[Minor spoilers for X-Men: Dark Phoenix]
X-Men: Dark Phoenix finally opened up last night (it made $5 million during previews), nearly a year after it was originally supposed to come out. The delay was reportedly due, in part, lengthy reshoots, particularly in the third act. “The end changed a hell of a lot. The finale had to change,” James McAvoy recently said. “There was a lot of overlap and parallels with another superhero movie that came out… a while ago. And we had no idea that we were… We were basically trawling through the source material it seems.” The Glass star didn’t spill the tea on which superhero movie he was referring to (the best bet was Captain Marvel), but Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg did.
“My original ending didn’t have the entire X-Family together the way they are in the film now. More than Captain Marvel, you could see a lot of Civil War in that ending,” he said, referring to 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. “Usually, these big, huge action movies have the climactic moment in the third act. I loved the way that Civil War had its big action action set piece where everyone’s facing off more towards the end of the second act rather than in the third, so that after that huge battle, you’re left with Winter Soldier, Captain America, and Iron Man.”
Kinberg, who also co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past, praised how “intimate” Civil War felt, and “that’s what I was going for with Dark Phoenix’s ending, even though it then might have looked like Captain Marvel for about two minutes.” The trailers for Dark Phoenix have focused on the disagreements among the X-Men over what to do with fiery Jean Grey, similar to Iron Man and Captain America bickering over the Sokovia Accords in Civil War. This makes sense, although I’m still disappointed McAvoy’s “another superhero movie” wasn’t, like, Superhero Movie. Bummer.
2008 feels like it was 500 years ago.