There's change in the air, as an early promo poster for Fox's X-Men: Dark Phoenix hints the superhero movie may drop a significant part of its title.
The sequel to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix will be the fourth movie since Fox rebooted the franchise with First Class, and the studio's second attempt to reinterpret the seminal "Dark Phoenix Saga" storyline for the screen.
With the exception of 2003's X2, all of the primary films in the 18-year-old franchise have included "X-Men" in the title (and even X2 was alternately promoted as X2: X-Men United). However, Dark Phoenix may be deviating from tradition by dropping "X-Men." A promotional poster at the Licensing Show in Las Vegas has taken the minimalist approach, placing the title Dark Phoenix on a black background and replacing the final "X" with an X-Men insignia.
Reactions to the poster have been mixed, and many fans on Twitter have noted the poster still says 2018, suggesting it might not be an official promo for Dark Phoenix. If this is the real deal, director Simon Kinberg is certainly amping up the "dark" aspect of the movie, compared to the Famke Janssen's version of Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force from The Last Stand.
There have been rumors that Dark Phoenix would simply be titled that since the logo was revealed at CinemaCon, and while there is still no confirmation from Fox, it look like this is the route Kinberg's movie is heading. As a fixture Fox's of X-Men movies, Kinberg has helped to write several installments, and also holds a producing credit on Deadpool 2 and the upcoming The New Mutants. That said, some fans are still concerned Dark Phoenix could be another X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
While Dark Phoenix will still be an X-Men movie, with the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence in starring roles, it's clear Sophie Turner's younger portrayal of Jean Grey will be the focus of the story. Jean's impending meltdown was teased during the events of Apocalypse, but fans will have to wait and see how this unfolds on screen when Dark Phoenix premieres next year.
Given the divisive opinions toward both Apocalypse and The Last Stand, Fox hopes to pull out all the stops for what could be one of the last main franchise X-Men adventures before Xavier and his gifted youngsters move to Disney.
Opening Feb. 14. 2019, 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.