Is Dark Phoenix The End of the X-Men?
Forget the end of a beloved character or the end of the prequel series, if we're talking franchise-changing events then Dark Phoenix could end the X-Men as we know them altogether. Logan already technically killed the team once, and while we aren't saying everyone needs to die, a definite end to the school could be a shrewd move for Fox to make. How is another matter, but for now we're just saying that it could happen.
As outlined above, the main series X-Men movies just aren't what they used to be, so it would make financial success for Fox to plow all its efforts into genre fair like Deadpool and the darker mutant movies it is clearly set on making. Dark Phoenix is hardly going to be a fun-filled frolic through the X-Men comics, but it also isn't going to be the R-rated rumble that fans enjoyed in Logan. Considering people seem to prefer that, it may be beneficial to do only that.
That sense of finality would definitely help Dark Phoniex. Looking back at franchise highs like X2 and Days of Future Past, there was no need for big-budget action sequences or worrying too much about what the future holds. Apart from the Phoenix tease at the end of X2, both movies could've technically served as the final chapter of their respective universes and it just worked. Without consideration for another movie coming next, Dark Phoenix could bow out with one final swansong where all bets are off.
The Future's Bright, The Future's Disney
It may seem a little hasty to completely write off Charles and his crew, but after nearly two decades of the same characters, how much more material is there left to wade through? There are obviously many comic book stories untold, but as they've already done The Dark Phoenix Saga twice, you could still accuse the Fox bigwigs of running low on ideas for where to take the X-Men. With everyone looking forward to Deadpool 2 and The New Mutants, Dark Phoenix was already the runt of the litter; this allows them to avoid a repeat of that.
More importantly, it sets the groundwork for Disney. The Mouse House is in the process of finalizing a deal to buy Fox, and with it return the X-Men rights to Marvel. The likes of McAvoy, Fassbender, and Lawrence have had a good run, but if the mutants do indeed find themselves joining the MCU, it would make sense that Disney do a hard reboot. Depending on how long this deal have been in the pipeline, it could have been the plan for a long time.
Considering there have been three live-action actors portraying Peter Parker since 2002, it wouldn't be that hard to imagine a third person slipping on Erik's helmet, sitting in Charles' chair, or stripping off as Raven. Indded, if it didn't work for Andrew Garfield, why would this be any different?
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019