Why X-Men: The Last Stand’s Version Of The Dark Phoenix Saga Didn’t Work, According To Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen as Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand

It's not often you see a comic book storyline adapted more than once on-screen, but the X-Men franchise is doing that for the second time on the silver screen with The Dark Phoenix Saga. The first cinematic adaptation, 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, was met with mixed-to-negative critical reaction, and over a decade later, Dark Phoenix is aiming to deliver a more faithful version of the Jean Grey-centric tale from 1980. If you ask Famke Janssen, who played Jean Grey in the original X-Men trilogy, Dark Phoenix has a better chance at succeeding because unlike The Last Stand, it's dedicating the entire story to Jean's corruption. As Janssen put it:

I'm glad that The Dark Phoenix Saga is finally getting its due. When we tackled it in The Last Stand, it wasn't given enough time. I remember hearing from fans after we finished the film that they were disappointed that an enormous moment in the comics was given so little screen time. I'm happy for them to give Phoenix the due that she deserves.

Famke Janssen's thoughts echo what Dark Phoenix director and longtime X-Men producer Simon Kinberg said about X-Men: The Last Stand a few months ago. Kinberg actually co-wrote The Last Stand with Zak Penn, but as he acknowledged, the big mistake with that movie was that Jean Grey's being consumed by her Phoenix self was just a subplot alongside the mutant cure storyline. Both he and Janssen are in agreement that this is a story that deserves the entire run of a movie, not just a chunk of it.

We have a ways to go before we learn how Dark Phoenix compares to X-Men: The Last Stand, but as Famke Janssen indicated to Inverse, she's more confident this latest movie will fare better than the project she participated in. It also helps that Dark Phoenix is including alien elements, like Jessica Chastain's still-unidentified shapeshifter, although let's not kid ourselves, it's not going to have nearly as much cosmic flavor as The Dark Phoenix Saga did. As for Janssen, while she did return for brief appearances in The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past, like the rest of the original cast members, her time with this franchise looks to be permanently over, so she can enjoy Dark Phoenix as a pure fan/admirer.

While X-Men: The Last Stand took place in the "present day" (i.e. circa 2006), Dark Phoenix takes place in 1992, following almost a decade after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. This time around, Jean Grey loses control and unleashes the Phoenix after a rescue mission in space, and once she starts causing mass chaos and destruction, it'll be up to the X-Men and other interested parties to stop her, though Jessica Chastain's character will be lingering in the shadows to manipulate Jean into doing her bidding.

Originally scheduled to be released last month Dark Phoenix was moved to February 14, 2019, and now it's set to come out on June 7, 2019. For everything else coming out next year, head to our 2019 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.