While talking X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Olivia Munn, who plays the mutant Psylocke, let slip that it would be ‘a two-parter.’ X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the 11th live-action X-Men film and will take place after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. Simon Kinberg, a long time producer and writer of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men universe, is making his directorial debut with this film. Fox’s X-Men film franchise was launched in 2000 by Bryan Singer, who since then has made another three X-Men films, including the soft reboot, X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, after Apocalypse, which received mixed reviews from critics, Singer decided to pass the torch to Kinberg.
The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most popular Marvel Comics of all time. It chronicles the events surrounding Jean Grey and her fall to her alter ego known as The Dark Phoenix. As The Dark Phoenix, Jean Grey is one of the most powerful mutants in the world, even more so than Professor X. This premise has been attempted in Fox’s X-Men film franchise in the past, first up in X2, then executed in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand. While The Last Stand generally received mixed or average reviews from critics, most fans considered it to be an absolute butchery of the source material. However, Singer wiping the slate clean in Days of Future Past, left the door open for another attempt at The Dark Phoenix Saga. While Apocalypse may not have been one of the better films in this franchise, many agree that Jean Grey’s (Sophie Turner) character arc is one of the brighter spots of the movie. And it looks like Kinberg will be exploring the character in depth, as The Dark Phoenix will be a two-parter, according to Olivia Munn.
In an interview with Collider, Munn says:
I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I’m supposed to be vague. That’s my answer. I’m horrible at that. It’s like a two-parter, this movie. That’s more than I’ve said, in general. I don’t know why people have to be so secretive.
While there has yet to be official confirmation on this issue by Fox or Kinberg, there is no reason to doubt Munn, who plays one of the main villains (probably anti-hero) in this movie. Since the Harry Potter franchise split its final movie into two parts, many studios have followed suit, in an effort to milk as much money from their tentpole franchises as possible. We’ve seen it done so successfully (financially speaking) in Twilight and The Hunger Games. However, this method isn’t always foolproof.
The Divergent series initially wanted to split its final movie into two parts, but Allegiant grossed a mere $179 million worldwide and plans for the fourth film were scrapped. Next year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will give this format a go, as Avengers: Infinity War is said to be the first chapter of a two-parter, as well. While it may not always be the best move from a storytelling perspective to split a movie into two parts, it just might work for Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix. After all, this story is a two-parter in the comics as well. The first part, titled Phoenix Saga, centers around Jean Grey’s assumption of the Phoenix power, while the second part, titled Dark Phoenix Saga focuses on the corruption of the character.
Will Kinberg’s directorial debut turn out to be excellent? We might have to wait until November 2018 to find out. However, Munn endorses the director:
I love Simon Kinberg. He’s such a visionary. We’re all so close. Anytime that you’re working on a project where everyone hangs out and they’re close, it’s a breeding ground for great content and a great experience. I think Simon is gonna kill it. He’s gonna do such a fantastic job with it.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix stars Jennifer Lawrence, Olivia Munn, Sophie Turner, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp, among others.
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