When Dark Phoenix hits theaters next month, it’ll be with an ending that’s significantly different from the one writer/director Simon Kinberg originally intended. We learned last summer that the X-Men movie was going back to Montreal for reshoots, but sources told us at the time that contrary to reports of a whopping three months of additional photography, they were simply going back for two and a half weeks of reshoots to work on the third act. While at the time sources told us these reshoots weren’t extensive, it appears that may not have been exactly true.
It was revealed in April that the Dark Phoenix ending was changed in reshoots from a space setting to a climax that finds the X-Men kidnapped and onboard a military train, and now Charles Xavier actor James McAvoy tells YahooUK (via The Playlist) the ending was changed because it turned out to be too similar to another superhero movie:
“The end [of Dark Phoenix] changed a hell of a lot,” said McAvoy. “The finale had to change. There was a lot of overlap and parallels with another superhero movie that came out re—a while ago. And we had no idea that we were…”
If you watch the video, McAvoy seems primed to say “came out recently” before changing course in his response, and he declines to name the movie that was deemed too similar when asked by the interviewer. But the good folks at The Playlist did some sleuthing and narrowed it down to Captain Marvel, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War, with Captain Marvel seeming to be the most likely candidate.
Indeed, not only did the third act of Dark Phoenix change, but the design of the Phoenix was changed to be less flame-y and more cosmic, which would suggest a resemblance to Brie Larson’s on-fire Captain Marvel at the end of that MCU film, in which she lays waste to a number of ships and baddies in space. It’s a bummer that the endings of these two movies ended up being similar, and I would not envy Kinberg’s position here, but I’m glad they got to go back and rework it.
All of the actors involved with Dark Phoenix praise the new ending as superior in the film, with Jessica Chastain going so far as to say her character changed quite a lot with the new third act. We’ll see for ourselves when Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7th, but I’m mighty curious to see this new third act in motion.