Dark Phoenix is finally set to be released in June and a new report points to problems for the movie at the box office because the budget may have ballooned as a result of those lengthy reshoots last year.
However, up until now, we’ve seen very little from the movie and while more trailers are no doubt on the way, it’s easy to imagine the long-delayed X-Men: Apocalypse sequel crashing and burning at the box office when it’s released this June. That’s a point made by The Observer in an article looking at the most likely big budget flops of 2019.
Apparently, Dark Phoenix‘s budget may have rocketed up to a whopping $200 million thanks to reshoots and while it hasn’t gone anywhere near the $250+ million of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this doesn’t bode well for the series especially after the last instalment huge underperformed.
Fox’s X-Men series ending with a whimper rather than a bang would be a shame but fans are clearly more excited for the inevitable Marvel Studios reboot and with an inexperienced director like Simon Kinberg at the helm, it’s hard to say how it will fare with critics.
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A Fresh Take On Scott Summers/Cyclops
Comic book fans have always been somewhat dissatisfied with how Cyclops has been portrayed on the big screen and it sounds like Kinberg has actually made a conscious effort to address that in this movie. “Jean and Cyclops are a couple in the film,” he confirms. “Scott will take much more of a leadership role than he has in previous movies. He’s not as much of a boy scout as he was.”
He also notes that Scott will be central to the main story because of his relationship with Jean Grey.
When Dark Phoenix Takes Place
The timeline of these X-Men movies makes absolutely no sense and after taking us to the 80s in X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix will land in the 90s. Now, Kinberg has confirmed that this adventure takes place nine years after that movie meaning the team has presumably gained quite a bit of experience.
Of course, that doesn’t explain how old any of them are but we now know we’ll be in 1992 here.
Forget About Seeing The X-Men: Apocalypse Suits
At the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, the heroes finally got costumes which resembled those of their comic book counterparts. It was obviously a shame that they hadn’t worn them in the movie itself but surely they’d have them in the sequel, right? Nope. Instead, Kinberg has gone back to the classic yellow and blue and he confirms in this interview that we won’t see the Apocalypse costumes at all here.
The Movie’s Running Time
Asked about the movie’s running time and whether or not it’s changed since those reshoots were ordered, Kinberg was vague but confirmed that the plan from day one was to have the movie land at around the two-hour mark. He said that it’s not going to come in under two hours (which is always a bad sign for blockbusters) or at two and a half. Instead, they’re looking at 2 hours, 20 minutes at most.
There Will Be Plenty Of Emotion
Asked what the focus of Dark Phoenix is, Kinberg says that the movie will focus on the “evolution” and “devolution” of the Phoenix and we’ll be getting a “dramatic, intense, and emotional story.”
That certainly sounds like the right sort of direction to take this movie in and fans will no doubt appreciate that Fox is bringing a certain level of gravitas to one of the most famous X-Men stories.
The Last Stand Regrets
Kinberg penned the screenplay for the much maligned X-Men: The Last Stand and, surprisingly, he believes that the mainstream audience liked it (it has a 61% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so perhaps he’s on to something). However, the filmmaker admitted that he still has some regrets.
“What I regret about it is that it’s not the ‘Dark Phoenix’ storyline,” he explained. “It’s ‘The Cure’ story with Dark Phoenix as a subplot and it should have been the ‘Dark Phoenix’ as the main plot of the film.” Kinberg went on to say that he believes the world wasn’t ready for a dark superhero movie.
The Phoenix Will Be A Cosmic Entity
After seeing the trailer for Dark Phoenix, many fans have jumped to the conclusion that Professor X is responsible for Jean being made to forget a tragedy in her past and that’s how she ends up turning “Dark.” Well, Kinberg has now confirmed that’s not the case and says that there’s actually “a cosmic entity force that’s more responsible for what happened.” So, he’ is sticking to the comic books then.
It’s Business As Usual Despite The Disney Deal
Many fans have argued that there’s no point in Dark Phoenix existing when Marvel Studios is planning to reboot the franchise. However, Kinberg confirms that as of right now, it’s business as usual.
“Until the deal is completely finished—which has in principal terms been agreed to by the two boards but it hasn’t yet gone through the final approvals that go through the government. But until that’s done, Fox has to remain Fox and perform as it would as if it wasn’t up for sale. So for all intents and purposes, you proceed as business as usual.” So, that’s why they’re working on Gambit!
What Those Reshoots Have Changed
As for those reshoots, Kinberg reiterates that they were needed to change the third act and then make a few changes earlier in the movie to address those. This sounds an awful lot like what happened to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and, well, that ended up mostly being pretty damn good, didn’t it?
“Mostly we focused on the third act, both emotionally and in terms of the physical scale and the action of the third act that we adjusted,” he explained to the site. “And then there were certain things in the first two acts of the movie—very few things, but to set up those changes in the third act we had to adjust some things in the first two acts so that that all was fluid and felt consistent.”
The Questions Kinberg Couldn’t Answer
This might mean a lot or absolutely nothing but when Kinberg was asked whether we’ll see Jean Grey’s classic Jim Lee costume from the comics, he chose to pass. He was also quizzed about the possibility of Magneto and Quicksilver finally addressing their familial relationship but wouldn’t say a thing. That’s long overdue but seeing as X-Men: Apocalypse ignored it, we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up.