Disney's looming acquisition of Fox's movie and film assets is hurting Dark Phoenix. The in-development buyout is currently in the final stages, with all legalities expected to be ironed out in the next coming days after more than a year of going through the process. This will effectively bring the character rights for the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other tie-in characters back to Marvel, after years of being handled separately over at Fox.
The upcoming X-Men film will mark the directorial debut of long-time producer Simon Kinberg, and will put Sophie Turner's Jean Grey at the forefront of the narrative. Based on Chris Claremont's The Dark Phoenix saga, it'll fulfill the promise of the powerful mutant fully transforming into the Dark Phoenix teased at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. Turner will be joined by the new crop of actors from the current X-Men prequel timeline, including Tye Sheridan (Scott Summer/Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Evan Peters (Quicksilver). But, it'll also feature the original heroes of the soft reboot, James McAvoy's Professor X, Michael Fassbender's Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult's Beast, potentially for one last time. Dark Phoenix will be the final film from the main saga to be managed by Fox, and knowing what lies ahead for the company is making it a lot harder for those working on the move.
With Disney's acquisition nearing its completion, marketing executives from Fox are offering fans an idea what it's like operating knowing that it's only a matter of time before a massive change takes place. Vanity Fair is reporting that last month, Fox's marketing and distribution departments convened with Kinberg to draw a plan for Dark Phoenix's June release. But while everyone tried to do their best in tackling the task-at-hand, it was tough focusing on the project with the buyout affecting how they're operating.
“We know when we are dropping a trailer, but we are nowhere near where we should be at this time. It’s frightening. I would be mad if I were a filmmaker.”
“Nobody has come around and said, ‘This is what’s going on.’ Why can’t they just tell us that there is no place for us? Why can’t they let anyone know? We are not leaving because we didn’t make money for the company or we did a bad job. We are leaving because of pure capitalism.”
It's no secret that the production for Dark Phoenix wasn't as smooth sailing as everyone hoped it would be. The film's release was pushed back a couple of times, and extensive reshoots were implemented that bloated its production budget. But those often happen with other blockbusters as well. The Kinberg-directed film, however, has to navigate through the impending buyout that undoubtedly added more controversy to the film (as well as other Marvel projects over at Fox). Instead of the public focusing on the film itself, people are already discussing how it'll be the last of its kind, with Marvel Studios most likely rebooting the whole franchise to better fit the lore that they've built with the MCU.
Given how the X-Men franchise kept comic book films going at a time when they were struggling to connect with an audience, it's a shame that it's going out this way. Sure, Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool will live on in the MCU, because there's no way that they'll wipe out such a beloved franchise at this point. But while the main saga has had its ups and downs, it's built a loyal following over the years. Here's hoping that despite the unfortunate circumstance it found itself in, Dark Phoenix is able to be the swan song the franchise and all of its fans deserve.
Source: Vanity Fair
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020