From Guardians of the Galaxy to Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be taking the superhero genre increasingly away from the old-fashioned archetype of street-level vigilantes, and up into the cosmic unknown. And according to director Simon Kinberg, the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix could be following suit.
“[Dark Phoenix is] a movie that goes into space and is cosmic, very much inspired actually by what [Taika Waititi] did with Thor — even though the tone is totally different — but just the ability to make a character movie that still feels grounded, and fun, but is in whole other universes. Jessica Chastain’s character plays an alien, and that’s all I can tell you about that. But, yeah, it’s the Dark Phoenix story and if you’ve read that comic I think you’re going to like the movie a lot.”
At this same panel, the longtime X-Men producer and writer also apologized for mistakes made in adapting the Dark Phoenix storyline for The Last Stand. Since that messily written 2006 film stayed pretty much earthbound, it does indeed sound like Kinberg will be trying something very different for this second attempt, though hopefully the film isn’t just trading a rehash of The Last Stand for an imitation of the MCU’s formula for success.
Previously, Kinberg has compared Dark Phoenix to last year’s highly character-driven Logan, arguing that the film will differ from the overcrowded Last Stand by placing Jean Grey and her dangerous alter ego as the focus of the story. For many a viewer, the Hugh Jackman-led movie served as a much-needed reminder that the X-Men universe was still capable of making us feel invested in its most frequently employed characters, and in the wake of the poorly received Apocalypse, this new movie could certainly stand to do the same favor for James McAvoy’s Xavier and his young peers.
We’ll see if X-Men: Dark Phoenix can live up to its influences when it hits theaters on June 7th, 2019.