It should have been a grand and spectacular finale. The Dark Phoenix storyline is one of the most epic in the X Men universe and a fitting end to twenty (somewhat uneven) years of the franchise on the big screen. Instead, the movie is likely to be remembered as one of the biggest flops of the year. Long before it hit its much-delayed release date there were reports of hugely expensive reshoots and a production in turmoil. But was the film really sacrificed to make way for a more important project?
Numerous reports suggested the entire ending of the movie had been reshot, at great cost, both financially and to the film’s integrity.
Leaks from test screenings described a dramatic finale that sounded shockingly similar to Captain Marvel. Both movies originally ended with the titular hero blasting into space with no need for a ship, igniting herself with her sheer power and then hanging above the Earth in all her splendour
Stunning new images from Dark Phoenix concept artist Houston Sharp reveal just how similar the two movies would have been.
Yet, Dark Phoenix was in production before the Marvel movie, so why was it changed?
Not only were the dramatic climactic finals scenes too similar, but both films also introduced the shape-shifting Skrulls.
At the time, the X-Men and the main MCU existed in separate cinematic universes, but Disney had just acquired 20th Century Fox.
The implication is that the House of Mouse did not want another movie detracting from the all-important launch of the hero who was set up to lead the Avengers and entire Marvel franchise in Phase Four.
Dark Phoenix was extensively reshot. The final scene in space was removed. the Skrull storyline was removed.
The film now sits on a poor 23% reviews aggregate with criticism of the muddled and unsatisfying storyline.
Whether or not the film would have flopped anyway is impossible to tell, but too many reshoots and reports of a troubled production always create negative advance press and impact fan anticipation. Just look at Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Dark Phoenix was torched in its own ashes.