“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” hasn’t received a warm welcome at the box office and critics alike. Variety called it “the worst performance in the X-Man franchise’s 20-year history”.
Now that the majority has already seen “Dark Phoenix” on the big screen, there’s been a few “what if” or “what could’ve been” scenarios involving the movie’s ending.
According to Deadline, writer-director Simon Kinberg originally had plans for “Dark Phoenix” to be split into 2 parts during pre-production. When 20th Century Fox ordered only 1 movie, Kinberg had to re-write the script to accommodate the change.
In 1 of the cut versions, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey had reportedly died. Needless to say, that cut wasn’t well-received by test audiences. They also didn’t like that the final battle initially only saw Jessica Chastain’s villainous Vuk facing off against Jean, Cyclops and Charles Xavier. Kinberg adjusted the climax to include all of the X-Men characters in theatrical cut.
During an interview with ReelBlend podcast (via SlashFilm), Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan also expound on another ending that was initially planned for “Dark Phoenix”. The X-Men team was supposed dissolved in a similar fashion to the Avengers in “Captain America: Civil War”. That’s not all, the shape-shifting D’Bari race was meant to be Skrulls.
“It’s really hard for me to remember what the ending of this movie is. (laughs) Originally, it was scripted that Charles and Scott go to the U.N. because — man, I’m totally going to mess this up — they go to the U.N. because they’re going to try to tell the President that, ‘Hey, we’re under attack by aliens and, they’ve now captured Jean Grey.’ Or, you know, whatever it is that we’re going to tell him,” Sheridan recalled.
The 22-year-old actor continued, “And then Jean comes down in the front of the U.N., and causes… there is this huge battle between the guards at the U.N. and Jean Grey, and all the guards turn out to be Skrulls. And then Jean and Scott are — Scott is fighting Skrulls in the fountain. He gets thrown into the fountain in front of the U.N. And then Jean comes down and basically fights all of the Skrulls off, and then blasts back off into space. (She) basically says goodbye to Scott and Charles. And then it’s all over, I guess.”
The inclusion of Skrulls makes sense since the X-Men have often clashed with them in the Marvel comics. However, since they were featured in “Captain Marvel” earlier this year, naming this alien species as Skrulls in “Dark Phoenix” might caused confusion to movie audiences. As such, changing it to D’Bari was probably for the best.
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“Dark Phoenix” ended up in a tricky spot since production started way before Disney bought the rights from Fox. The X-Men franchise will probably take a back seat for the time being while Marvel Studios maps out its movie slate for Phase 4.