Dark Phoenix's original ending had Jean Grey fight the Skrulls in New York City. Since James McAvoy openly discussed the latest Marvel mutant film's third-act reshoots, it's become a central topic when talking about the Fox project. Fans have pieced together the information known about what went on behind-the-scenes that led to reworking the film. Now, Tye Sheridan is detailing how that controversial final battle was initially supposed to go down.
Many fans weren't thrilled at the idea that Fox was trying their hand again at adapting Chris Claremont's iconic The Dark Phoenix saga on the big screen, after their failed attempt in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Others, meanwhile, welcomed it, hoping that they had learned from their mistakes, and would make it right in this contemporary retelling. Sadly, the end product didn't satisfy the public, and that's reflected in the movie's poor box office performance - scoring the lowest opening day sales of any X-Men film.
In a recent interview with Cinema Blend's ReelBlend podcast, Sheridan recalls what Dark Phoenix's original ending was which they apparently shot "two or three times." Admitting that it's difficult to remember all the details of that initial cut because it's been quite a while since it was filmed, the actor provided a decent picture of how it was supposed to pan out - enough for fans to compare and contrast with what went down in the film's theatrical cut.
It's really hard for me to remember what the ending of this movie is. [laughs] Originally, it was scripted that Charles 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 that we're going to tell him.
And then Jean comes down in the front of the U.N., and causes… 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.
Feeding off of McAvoy's reveal that they had to reshoot Dark Phoenix's ending because it was too similar to the ending of a recent superhero film, Kinberg revealed that it was going to be like Captain America: Civil War where the X-Men will be split into two like the Avengers in that Russo Brothers project. Sheridan, however, suggests a different reason - they needed to rework Dark Phoenix's third act because "for the X-Men, you kind of want to see them united together at the end." It wasn't technically because it had the same result as Civil War, but more of they didn't want that particular narrative end.
It's unclear if Dark Phoenix originally ended exactly how Sheridan recalled, or if there was a planned aftermath scene that would have a clear parallel to how Civil War wrapped up. In any case, according to what he said, it doesn't seem like it's too similar to what the MCU film did, especially since it had different motivations and key players. One would even argue that for years, the mutants had been caught in a flimsier version of Civil War having to deal with Charles and Magneto's ideological differences. Would people be more receptive of the movie if it had its original ending? There's no guarantee of that. Nevertheless, viewers would be interested in seeing it, possibly in the movie's home video release.
Source: Cinema Blend
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