While we're in a world full of comic book adaptations and superhero franchises, there are a few comic stories that truly resonate with audiences. And in the world of Marvel's X-Men, nothing stands up quite as well as the Dark Phoenix storyline. This plot, which we've seen in various incarnations, revolves around Jean Grey being controlled by the Phoenix Force, which amplifies her power but also temporarily corrupts her mind. It's a fan favorite story, but unfortunately it was adapted for the silver screen during the rather disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand. But recent rumors reveal that the iconic story will be revived in the next X-Men movie.
If there's one thing you can take from Simon Kinberg's statement, its that those behind the X-Men franchise are cognizant to criticism that their films have garnered. The Last Stand is one of the biggest blemishes in the property, but at least Kinberg is aware of his follies.
Simon Kinberg actually co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, which was his first foray into the Fox owned franchise. The threequel, which Bryan Singer declined to direct, was overall a clusterfuck of a film which made extremely bold choices in regards to the characters' directions; Professor X and Cyclops were both killed rather early into the movie, due to Jean Grey/Phoenix's powers. Plus, Jean's descent into madness was also never quite explained. The Phoenix Force was never explicitly referenced, so she essentially came out of the water at Alkali Lake and decided to be a villain. And then they had Logan kill her.
So if the next X-Men movie is indeed focusing on the Dark Phoenix storyline, let's hope they actually explain a bit more. Jean's inner power was teased quite a bit in X-Men: Apocalypse, as Sophie Turner's character has trouble sleeping due to her prophetic visions. And when she finally unleashes her strength to battle Apocalypse and save the world, we see the image of a phoenix coming from her body.
The next X-Men movie is supposed to jump another decade, this time being set in the 1990's. This will likely allow Jean and Scott to have an adult relationship, thus raising the stakes when her mortality is on the line. And with Hugh Jackman ending his tenure as Wolverine in Logan, Simon Kinberg and company are going to have to find another way to make her story feel personal and important.
Logan will hit theaters on March 3rd, 2017.