Next week, X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits cinemas after release date delays and reshoots. The fourth film in the prequel series of films from Fox is set in 1992, almost a decade after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. Movie fans may have noticed from the trailers that Dark Phoenix is something of a remake of the not-fondly-remembered X-Men: The Last Stand when Jean Grey loses control and unleashes her incredible power. But confusingly, those events took place in 2006. Nevertheless, the X-Men timeline was changed in X-Men: Days of Future Past, erasing the events of X-Men: The Last Stand thanks to Wolverine’s time travelling to 1973. At the conclusion of Days of Future Past, Logan woke up in an alternate 2023 where Jean was alive and well, opening the door for a new adaptation of the Dark Phoenix story, but this time taking place 14 years earlier.
And despite the confusions and contradictions of the X-Men movie timeline, Dark Phoenix director, producer and writer Simon Kinberg has assured that the new movie will tie-in with Days of Future Past’s ending and the alternate timeline created by Wolverine that the prequel movies take place in.
Speaking with Screen Rant, he said: “I have some sense of it, yes, because I always feel as though I’m sort of responsible for the architecture of this and making sure that it all lines up.
“So I do have some sense of it, but I really did imagine this movie, in truth, as the culmination of this cycle of X-Men films and so I wasn’t really thinking past this film other than wanting to make sure that the logic was all sound.”
In fact, it turns out that working on Days of Future Past helped Kinberg conceive the idea of Dark Phoenix.
The director continued: “I actually would say that the Dark Phoenix idea was set up in the end of Days of Future Past.
“In changing the timeline of Days of Future Past, part of the reason I did that was I wanted a chance to tell the Dark Phoenix story in a more fulsome way where it’s really like the full Dark Phoenix story and focuses on Jean’s story different than X-Men: The Last Stand.
“My vision for it, I think, even going back to Days of Future Past, is pretty consistent, because really what I felt when I was thinking about doing eventually a Dark Phoenix story was the idea that we would be telling Jean’s story.
“That we would be really focused. That we would narrow the scope of the film down even though there’s an intergalactic element and a scale and spectacle that you expect from these movies.”