20th Century Fox has released a new poster for the upcoming X-Men sequel/sendoff Dark Phoenix, ahead of “X-Men Day” on Monday, May 13th. Indeed, on Monday, Fox will be celebrating the event with the debut of exclusive X-Men content, special events, and unexpected surprises. For now, we get a nifty poster.
It’s looking more and more like Dark Phoenix will be the end of an era for a franchise that has lasted nearly two decades. It all began with Bryan Singer’s 2000 adaptation X-Men, which brought a grounded, realistic sensibility to the superhero genre. That then continued with successes (X2) and failures (X-Men: The Last Stand), but through it all Fox seemed eager to evolve—most notably with Matthew Vaughn’s semi-reboot X-Men: First Class.
Dark Phoenix was crafted before Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, and as such was meant to continue on the franchise. However, it now appears that Disney seems keen on rebooting the Marvel Comics characters that were previously under Fox’s purview so they can be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means Dark Phoenix is very likely the last time we’ll see these characters in these incarnations.
And it’s a little bit of a bummer. Certainly the X-Men franchise could use freshening up, especially in the wake of the forgettable X-Men: Apocalypse, but I did really like where Fox was heading with their Marvel adaptations just before the Disney sale. Deadpool leaned into the R-rated comedy genre, while Logan forged ahead as a full-on R-rated Western. Both films were unconcerned with continuity and interconnectedness, which made them all the more distinct. Fox was succeeding by doing what Marvel couldn’t, as each Marvel movie must fit neatly within the MCU.
Dark Phoenix, which marks the directorial debut of longtime X-Men producer/writer Simon Kinberg, was very much crafted as a drama, and I’m curious to see how it turns out. At the very least, it sounds like Kinberg was looking at this film as a conclusion of sorts, as they’ve already revealed in the marketing that [SPOILER] gets killed off at the beginning of the movie.
We’ll find out soon enough, and then the X-Men will likely go dark for a few years until Marvel Studios decides what to do with them. But for now, check out the new Dark Phoenix poster below. The film opens June 7th and also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain.