Dark Phoenix Is the ‘Natural Culmination’ of Fox’s X-Men Movies

In an interview with Comicbook.com, Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg described his film as the “natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies” rather than an ending forced by Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

“From the beginning of conceiving what we were going to do with this film and writing it, which was three plus years ago, so long before there was a Disney merger, I felt like this was the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies,” said Kinberg. “Because it is seeing this family that you’ve come to love and know for how ever many films, and if you count the originals almost 20 years now, you see that family tested in a whole new way. You see that family start to fall apart in a real way for the first time, ultimately come back together.

“That felt like the culmination of a storyline or a cycle of these films. And for me, and for most of the fans… Dark Phoenix is the ultimate and most iconic storyline in the X-Men universe. And so I didn’t know how we would top Dark Phoenix within this cycle. This felt like we had to earn our way back to Dark Phoenix. And I feel like we did hopefully, and beyond that felt like we’d want to sort of create an ending and the possibility of a new beginning. And that’s what we do on this film.”

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2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand also incorporated major elements of the Dark Phoenix Saga into its plot: this film was co-written by Kinberg as well.

For more on Dark Phoenix, read about Kinberg spoiling which major character dies, and how we saw Jean Grey battle Magneto in new footage during WonderCon.

For more on how the Disney/Fox merger may impact the X-Men franchise, check out all the X-Men movies that probably won’t happen now (and a few that will).

X-23\r\nStatus: Probably Dead

\r\nX-23, a.k.a. Laura from Logan, was said to have a spin-off film in development at Fox. Logan filmmaker James Mangold reportedly was working on a script for the film, which would\u0027ve likely followed the young, clawed one as she took up the Wolverine mantle from her dear old departed \u0022dad.\u0022 Alas, it appears that the Disney\/Fox deal has sent little Laura and her solo movie off into the great yonder… just like Shane, actually!”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/x-23-1553183235638.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/x-23-1553183235638_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”02″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

Gambit\r\nStatus: Probably Dead

\r\nRemember that time Channing Tatum took the stage in Hall H at Comic-Con with Stan Lee and the rest of the X-Men movie-verse cast? Well, that was in 2015, and the Gambit movie he was supposed to star in isn\u0027t any closer to happening today then it was then. The 21 Jump Street actor joined the project in 2014 as producer and star, and a variety of directors came and went in the years since, including Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), and Gore Verbinski (the original Pirates trilogy). Now, with Fox wearing mouse ears and Marvel expected to reboot the X-Men, Tatum\u0027s — and Gambit\u0027s — luck may be up.”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/gambit-1553183235620.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/gambit-1553183235620_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”03″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

Multiple Man\r\nStatus: Probably Dead

\r\nThis one took many fans by surprise: In late 2017 it was reported that James Franco was is in negotiations to star in a Multiple Man film. The character, also known as Jamie Madrox, had a small role as one of Magneto\u0027s henchmen in X-Men: The Last Stand, but otherwise is fairly obscure for non-comics fans. Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg was said to be writing the script, but again, it seems unlikely that this project is still viable in an MCU world.”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/multiple-man-1553183235627.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/multiple-man-1553183235627_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”04″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

Kitty Pryde\r\nStatus: On Hold\/Status Unclear

\r\nAnother X-Men: The Last Stand character who maybe kinda was going to get her own movie, Kitty Pryde — a.k.a. Shadowcat — is a popular X-Man who was personified by Ellen Page in The Last Stand (and again in X-Men: Days of Future Past). Revered comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis was on the record as writing the script and Deadpool 1 director Tim Miller was going to direct the project, which was dubbed \u0022143\u0022 internally. (Of note: Uncanny X-Men #143 featured the young Kitty Pryde facing off against a N\u0027Garai demon in the X-mansion at Christmas-time.) As recently as February 2019, Bendis said he was still working on the project, but at the same time X-Men uber-producer Lauren Shuler Donner said that the film and all other pending X-Men movies (that haven\u0027t been shot yet) are on hold due to the Disney\/Fox merger.”,”height”:652,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/kitty-pryde-1553183235623.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/kitty-pryde-1553183235623_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”05″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

X-Force\r\nStatus: On Hold\/Could Still Happen

\r\nNow we\u0027re getting to the projects that could still happen. Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow was intended to helm an X-Force movie as early as 2013, though eventually he departed the project. After Deadpool was released in 2016 and proved to be a hit, the project became more of a spin-off around that Ryan Reynolds character. Drew Goddard (Netflix\u0027s Daredevil) took over the project in 2017, but as of now it is on hold along with all the X-films that haven\u0027t already been shot. Still, since X-Force is rooted in the Deadpool world, and since Deadpool is clearly still a viable property for Disney — they\u0027re using his face in their marketing already! — it wouldn\u0027t be surprising if this team movie happened eventually as well.”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/x-force-1553183235640.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/x-force-1553183235640_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”06″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

Deadpool 3\r\nStatus: Probably Will Happen

\r\nSurprisingly enough, Deadpool 3 is not officially happening yet. But that is likely due in part to the (until recently) pending Disney\/Fox merger. Now that the deal is closed, expect to hear some news on this front fairly soon. We\u0027ve already seen Disney using the Merc with a Mouth in their marketing materials, and Disney boss Bob Iger has said that the studio will continue to make R-rated superhero movies like Deadpool. That said, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds said in May of 2018 that he wasn\u0027t sure if Deadpool 3 would just wind up being an X-Force movie instead. Either way, the character will return.”,”height”:680,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/deadpool-3-1553183235610.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/deadpool-3-1553183235610_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”07″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

The New Mutants\r\nStatus: Already Shot\/Status Unclear

\r\nThis film\u0027s status seems to be up in the air. An adaptation of the comic about a \u0022young\u0022 X-Men team, New Mutants stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, and Alice Braga, and was directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars). A trailer was released for the film back in October of 2017, but it appears that the film has had a problematic post-production period. Reshoots were rumored, and there\u0027s also been talk that it might wind up debuting on one of Disney\u0027s streaming services like Hulu rather than getting a theatrical release. That said, it technically still has a theatrical release scheduled for August 2, 2019, so we\u0027ll see what happens…”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/new-mutants-1553183235633.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/new-mutants-1553183235633_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”08″,”albumTotalCount”:9},{“caption”:”

Dark Phoenix\r\nStatus: Definitely Happening

\r\nWhat is almost certainly the last X-Men movie featuring the old Fox-verse continuity will be released on June 7, 2019, as director Simon Kinberg tries to stick the landing on the Dark Phoenix story one more time. It\u0027s the end of an era, guys. Let\u0027s hope they go out in style!”,”height”:720,”width”:1280,”url”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/dark-phoenix-1553183235605.jpg”,”styleUrl”:”https:\/\/assets1.ignimgs.com\/2019\/03\/21\/dark-phoenix-1553183235605_{size}.jpg”,”credit”:””,”objectRelationName”:””,”objectRelationUrl”:””,”albumName”:”All the X-Men Movies That Probably Won\u2019t Happen Now (and a Few That Will)”,”relativePosition”:”09″,”albumTotalCount”:9}]’

Dark Phoenix hits theaters June 7 in the United States, June 6 in Australia and June 5 in the UK.

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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.