As you probably know, X-Men: Dark Phoenix – or possibly just Dark Phoenix – has been pushed back from its expected November release date until next February so that it can undergo reshoots. Rumor has it that 20th Century Fox wasn’t pleased with first time director Simon Kinberg’s initial cut of the movie and, going by this test screening reaction, we can see why. Based on the breakdown given here, it definitely sounds like it’s not the film that fans were expecting.
We should preface this by saying that the following info comes from Reddit, which usually means we have to take what we read with a pinch of salt. However, it’s worth noting that the user who posted this has been verified by the moderators. According to him, he claims to have seen a test screening of Dark Phoenix earlier this year and was compelled to share what he saw in response to comments from journalist Jeremy Conrad AKA Manabyte that he felt incorrectly represented the movie.
“I know this is “Marvel Studios” leaks but screw it. I have been a lurker on this site for a while and I finally made an account because of the inncaurate info Manabyte is spreading about Dark Phoenix. I went to the screening in Feb. I live in CA and go to a lot of test screenings for fun. I have proof ready to show for the mods. I legit got tired of him saying false shit and people buying into it. His sources are going him twisted info. The x-men don’t go into space in the third act and the word “skrull” was not said once at all in the film.”
As other users pressed for answers, the OP shared some detailed plot points in the comments section, with the most surprising revelation being that Dark Phoenix hues surprisingly close to 2006’s much-maligned X-Men: The Last Stand.
“I want to make sure that this is clear – I am talking about the cut of the movie I saw. Things could still get tweaked here and there. But I do believe some things won’t change. What can’t change is the movie being really underwhelming. Really lower your expectations because this one is not good. Mystique dies. They repeat moments from X3 I kid you not.
-They repeat the moment between jean and Cyclops “take off the glasses and kiss me I can control your eyes”
-We see Charles pick up jean as a child again
-jean almost kills Charles again by levitating him and dissolving him
Magneto does become an opposing force again and faces off with Charles’ team. It’s funny because before their fight begins and Charles is trying to talk him out of it magneto goes like “every time we do this it’s the same thing over again”- something along those lines.”
If you want to know exactly how the initial cut of the movie plays out, this Reddit user has us covered there, too. Be warned, though, as the following contains massive spoilers (assuming that all this makes it into the theatrical cut, that is):
“-x-men are like Avengers status at the beginning of the film (which feels really unearned) -astronauts at risk of dying in space(literally the atmosphere not space) due to some cosmic waves
-x-men save them but jean gets hit by waves
-they return and she starts freaking out about her powers
-the movie begins with young jean getting in a car crash with her two parents. At this point after the rescue we find out that her powers were responsible and she feels guilty for killing her mother. We find out that her dad is still alive though so she escapes the mansion all emotional to go find him.
-when jean got hit by the cosmic rays she sent the spaceship flying into space and somehow it fucking lands on an alien planet. The aliens look st the wreckage and go “fuck it this means war. Let’s go get the phoenix force” that’s literally their whole motivation.
-jean finds her dad and she gets pissed that Charles lied to her about her parents being dead. But Charles lied because her dad didn’t want her anymore. When she finally realizes all of this she almost kills her dad but the x men come to save her. She is really edgy at this point.
-she kills mystique by accident
-beast gets all mad because he loved her.
-beast goes to find magneto for help to defeat jean
-charles takes the rest of the team to get to jean before the aliens and beast/magneto can
-movie is so boring I’m sorry of this isn’t the best description but the movie ends with a cgi battle and its not very exciting because the aliens look boring and have generic levitation powers (they do shape shift into humans but they LOOK NOTHING LIKE SKRULLS AND THE WORD SKRULL IS NEVER SAID)
-there is an alien invasion and jean flies into space and gives up all her powers to destroy the fleet. The end”
The user then went on to answer a few other questions, which you can find by following the link below. These include revealing the details of Quicksilver’s traditional big scene, the new costumes in the movie and the fact that Jessica Chastain’s villain doesn’t even get a name. He also revealed that the cut he saw was “really long” at “way over 2 hours,” so he expects the theatrical version to be much shorter.
There’s a lot to chew on here, but some of the big takeaways include the relative lack of a cosmic scale to the plot, the reheating of elements from previous movies and the bland villains that are never confirmed to be Skrulls. If it’s all true, then maybe Fox has the right idea after all in sending X-Men: Dark Phoenix back in front of the cameras before it hits theaters next February.