X-Men: Dark Phoenix star Alexandra Shipp – better known as Storm – has nothing but positive words for the forthcoming movie’s director Simon Kinberg and believes that the X-Men world will flourish under his guidance. Fox’s X-Men franchise certainly has its hands full at present. Having scored two huge big screen hits with Deadpool and Logan, the studio is hard at work on Deadpool 2. On the small screen, this year’s Legion was well received by fans and critics and The Gifted recently premiered to positive reviews also. Additionally, New Mutants, X-Force and Gambit are all in the works with varying degrees of progress.
However, despite the critical and commercial success of these projects, Fox’s primary X-Men movie series has been struggling somewhat of late – with last year’s entry Apocalypse attracting a decidedly mixed response. Although there were rumors of another reboot to turn around the franchise’s fortunes, Fox is continuing the series with Dark Phoenix, a story centered on Jean Grey losing control of her considerable powers and transforming into the wildly unpredictable Phoenix. Dark Phoenix will be the first movie in the series to be directed by long-time franchise producer and writer Simon Kinberg.
With Kinberg now in full control (he’ll also be writing and producing), Shipp believes that the only way is up for the X-Men franchise. Speaking with SyfyWire, Shipp claims:
“I can’t say too much but what I can say is that, as a fan of the X-Men franchise, I know a lot of people are going to be happy with how accurate this one is… Now that [Kinberg] has a little more control, he is able to really allow this X-Men world to flourish.”
In many ways, Shipp’s comments are to be expected. It’s rarely a good career move to criticize a director that you’ve only just finished shooting a movie with; and since the post-production process is due to begin imminently, Shipp will be careful to avoid saying anything that could result in her character being left on the cutting room floor. However, as an actor who has previously admitted to being a huge fan of the X-Men franchise (she describes Kinberg as a “fellow nerd“), Shipp is in a better position than most to judge whether or not the debuting director’s vision is likely to please fans or not.
Dark Phoenix is undoubtedly a pivotal release for Fox and the future of the X-Men franchise. Having had success with both R-Rated fare and television, the studio are surely scratching their heads wondering why the most recent installment of their flagship X-Men series received such a lukewarm response. As has already been proven with Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios are more than willing to bring back previously shipped-out characters if their own franchises continue to under-perform. Should Dark Phoenix continue the downward trend of the mainstream X-Men movies, could superhero fans see Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue and co. rock up in the MCU within the next five years? Uncannier things have happened.
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