When it was confirmed in April that the next film in Fox’s X-Men franchise would be X-Men: Dark Phoenix, many fans were understandably skeptical, considering how elements of the seminal Marvel Comics storyline were incorporated into 2006’s The Last Stand. However, Storm actress Alexandra Shipp assures the studio’s second attempt to bring “The Dark Phoenix Saga” to the screen will be a far more faithful interpretation.
“It’s definitely a darker world,” Shipp told Syfy Wire. “A lot more is going on at this point. I can’t say too much but what I can say is that, as a fan of the X-Men franchise, I know a lot of people are going to be happy with how accurate this one is. Now that [Simon Kinberg] has a little more control, he is able to really allow this X-Men world to flourish.”
Shipp isn’t the first one to offer signs of hope for the direction of the film. Last month, Psylocke actress Olivia Munn hinted that X-Men: Dark Phoenix could be a “two-parter,” which would suggest franchise veteran Kinberg intends to give the lengthy “Dark Phoenix Saga” room to unfold over the course of two films, rather than packing all the story into one.
The influential 1980 epic, by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, chronicled the fall of X-Men founding member Jean Grey, who’s driven mad by the enormous power of the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, leading her to destroy a planet before she ultimately sacrifices herself to save the universe. Elements of the story were adapted as a subplot in the aforementioned X-Men: The Last Stand, which coincidentally was written by Kinberg, who’s both writing and directing Dark Phoenix.
While Shipp and Munn’s respective insights might sound promising for fans of the source material, some have nevertheless expressed concern about the Kinberg’s recent comments that he must “find a way to ground it so it’s not too intergalactic,” stressing that the X-Men films are “human … and emotional.” After all, the original storyline featured alien races like the Shi’ar and found Jean razing planets and committing galactic genocide while the X-Men tried to save her. Fox already tried to ground this storyline for The Last Stand, which saw the Dark Phoenix persona manifest in Jean as a flaw her in psyche, totally omitting the cosmic aspect.
Opening Nov. 2, 2018, X-Men: Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Alexandra Ship as Storm, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.
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