With Fox becoming an entity owned by Disney, the future of some of the studio’s biggest cinematic franchises remains unclear. One of those franchises in Marvel’s X-Men characters. A cinematic world was launched in 2000 and the apparent “culmination” (as director Simon Kinberg calls it) is arriving in the form of Dark Phoenix. Beyond this film, the X-Men stories might be coming to an end as we know them, as Disney and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will have plans of their own. For now, Kinberg, who has been a producer on most of Fox’s Marvel films, admits the future is uncertain for these characters.
“The easy answer is, no, I don’t know the answer,” Kinberg told ComicBook.com.
“And I don’t know that Marvel or Disney knows the answer yet either. I think everybody is still figuring it out.”
Despite Disney coming in and possibly changing things entirely, Kinberg was approaching Dark Phoenix as the finale for the X-Men characters. “Even long before the Disney of it all, three years ago, I started writing the script [for Dark Phoenix],” Kinberg said. “I approached this movie as the culmination of 20 years of storytelling, of living with the X-Men for all this time, and watching this family come together. And this movie is the movie that challenges that family, and tears them apart in a new way, and so I imagined it as the culmination. And I even pitched it to the studio as this is the culmination of this cycle of X-Men stories, which there will be more X-Men movies in the future, no doubt, but this particular cycle with this cast, it felt like it was time to do kind of what Game of Thrones has done, what Endgame has done, really see them challenged in a new way, and survive and go off into the sunset.”
Still, in crafting a film which is aiming to culminate almost 20 years of storytelling on the big screen, Kinberg wanted to make sure he injected some new elements to the film. Some of those elements involved gritty action or some intense language. The change of pace was an intentional move.
“I’ve worked on these movies for a long time, and we’ve been successful with the X-Men movies, and really the X-Men movies have become my family in the last 10, 15 years,” Kinberg explained. “I’ve spent more time on X-Men sets than I have at home. The studio has come to trust me in making these films, and when it came time and I said, “Listen, I really want to direct this movie,” and I had the real support of the cast to direct the movie, my vision for the film was a more intense, a more raw X-Men film than we’d done before. And so I was very clear with the studio from the beginning. I said, ‘Listen, this is going to push the envelope of the PG-13 X-Men movies that we’ve seen before. It’s going to be much more like the Dark Knight movies, or like Logan than it is going to be like the previous X-Men films.’ And I felt like it was time for a change after 20 years of making these movies. This particular story, I think, requires an intensity to tell properly.”
They did not, however, consider going for an R-rating — at least, not on any intentional level, according to producer Hutch Parker.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7.
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