Last year, the main X-Men film series ended with Dark Phoenix, which adapted the beloved Dark Phoenix Saga story arc for the second time on the big screen. Needless to say that the circumstances in which Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey succumbed to The Phoenix and subsequently wreaked havoc differed compared to what happened with Famke Janssen’s Jean in X-Men: The Last Stand, with one of the key differences this time around being that the X-Men faced off against the corrupted Jean outside her childhood home.
One portion of this particular conflict saw Nightcrawler snagging Jean Grey as she levitated herself, and then teleporting to a roof, where the two mutants tumbled down until Nightcrawler transported them to the house next door. As it turns out, tumbling down that roof resulted in Sophie Turner’s stunt double on Dark Phoenix to sustain a gruesome injury. As Jesse La Flair, who was Nightcrawler’s stunt double, recalled:
The idea was that we would hold each other and then try to control each other staying into that roll, and then drop off of that roof onto a mat. When we first got there, what we rehearsed, the mat was only about three feet away from the roof. On the day they go ‘lets make the drop eight feet,’ or something like that. They do a camera work rehearsal, and when we did it, boom, we roll down, bang. We go into the mat, and immediately she was like ‘I broke my leg.’ Her leg came past her this way, then we continued to go past it this way, and it just...boom. The bone is sticking out of the boot.
Ouch! As one would imagine, that stunt double had to go to the hospital, meaning that her stunt career is on hold until her leg is properly healed. Jesse La Flair also mentioned in his conversation with Corridor Crew that the next day, the Dark Phoenix team told him that they were doing the roof stunt again, with a different stunt double donning a wig and recreating the tumble with La Flair.
Stunt-work is one of the most dangerous jobs in moviemaking, if not ranking at the top of the list. While these stunt performers are obviously skilled at what they do, sometimes things just happen that no amount of experience can prevent. In this case, raising the drop from three feet to eight feet resulted in a broken leg the second time the stunt was performed from the new height.
While 20th Century Fox spent a pretty penny putting Dark Phoenix together (reportedly around $200 million), ultimately the way Sophie Turner’s stunt double landed on her leg is a good representation of how the movie performed. Dark Phoenix was met with mostly negative critical reception and it only made around $252 million worldwide. It even ended up leaving a lot of theaters early due to its poor critical and commercial performance.
As far as the entire X-Men franchise is concerned, The New Mutants will serve as the final entry in Fox’s time with the mutants. From there, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced last year that there are plans to reboot the X-Men within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s no word yet on when that will happen.
Dark Phoenix is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any major updates concerning what’s being done with the X-Men in the MCU. For now, you can learn what movies that franchise has on the way with our handy guide.