Disney's acquisition of Fox's movie and TV assets isn't the reason why the X-Men saga is ending with Dark Phoenix. Marking the directorial debut of long-time X-Men film producer Simon Kinberg, the film is the fourth installment of the ongoing prequel timeline and is seventh overall the primary series.
Focusing on Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, Dark Phoenix will fulfill the promise of the character fully becoming the Dark Phoenix as teased in the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. Not much is known about the movie's plot specifics, but Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is confirmed to die in the movie as revealed in the movie's latest trailer. James McAvoy's Professor X and Michael Fassbender's Magneto will also factor in the film in what will be their final outings as their respective mutant character with the franchise likely going to be rebooted by Marvel Studios who have re-acquired the character rights to Fox's roster of Marvel heroes.
However, Dark Phoenix producer Hutch Parker told ComicBook.com during WonderCon at Anaheim over the weekend that the X-Men film series isn't ending because of Disney and Fox's deal. Instead, the upcoming movie simply "became a kind of natural culmination" of the beloved comic book movie saga.
“You know, we did, not for the reasons that would seem to be the case now, but in the sense that we felt like we were completing certain emotional arguments. We were completing certain emotional ideas. And in trying to take the story further, it dictated we make certain choices from which we couldn't come back. You know, Raven's death, certain choices that, I guess for me, one of the challenges of doing the sequel to a franchise is how do you keep it fresh? How do you keep pushing forward? And I think too often we treat the ground is we play it safe and we don't make movies that are as interesting as they should be.”
“So we tried to free ourselves from that hesitation this time and kind of let it fly. And so in its own way, that became a kind of natural culmination.
Marvel Studios has been mum about their plans for the mutants, as well as the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, but president Kevin Feige has been vocal about dreaming of bringing all these Marvel characters together under one roof. Initial reports claim that only Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool franchise will be carried over to Disney. The idea of him joining the MCU, however, is still unclear thus far considering his R-rated films. At this point, it's safe to say that Marvel Studios is leaning more on rebooting the main X-Men saga than adapting its rather convoluted timeline. What's most disappointing in all this is that Fox has almost always nailed their casting and it would be a bummer to see the likes of McAvoy and Fassbender, as well as newer actors such as Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Evan Peters (Quicksilver) who are doing well with their respective roles go.
Considering how the prequel films take place every 10 years starting with Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class in the '60s, the current timeline is set to clash with the original series having Dark Phoenix set in 1992. The first X-Men film with Patrick Stewart's Professor X, Ian McKellen's Magneto, Rebecca Romijin's Mystique, Halley Berry's Storm and Famke Janssen's Jean Grey was in 2000. The problem is, it doesn't feel like the ongoing movies are building towards that. So, if Fox was to continue making these films, they would more likely have to disregard the original X-Men trilogy.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019