The relationship between Scott Summers/Cyclops and Jean Grey is set to be a huge part of the narrative of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This comes as no surprise to fans of Chris Claremont’s classic Dark Phoenix Saga comic, where Cyclops’ persistent attempts to rescue Jean Grey from the grips of her Phoenix powers were central to the sprawling story. Naturally, the romance between the young Jean (Sophie Turner) and Scott (Tye Sheridan) quickly began to grow in X-Men: Apocalypse, and should continue right into Dark Phoenix.
Cyclops’ actions in the original comic play a direct role in Jean Grey’s ultimate transformation into the Dark Phoenix, even though they were born out of desperation to save her before she became too powerful and corrupted. There’s massive potential in the emotional effects of the Cyclops/Jean Grey relationship as part of Dark Phoenix, and recent comments by director Simon Kinberg suggest that it’ll make just as big an impact as it does the comics.
Speaking in an interview with EW, Kinberg said that the Cyclops/Jean Grey dynamic is the central relationship that will hold Dark Phoenix together. Cyclops fights to save Jean every step of the way in the comics and it seems that the film may be no different – provided Scott isn’t the major character rumored to die. Kinberg said “that relationship, his being willing to kill or die for her, is a huge part of the emotional core of the movie. It also makes Scott start to have to become a leader.”
The EW story also says that Cyclops is “the one mutant who never wavers from Team Jean” in Dark Phoenix. His inevitable thrust into a leadership role suggests that he may not be getting as much help as he did in the comics from Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), who at one point keeps the Dark Phoenix suppressed within Jean using his psychic powers.
Scott never loses sight of his love for Jean and is a first-hand witness to her ultimate self-sacrifice at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga comic, so it sounds unlikely that he would be killed off at any point before that. The film reportedly includes a massive twist halfway through that could change the course of the franchise, and it’s unclear which direction they will take with that. Unless 21st Century Fox is setting people up for a swerve, the Cyclops/Jean Grey relationship sounds too important to destroy at the midway point – especially after the overwhelming distaste for the way X-Men: The Last Stand originally handled Scott’s death. In this respect, it appears that the makers of Dark Phoenix are trying to stay faithful to the source material, and hopefully do it justice.
Despite the movie’s dedication to the Cyclops/Jean Grey romance, that franchise-altering twist still looms. It could end up being bigger than just killing one character – it could mean the end of the X-Men as they are known today and the start of a full reboot. Even if X-Men: Dark Phoenix makes significant changes to the comic’s central relationship, it’s a promising sign that its importance was not lost Kinberg and a step toward improving upon Apocalypse.
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