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SYFY WIRE Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix director says it was always meant to wrap up the X-Men universe

By Josh Weiss
Sophie Turner's Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix

When the Disney-Fox merger closed a few weeks back, it was assumed that Fox's live-action X-Men universe would cease to be as the House of Mouse planned to mix them into the MCU with other heroes like Iron Man and Captain America.

According to longtime Fox/Marvel producer, Simon Kinberg, however, Dark Phoenix (arriving in theaters this summer) was already planned as the natural denouement of this mutant world that Bryan Singer kicked off all the way back in July of 2000.

"From the beginning of conceiving what we were going to do with this film and writing it, which was three plus years ago, so long before there was a Disney merger, I felt like this was the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies," Kinberg, who also wrote/directed Dark Phoenix, told at WonderCon this past weekend. "Because it is seeing this family that you've come to love and know for however many films, and if you count the originals almost 20 years now, you see that family tested in a whole new way. You see that family start to fall apart in a real way for the first time, ultimately come back together."

Dark Phoenix

SYFY WIRE was in attendance at Dark Phoenix's WonderCon panel, which featured two clips from the upcoming film. One involved Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) absorbing the Phoenix Force into her body, while the other centered on a New York battle between two mutant groups led by Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

"[This movie] felt like the culmination of a storyline or a cycle of these films," Kinberg added in his chat. "And for me, and for most of the fans ... Dark Phoenix is the ultimate and most iconic storyline in the X-Men universe. And so I didn't know how we would top Dark Phoenix within this cycle. This felt like we had to earn our way back to Dark Phoenix. And I feel like we did hopefully, and beyond that felt like we'd want to sort of create an ending and the possibility of a new beginning. And that's what we do on this film."

As we've said before, the Disney acquisition leaves all in-development Marvel projects at Fox in serious doubt. The only ones we can count on seeing right now are Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants, although the progress of the latter is also quite confusing. Last week, Kinberg voiced his hope that we'd eventually get to see the live-action Gambit movie with Channing Tatum in the central role, but that decision will fall to Disney and how it may (or may not) fit into its larger X-Men strategy.

Dark Phoenix blazes into theaters everywhere June 7.

In addition to Turner, McAvoy, and Fassbender, the film also stars Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), and Evan Peters (Quicksilver). Jessica Chastain (It: Chapter Two) plays a mysterious alien character who seeks to exploit Jean for her newly found power.