Famed comic book writer Chris Claremont has compared Simon Kinberg's movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix to 2006's acclaimed James Bond film Casino Royale.
Focussing on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey as she embraces the violence of her power within, Dark Phoenix will serve as the seventh "main" X-Men movie and a direct sequel to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. Featuring an all-star cast of established favorites like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, the new blood in Dark Phoenix includes Jessica Chastain as the mysterious Smith. However, is it too little too late to save the series, or will the next entry be a phoenix rising from the ashes? Well, Claremont is one man who certainly seems to think the mutants will return to form later this year.
Already a savior of the X-Men, Claremont took over writing duties on the comics in the mid-1970s and gave us some of the best-loved storylines to ever come from Xavier's mansion. After already seeing his 'Days of Future Past' run turned into the movie of the same name, Claremont is now looking ahead at the second adaptation of 'The Dark Phoenix Saga' with a sense of irony. Speaking to Screen Crush while promoting the documentary Chris Claremont's X-Men, he shared his views on the next chapter in the X-Men movies:
"It’s isn’t like they didn’t make more than one version of Casino Royale."
Claremont is referring here to the maligned 1967 version of Casino Royale, which starred David Niven as 007 and isn't really thought of as a James Bond movie at all. In his analogy, that would make Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand the campy '60s version and Dark Phoenix Martin Campbell's gritty 2006 upgrade:
"Well, I think that’s a perfectly accurate paradigm; the second Dark Phoenix will have as powerful an impact on the comic-book film world as the second Casino Royale had on the James Bond film world. I figure you could do a whole lot worse than that."
Given that Claremont created some of the most beloved female X-Men like Mystique, Rogue, Emma Frost, and Psylocke, it is no wonder he is hyping up the female X-Men driven Dark Phoenix. Also, as the man who wrote 'The Dark Phoenix Saga' (which this movie will be based on), it is no wonder he is investing himself so heavily in the movie.
Cambell's Casino Royale was a breath of fresh air to a rather stagnant franchise and effectively rebooted the James Bond movies with a darker take on Ian Fleming's books. We have already seen Matthew Vaughn do this with the X-Men thanks to First Class in 2011, so how will Dark Phoenix raise the bar this time? Kinberg's movie certainly has an uphill struggle, with many fans still unable to escape the disappointment of Apocalypse and its equally average box office takings.
Given that Dark Phoenix is returning with the same cast and retelling the 'Dark Phoenix Saga' again after The Animated Series and The Last Stand, it is easy to see why some are a little tired with the current run of Xavier's gifted youngsters. Also, with the fate of the X-Men now up in the air thanks to the Fox/Disney buyout, Dark Phoenix could amount to little more than a series swansong for the First Class cast. That being said, if Claremont himself likes what Kinberg has done with the material, there must be some good to come from X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Source: Screen Crush
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Gambit (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
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