Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain shared that the Dark Phoenix movie script was constantly being rewritten on set. This doesn't come as a huge surprise, as the film has been under scrutiny for a little while now, especially after Disney's acquisition of Fox assets earlier this year. But many fans had already begun to lose faith in the X-Men's final outing weeks before it was even expected to hit theaters, and particularly after news circulated last month that the entire ending had to be reshot. It was all looking a bit bleak for Jean Grey's epic story and unfortunately, as Dark Phoenix early reviews begin to pour in, things aren't looking any better for the franchise's fiery finale.
Despite early criticisms, Dark Phoenix's director, Simon Kinberg, had high hopes for the film. The director had originally written the script for X-Men: The Last Stand, which featured the Dark Phoenix storyline as a subplot, so he was familiar with Jean Grey's beloved saga. Dark Phoenix's plot took bits and pieces from the Dark Phoenix Saga comic book series, but kept most of its focus on Jean and the fallout of the X-Men. Because of this, major storylines from the comic, such as Lilandra and the Hellfire Club, weren't included in the film. This was a decision that Kinberg felt would benefit Jean's story, as the film would be four hours long if they were included, but it turns out that rewrites were constantly happening on set.
During an interview with Screen Rant, Sophie Turner and Jessica Chastain opened up about the film's rewrites during production. Turner said, "Simon and I would sit down for two hours every day and just comb through each page of the script," adding in that, "there was rewriting being done all the time." Chastain chimed in to add, "You could have a conversation and something comes from that and then the next morning, Simon would show up to work and say, 'hey, I wrote some pages that I think could be interesting for this direction we’re going.'"
This isn't the first time that the X-Men franchise has dealt with production struggles. New Mutants is the perfect example of a film that's been stuck in production limbo for years now, but even X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Days of Future Past had their own problems with writing that messed with the franchise's timeline. So, it's no surprise that news of last minute reshoots and rewrites is a disheartening thing for fans to hear.
Looking on the bright side, this collaboration on Dark Phoenix's script could turn out to be beneficial for the film's outcome. Having Jean Grey herself be an instrumental part in writing her own emotional arc could be a positive way to turn around an otherwise cluttered story. On the other hand, it could also prove to be more chaotic. Unfortunately, having too many people contribute to a narrative could result in an oversaturated plot that drifts from the film's central purpose. It really could go either way, but hopefully Kinberg can deliver a story that somewhat satisfies their fanbase in Dark Phoenix.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020