Simon Kinberg shares that Dark Phoenix was inspired by Logan and the original Star Wars trilogy. Marking the directorial debut of the long-time X-Men producer, the next 20th Century Fox Marvel movie is expected to be the last Fox-managed X-Men film before the impending Disney's acquisition of Fox is finalized and rights to the mutants, alongside all their tie-in characters, return to Marvel Entertainment.
The project, which was once again delayed, this time to June 2019, from its supposed roll out this February, will put the spotlight on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey as the narrative tackles her journey in becoming the Dark Phoenix, which was previously hinted at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. It will also see the return of this new X-Men continuity's original actors, such as James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast).
In light of the recent release of the first trailer for Dark Phoenix, Kinberg spoke to Empire about other film inspirations behind the upcoming X-Men movie. The filmmaker named both Logan and the original Star Wars trilogy as major influencers explaining that he wanted to mimic the "naturalistic" and "edgier" feel of both movies.
“The way I wanted to make the movie was very different than the aesthetic of previous X-Men movies, which I’ve been very involved in and proud of. But I wanted it to feel more naturalistic, I wanted it to feel edgier, more handmade, more real. I was very inspired by what James Mangold did with Logan, and I felt like if I could bring a measure of that aesthetic in the film that all of the intergalactic and larger-scale things that happen in the movie would feel more shocking, more realistic, more emotional. They’d be grounded in some reality."
"And so, all of the movie – from the costumes, to the title card, to the set design, to the way the X-jet looks – all of that stuff is just more analogue in a way. More like, let’s say, the original Star Wars movies. Not that analogue, but the movies I grew up loving had this very gritty, edgy, cool, human feeling to them."
Kinberg's comments explain why Dark Phoenix dropped the "X-Men" brand on its title since it was trying to follow the footsteps of the Mangold-directed flick. The only problem with this, however, is that the film is part of the Fox Marvel's main mutants saga and not a spin-off like Logan or Deadpool, which can separate themselves from the primary film series, so it's kind of jarring to not follow the standard title format.
The idea that a film based on Chris Claremont's The Dark Phoenix saga supposedly mines inspiration from one of the most grounded comic book movies is also a cause of concern for some fans. While Logan was critically-acclaimed and dubbed one of the best superhero films ever, its grounded feel was appropriate with the type of narrative that Mangold and Hugh Jackman were telling. Dark Phoenix (in print), on the other hand, was grand in scale - something that its film adaptation should also be like. However, it seemed like making Dark Phoenix less operatic has been Kinberg's idea from the get-go.
Reactions for the first Dark Phoenix trailer have already been divisive and Kinberg's recent comments aren't exactly reassuring that the film will finally deliver a good adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga on the big screen, especially after X-Men: The Last Stand's failed attempt. If anything, many have pointed out that based on what they've seen from the trailer, the upcoming movie is nothing but a rehash of what's already been done. Of course, since it's just a teaser, Kinberg and his team may very well still have a lot of great surprises up their sleeves that would ultimately make the film fantastic.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020