Dark Phoenix: Many rewrites took place on set

Toby Graves
June 7, 2019

The film stars Sophie Turner in as Jean Grey, who transforms into the eponymous villain. As with Oscar Isaac in Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix wastes a talented actor in an underwritten role, with Chastain delivering a flat performance as a one-dimensional super-powered baddie.

This underlying template also found its way into the sequels in the original trilogy - culminating in "X-Men: The Last Stand" - although again, in a manner that didn't wholly translate the qualities that made the characterization of it as a "saga" more than mere hyperbole.

Grading on a curve of recent X-Men movies, place "Dark Phoenix" well behind the "X-Men" editions subtitled "First Class" and "Days of Future Past" but ahead of "Apocalypse", the latter representing the nadir of the mutant heroes. But for a series supposedly dedicated to the pleasure of superhero movies, "Dark Phoenix" somehow ends up illustrating their limits. The team is at a point in their careers where they've become proper celebrities thanks to their high-profile acts of heroism. In the process of the rescue mission, Jean absorbs the full brunt of the unknown force.

It's telling that "Dark Phoenix" doesn't have the "X-Men" name in the title, following the pattern of the "Deadpool" movies, "The Wolverine" and "Logan", and the much-delayed "The New Mutants". The corny display of mutant powers has always been problematic since the first X-Men movie.

In Dark Phoenix, the weight of the film is placed on legacy.

"He's been around the series for so long now and he feels very passionate about this story, the story of Jean Grey", Fassbender said, explaining why he and some of his castmates, including Jennifer Lawrence, asked Kinberg to direct this time around. The entire sequence is as very bad as it is attractive, and it's easy to see how the people down on Earth witnessing the event might liken it to a disaster akin to the Challenger. From Mystique's perspective, Jean's accident embodies all of her fears about him. X-Men launched the superhero craze back in 2000, but in 2019 the franchise comes to a sad, limping finish.

This is especially freakish considering how good Logan turned out to be just a year ago.

Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, told io9 back in April that there are no plans to incorporate the X-men anytime soon.

As it is, the film is weirdly boring, oddly wrong-headed and terribly executed and it has one of the strangest scripts ever seen in an X-Men movie. After kicking Scott out, Jean-and "the Phoenix"-had a talk with Emma". Jean has to deal with her issues from the death of her mother to the unravelling of secrets that make her distrust Charles and his own motives, giving birth to new ones helped along by Jessica Chastain's shape-shifting alien whispering sweet, evil nothings to fuel the flames of destruction. You might have remembered the distinct '80s vibe in that film.

Turner, who married Jonas in May, shared a close-up photo on Instagram of her look for the event.

Part of this can likely be attributed to the fact that this incarnation of Jean hasn't had much of a chance to become a three-dimensional character. He includes plenty of scenes of the teleporting Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and the weather-controlling Storm (Alexandra Shipp), and the brainy Hank (Nicholas Hoult) makes a few transformations into the blue-haired Beast. There are some things that felt new about it and others that were predictable. However, Turner's film more closely resembles the storyline that was so beloved in the Marvel comics.

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