SPOILER ALERT: This contains information that may be considered SPOILERS for ‘Dark Phoenix’ so proceed with caution.
The trailers for ‘Dark Phoenix’ have basically spelled out the entire movie, and as we’ve seen, the climax appears to take place while the X-Men and Magneto’s forces are being transported on a security train, which then appears to come under attack by Dark Phoenix (Sophie Turner). But that was not the original ending. As we know, the film underwent some pretty massive reshoots and it appears that the entire climactic battle was replaced.
According to Entertainment Weekly:
The filmmakers decided to revamp the look of Phoenix in post (more “cosmic” and less “flamy,” according to the director) and shoot a new third act (instead of taking place in space, the climax finds all the X-Men kidnapped and on board a military train).
It’s odd that they wanted Phoenix to look “more cosmic” and to achieve that, they moved her from space to Earth. But as we have already seen, the film does include one space sequence, which is how Jean goes from regular garden variety telekinetic to the cosmic force to be reconned with Phoenix.
Producer Hutch Parker stated:
“The movie is about Jean evolving from this character into something else, and that’s what Sophie did. She went from being honestly a kid on [2016’s] X-Men: Apocalypse to being unbelievably committed to the work and showing up with a level of preparation that definitely said, ‘Oh sh—!’”
James McAvoy added:
“If Sophie had to do 10 hours of work, she’d do 20 hours of prep. She definitely put herself in the hands of Simon and relied on him, as well as helped him to create this dynamic.”
‘Dark Phoenix’ has had a rocky road (or train track) to the big screen. The reshoots created a lot of negative buzz, added to the general apathy surrounding the ‘X-Men’ movies of late. The last movie, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ was a financial and critical dud. But some teaser footage shown at WonderCon seemed to impress those in attendance.
This is the capper to the ‘X-Men’ franchise we’ve known since 2000, so hopefully, it will go out with a cosmic bang.
‘Dark Phoenix’ opens on June 7.