Tye Sheridan, who reprises the role of Cyclops in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, has described the film as "more of a drama versus a superhero film."
The last two years have seen Fox take a fresh, experimental approach to the superhero genre. The blockbuster success of both Deadpool and Logan has proved that superhero films can be far more varied in tone and style than fans and studios previously believed. That approach increasingly seems to be informing each of Fox's X-Men films, even the tentpole movies. In December, X-Men: Dark Phoenix star Sophie Turner went so far as to claim that the next tentpole X-Men movie was "revolutionizing" the superhero genre. Legendary X-Men creator Chris Claremont actually compared Dark Phoenix to Casino Royale, claiming it "will have as powerful an impact on the comic book film world as the second Casino Royale had on the James Bond film world."
Now Tye Sheridan has chimed in, expressing the same kind of confidence. In an interview with The Wrap, he noted that he doesn't really believe this is your typical superhero film. For all there'll be cosmic action, with the X-Men headed to space, he views this as a drama.
"Jean goes crazy in the movie. Well, Cyclops doesn’t think she’s going crazy — Cyclops just thinks she’s gotta work some stuff out. It’s interesting, the drama in the movie. We treated this movie as much more of a drama versus a superhero film."
It's an approach that will be familiar to any X-Men fans. The X-Men comics have frequently been jokingly described as "superhero soap operas." Stories have typically focused on the personal relationships between the characters. As such, the X-Men have typically dealt with the kind of tragedy usually seen only in soap operas. That was certainly true of Claremont's famed Dark Phoenix Saga, the inspiration for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Although fans tend to focus on the cosmic stakes of the Dark Phoenix Saga, its beating heart was the relationship between Cyclops and Jean Grey.
The Dark Phoenix Saga saw Jean's mind fractured and broken by the telepath Mastermind. Jean was transformed into Dark Phoenix, a cosmic force so powerful that it could destroy entire star-systems. And yet, as phenomenal as the scale of all this was, the focus was actually upon the X-Men's horrified reaction. They were forced to fight against the woman who had become the heart and soul of the team. For Cyclops, he was having to go up against the woman he loved. Events came to a head in a confrontation on the Moon, with the X-Men refusing to give up on Jean. Sensing that she could easily fall once again, Jean chose to commit suicide.
Ironically, retcons removed the personal edge of that story. They revealed that the cosmic Phoenix Force had replaced Jean Grey, and the real Jean eventually awoke from a coma. It was the Phoenix Force itself that had been twisted, ultimately becoming Dark Phoenix. While this allowed Marvel to bring Jean back from the dead with ease, it also removed the sense of human tragedy that was originally at the core of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Whatever approach Fox may be planning to take with the Phoenix Force, they seem to be attempting to bring that human dimension back.
The stars of Dark Phoenix clearly believe they're involved with a film that's something special. Only time will tell whether or not they're right.
Source: The Wrap
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- 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