A longtime ‘X-Men’ movie producer wants to make sure that the stench of ‘Dark Phoenix’s failure doesn’t taint her own career, even though she is listed as one of the picture’s producers. In a tweet that has since been deleted, Lauren Shuler Donner wrote:
“Save your condolences. I had zero, nothing to do with Dark Phoenix. Or Apocalypse, or New Mutants.”
Heroic Hollywood managed to screen cap the tweet before Donner deleted it.
Donner (married to Richard Donner) has been a producer on the ‘X-Men’ franchise since the first movie in 2000, but she reportedly walked away during the production of ‘Days of Future Past’ over “creative differences” but thanks to a “generous” contract agreement, she retained a producer’s credit (and paycheck) on all subsequent movies.
While Fox insiders (per The Hollywood Reporter) admit that it’s true that Donner didn’t have anything to do with ‘Dark Phoenix’, the poorly-received ‘Apocalypse’, or the unreleased ‘New Mutants’, she also had “zero” to do with the hits ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Deadpool 2’, the two highest-grossing films in the entire franchise, or ‘Logan’, the first comic book movie to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. (So nyah!)
‘Dark Phoenix’ opened this weekend with a poor domestic haul of $33 million, the worst opening of any ‘X-Men’ movie. It is projected to lose Disney/Fox $100 to $150 million. The reasons why are legion: It was plagued with negative behind-the-scenes buzz; It was delayed multiple times; A big deal was made out of the extensive reshoots; the usual culprits like “franchise fatigue”; dismal reviews– 22% on Rotten Tomatoes.; and perhaps the biggest factor is that 20th Century Fox was bought by Disney earlier this year, and it is expected that Disney subsidiary Marvel Studios will relaunch the ‘X-Men’ brand as part of its Marvel Cinematic Universe. So all eyes are on that, and no one cared about another Fox installment.
Donner’s next project is the martial arts action movie ‘Twin Blades’.
But if you want to say goodbye to Fox’s ‘X-Men’, ‘Dark Phoenix’ is now playing in theaters.