X-Men: Dark Phoenix suffered a great deal being a result of the studio politics and significant reshoots. Fox literally screwed up the Phoenix Saga twice. Sure, Dark Phoenix was okay as an individual movie. But if you give us a finale of a well-established franchise that is being redone after one major debacle in the past, and it turns out to be just okay, then you’ve got yourself a major problem! People already did not care about the film, and after it became a result of major changes in its storyline, they just ended up hating this movie.
Originally, the movie was supposed to go in a different direction. the ending was supposed to be very different. Jean Grey would have fought the “unnamed” Alien Race (Skrulls) in space, but it was all changed into a train fight sequence. Sure the fight was pretty cool, but the whole movie wasn’t. Apparently, the entire third act had to be reshot because it was too similar to Civil War and Captain Marvel.
There was supposed to be another X-Men installment after this, but Director Kinberg had to end things with this film as the Disney Fox merger was going to be a success. Here’s what Kinberg told io9:
“My original ending didn’t have the entire X-Family together the way they are in the film now. More than Captain Marvel, you could see a lot of Civil War in that ending. Usually, these big, huge action movies have the climactic moment in the third act. I loved the way that Civil War had its big action action set piece where everyone’s facing off more towards the end of the second act rather than in the third, so that after that huge battle, you’re left with Winter Soldier, Captain America, and Iron Man. It’s this telescoped down view of their raw emotions, and I loved how intimate that was. That’s what I was going for with Dark Phoenix’s ending even though it then might have looked like Captain Marvel for about two minutes.”
He then continued about why he wanted to go through with the reshoots and end the X-Men Saga once and for all:
“The reason I wanted to go back to reshoot things, though, was because this was meant to be the culmination of this family that’s grown together over however many movies, but it’s also a movie that tears that family apart. They’re facing a more serious trauma than they’ve ever seen before. The end of the movie really would have been more about the division between Charles and Scott with the rest of the X-Men. But one by one, the other X-Men side with Charles, and by the end, it’s just Scott by himself.
But in watching it myself and watching it with audiences during test screenings, the feeling was: if you’re going to put this family through all of these things, you’re going to want to see them united at the end. We never finished shooting that ending, but no matter how far along I got with it, it always felt like it was lacking closure and unity. That was really the impetus for the changes.”
Later Kinberg did confess that Dark Phoenix had similar elements to Captain Marvel and that also became one of the main reasons to reshoot the entire third act of the movie. He said:
“The truth is, I think a lot of the cast saw Captain Marvel, and then went off to do interviews, and sort of put two and two together. But the decision to reshoot what we reshot happened before Captain Marvel came out, and you know, I don’t have access to Marvel Studios’ planning process. Having said that, our original ending that I’d storyboarded did have things in common with the very end of Captain Marvel.”
Well. now we do know the complete story behind it and that’s good. Dark Phoenix is playing in the theatres, go save it from being a major flop show!