Dark Phoenix has brought the X-Men movies to a close by returning to The Dark Phoenix Saga, rounding out a run of movies that take Marvel's most famous comics and translate them to the X-Men movie world. A producer on board for the likes of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Logan and now Dark Phoenix is Hutch Parker, who Screen Rant recently caught up with the discuss the enormity of the franchise.
Since 2000, there's been three Spider-Men there's been two Supermen, there'll have been three Jokers soon and yet we've really had one X-Men. We've recast but it's the same continuity. Why has this been the franchise that's had the staying power?
I really think it's because the underlying material is so strong. And I think the underlying material is strong because of the nature of the characters. The characters have incredibly rich internal conflicts and external emotional and psychological conflicts, and that's given us the ability to keep exploring different facets of them and different scenarios where we see them tested in different ways. Phoenix, to me, is probably the best example of that because it does take these long-simmering battles and realizes them in a new way. I'm incredibly proud of Simon for the way he managed to shape and evolve this story both in keeping with the underlying comic but in some ways kind of completing the argument between Charles and Erik, redefining the challenges between the family. To me, that was an incredible accomplishment and really gratifying and fun to work on.
You mentioned Charles and Erik. In this movie, when we meet them they're almost flipped and from how we're used to seeing them. At what point in the development of this or Apocalypse or Days of Future Past or whichever did it become clear that was the arc you were gonna take these characters on?
Ultimately, towards the end of Apocalypse, we started really talking about what we wanted to try to do next and certainly in the wake of all those movies you described you feel a lot of pressure to try to really change up the game and try to do something different. So we knew we needed to do something bold, we knew we wanted to do something totally different and that sort of led us to the Phoenix story. And then once we got there it really was about how can we look to flip everything on its head. Let's redefine the relationship between Charles and Erik. Let's do something different with Storm and with all of them, frankly. And that was really fun because it gave the actors a chance to play entirely different colors than they've gotten to play before which, when you have a cast that's this extraordinary, you know you'd be making a terrible error not to give them those opportunities.
You've been able to bring some amazing stories to life. Days of Future Past, Phoenix is probably the quintessential X-Men story, Old Man Logan. Is there a particular comic story that's not been done on the big screen that you would have loved to have been able to get your hands on and translate with these characters?
Yeah, I mean, there are. I'm loathe to mention any, in part because I hope to still be able to do some of these. But, you know, part of what makes these comic books so powerful to me is they're effectively myth and so it's an opportunity to both entertain but also to deal with some really complicated emotional and thematic issues that are our lives. Alienation or the struggles we all have to fit in, certainly in the United States, it's a very hot topic at the moment in all sorts of ways. And you're gently touching on those themes in ways that I think is really powerful.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019