SPOILERS ahead from Dark Phoenix, which was just released in theaters on June 7, 2019.
Comic book movies are no strangers to cameos. The popular blockbusters usually try to squeeze in a couple characters for fans to recognize and Dark Phoenix is no different. The most prominent cameo that fans will be quick to notice is Dazzler, a character who people have wanted to see in live-action for some time now. The part is just a quick appearance and writer-director Simon Kinberg told CinemaBlend that he wanted to throw in some Dazzler love while focusing on the main cast of the film.
X-Men movies are known for their large casts as each sequel seems to add more and more characters. X-Men: Apocalypse was trying to balance a huge assortment of characters at once, which didn't work extremely well for that film. For Dark Phoenix, Simon Kinberg wanted to narrow the cast and turn all the focus on Jean Grey and the people immediately closest to her. Here's what he told our own Sean O'Connell:
You know, in this one, some of the movies I've felt in the past -- because of the ensemble and because there's thousands of X-Men characters -- we have sometimes erred on the side of including too many characters. Not cameos but real characters. On this one, I really wanted to focus on Jean's story first and foremost to make it really about the dilemma of our protagonist, who's kind of both the hero and the villain of the movie, and then the effect of her losing control on the people who are closest to her, which is really a handful of people. It's the family around her, the people who love her, watching how it rips the family apart and turns them against each other.
Whereas in another movie, Dazzler would have had a larger role and would have been a full on character (perhaps one played by Taylor Swift), Dark Phoenix could really only devote enough time to a cameo appearance.
Additionally, Simon Kinberg didn't want to over-complicate the storytelling with too many characters. The original Dark Phoenix comic book storyline had a lot of different factions and groups aiming to control the Phoenix Force, and it wouldn't translate really well in a movie. Here's how Kinberg worked to avoid that, but why he still wanted to find a way to include Dazzler.
Beyond that, I didn't want to get into too many other characters. In the original Dark Phoenix Saga, you have the Hellfire Club, you have Lilandra and the Shi'ar. There are a lot of other storylines to service and I wanted to boil the movie down to the essentials emotionally and then throw in a few cameos. I'm just a huge Dazzler fan from the comics and there was an opportunity in the scene that she's in for someone to be singing at a party and it was like, why not?
In Dark Phoenix, Dazzler is performing at a party for the students of Professor Xavier's school, using her powers for a light show while she sings. It's not a vital role by any means, but if you've got the opportunity to put her in there, then why not take it?
Check out the clip below to hear Simon Kinberg explain the Dazzler cameo himself.