Writer and director Simon Kinberg says that he’s working to make sure X-Men: Dark Phoenix will still be a ‘grounded’ film, and won’t ever become ‘too intergalactic.’ Following X-Men: Apocalypse‘s disappointing reception in 2016 too, the central saga of Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe is going through a small change in creative leadership, with franchise veteran Bryan Singer stepping away from the director’s seat. In his place, Simon Kinberg will be directing X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which picks up sometime in the early 1990s and continues to follow the younger generation of mutants that were introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse, led by Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey.
Not much is known about the story of X-Men: Dark Phoenix as of right now, including how it will and will not be staying faithful to the iconic comic book arc it’s based on. However, filming on X-Men: Dark Phoenix is underway right now, and the movie is currently set to be the third and final X-Men feature film hitting theaters in 2018, following Fox’s “full-fledged horror film” New Mutants and the highly-anticipated Deadpool 2. Considering the sheer size and scope of the X-Men: Dark Phoenix comic book arc, many have been looking towards Dark Phoenix as being, possibly, the biggest X-Men film to date.
However, it doesn’t look like Dark Phoenix will necessarily be as big as its source material either. In the October 2017 issue of Total Film as well (via X-MenFilms), Kinberg said that he wants to make sure the film is as “human” and “emotional” as the best X-Men films have become known for:
“[We must] find a way to ground it so it’s not too intergalactic.”
Kinberg’s comments here may come as somewhat of a disappointment to some X-Men fans, especially those who had assumed that Dark Phoenix would be the first time that the franchise truly embraced some of the wild, cosmic elements of the comic books. The rumored introductions of iconic characters like Jessica Chastain as Princess-Majestrix Lilandra Neramani a.k.a. the empress of the Shi’ar alien empire or the Acolytes and their cosmic home base of Avalon, had only seemingly reinforced those assumptions over the past few months. That’s not to mention too, the introduction of Dazzler and some other zanier, lighter comic book mutants.
Now, there’s no telling for sure how much Kinberg intends on grounding the drama, action, and story of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, or if he’ll really be toning down on some of the more anticipated cosmic elements of the comic book storyline. That’ll be a difficult balance for the first-time feature director to try and tackle with X-Men: Dark Phoenix over the next year, and one that could very well determine the overall success of Dark Phoenix as a film.