2019’s box office calendar has been pretty stocked, with major releases heading to theaters pretty much every week. So if you happen to miss a movie or two in their opening weekends, you certainly wouldn’t be faulted, even if that movie happened to be Dark Phoenix.
But what’s a little surprising is the fact that long time X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner actually hasn’t seen the film yet either. She admitted as much recently, when saying the following at a Q&A:
I have to be honest with you, I have not seen it yet. I’m sure I will be, but I have not seen it.
Now while some may think that’s a testament to the drubbing of writer/director Simon Kinberg’s follow-up to X-Men: Apocalypse, there seems to be a perfectly reasonable explanation that suggests otherwise. Keeping in mind that Shuler Donner is preparing for the final season of Legion, which is set to start airing this next week on FX, it’s not that she’s turned away from the X-Men franchise. Rather, she’s just working in a corner adjacent to that space that’s been run by Kinberg’s hand.
Instrumental to the X-Men series, Lauren Shuler Donner has served as either a producer or an executive producer on all things relevant to the series, right up to the unreleased New Mutants film, which finds itself parked in an April 3, 2020 release date at the moment.
Though the connection between Lauren Shuler Donner and the X-Men seems to be done once that final film has run its course, and the MCU takes over. This was spelled out pretty clearly during that Q&A, in honor of Legion’s final season, as Slashfilm reported hearing this next remark first hand:
X-Men now belongs to Disney and it’s in their capable hands. That’s really up to Kevin Feige. He started out with me. I trust him. I think whatever he does, it won’t be right away. I think he’s already dealing with the plan that he set in motion for the other Marvel universe. But, I will not be involved most probably. I’ll be friend of the court.
In the true fashion of another famous Disney acquisition, the apprentice has now become the master, and Kevin Feige will be the person calling the shots for the X-Men. But it was only possible not only due to his hard work rising through the ranks at Marvel Studios, but also because Lauren Shuler Donner was there to help build that seminal foundation to this series and modern comic book films in general.
Dark Phoenix is currently in theaters, so don’t be hard on yourself if you haven’t seen it yet. You still have some time to catch up on that and some of the other blockbusters that you may have missed in the past couple of weeks. Which is why it’s always a good idea to check our 2019 release schedule, just in case you forgot Toy Story 4 was coming out this weekend.