinvention for the franchise is still to come.