How The MCU Helped Pave The Way For Dark Phoenix

Mystique in Dark Phoenix

Going all the way back to the original 2000 film, the X-Men franchise has kept going strong, and continued releasing massive blockbusters as shared universes starting popping up. Fox is now producing genre-defying works like Logan and Deadpool, while the main narrative continues in Dark Phoenix. Dark Phoenix will take the mutant heroes into space for the first time, and director Simon Kinberg recently revealed how the Marvel Cinematic Universe helped this occur.

What Marvel Studios has done in terms of making [superhero] movies extra-terrestrial has helped us to tell this story, to also go to outer space, to have alien characters. There are scenes in outer space, you couldn't have had that in Logan.

It looks like the X-Men may have needed to lean on their Marvel brothers and sisters in order to finally catapult the story into space. But thanks to projects like Guardians of the Galaxy, the mutants are finally heading there for the first time in live-action.

Simon Kinberg's comments at New York Comic-Con (via THR) make a great deal of sense, and show how interconnected the respective superhero franchises actually are. While red tape has kept the X-Men and Avengers separated by two separate studios, there is clearly some cross pollination and influence happening. And once the MCU began telling intergalactic stories, it opened a window for Fox's team of superheroes.

The MCU entered space with James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, which also had far more quirkiness and comedy than its Marvel predecessors. The Thor franchise eventually followed suit, as Ragnarok brought the God of Thunder and Hulk to Sakaar. Infinity War combined Thor with the Guardians for his own journey through the galaxy, so there has been precedent set for superheroes in space.

On paper, it seems like Dark Phoenix couldn't function without bringing the heroes to space. In the comic book plot of the same name, Jean Grey is possessed by the phoenix force while on a mission on space-- something that the film's NYCC footage confirmed for the film adaptation. Its a sequence that sounds awesome and expensive, but it seems that both audiences and studios needed to be convinced that the X-Men in space was possible. Cue Marvel's cosmic blockbusters.

Fans of the genre will definitely remember the X-Men franchise's last attempt at bringing Jean's Dark Phoenix to the silver screen. X-Men: The Last Stand is largely considered the worst entry in the property, with massive changes being made to both the canon and the comic book source material. The pressure is on for Simon Kinberg to make things right the second time around.

Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.