It'll most likely be years before the X-Men get folded into the MCU with all the other Fox properties, but they nearly had a closer connection to Disney's way of making Marvel movies than you might think. According to Tye Sheridan (young Scott Summers, aka Cyclops), Dark Phoenix, particularly the conclusion, was originally going to feature the shapeshifting Skrulls, who recently made their live-action debut back in March's Captain Marvel.
“I think we reshot [the ending] sequence twice or three times. It’s really hard for me to remember what the ending of this movie is," Sheridan said during a guest spot on the latest episode of CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast.
"Originally, it was scripted that Charles [James McAvoy] 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 they're going to tell him. And then Jean comes down in the front of the U.N., and 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.”
Now, it's possible that Sheridan could have misspoken because the alien antagonists in the movie, the D'Bari (led by Jessica Chastain's Vuk), are also capable of shapeshifting into anyone they please. That being said, there were reports the ending of Dark Phoenix, which was going to feature a climax in outer space, had to be reshot because it bore too close of a resemblance to another comic book movie.
Many postulated that it was Disney's Captain Marvel and while that was never confirmed — in some cases, it was denied — an alleged inclusion of Skrulls as the plot's bad guys gives more credence to the theories that Simon Kinberg's directorial debut needed tweaking, so as not to clash horns with the onscreen debut of Carol Danvers.
In the end, the writer/director/producer went with a train sequence where the mutants, en route to a government prison, battle the D'Bari before the malevolent aliens can siphon the Phoenix Force out of Jean and take over the planet.
"It's part of the process, man," added Sheridan. "Something could read so great on the page and then the second you put it on a screen in front of someone, it becomes something else. It's really hard to figure out what the best version of a movie is and also, specifically, the ending of a film. The ending of a film is really hard to nail. Obviously, these films set up a formula where you kind of wanna see a big battle at the end with the X-Men. You want to see them united together at the end, so I think that was what led to the reshoots and I could be totally wrong."
Dark Phoenix is now playing in theaters everywhere. The film disappointed at the domestic box office during its first weekend with $33 million. It did much better in foreign markets with $107 million from 53 markets for a global opening of $140 million. Right now, the X-Men movie's global tally stands at just over $145 million.