This past weekend, reports were coming in from sources like Comic Book and others that Twentieth Century Fox already had their next film in the Bryan Singer-directed
Except, it also kind of wasn’t. To say that director Brett Ratner and Fox botched that particular story the first time is an understatement. And it stung all the more, because to fans, the Dark Phoenix Saga isn’t juat any X-Men story, it is THE X-Men story. It’s the one you
Finally in 1975, a new X-Men team was introduced, with some old standbys from the original roster, but featuring a mostly new cast of international mutants. The book was a cult hit with fans, but still wasn’t selling anywhere near what Spider-Man or Hulk sold. Not until 1980, when the writer/artist duo of Chris Claremont and John Byrne unfolded The Dark Phoenix Saga over the course of the year. From that point on,
For those out there who have never read it (or seen the cartoon adaptations) in the Dark Phoenix Saga, the sinister organization called The Hellfire Club tries to seduce the powerful Jean Grey to their side, using psychic manipulations. Unfortunately, those psychic manipulations break down whatever inner conscience that Grey was using to hold her power in check, and the Dark Phoenix is unleashed. After fighting the X-Men, she sets off to space and consumes a whole star for sustenance–killing billions on a neighboring planet. Eventually, Professor X is able to get into Jean’s mind and establish psychic barriers to prevent her dark side from taking over. But that’s when the shit
The alien Shia’r Empire then shows up, and wants retribution for the billions killed in the Dark Phoenix rampage, but Xavier uses his knowledge of Shia’r law to allow a trial by combat for the life of Jean Grey. The X-Men then face off — on an artificial and breathable portion of the Moon called the Blue Area — against the Shia’r Imperial Guard, for the life of their friend. But when Jean breaks down Xavier’s mental barriers and goes dark again, she realizes she’s a danger to the universe, and in a tearful moment, says goodbye to her love Cyclops and and take her own life, for the good of all reality.
It’s huge, cosmic, heartbreaking storytelling…and
Instead, his Dark Phoenix is essentially a version of Stephen King’s
Judging by the end of
1. Make It A Two Part Film
The Dark Phoenix Saga is maybe too big a story to be contained into one film, and would work a lot better spread out over two movies instead of cramming it all into just one. With Bryan Singer tackling
2. Ditch What Doesn’t Work
An exact beat-for- beat adaptation of the comics is obviously not going to be in the cards, especially for the X-Men franchise, which has always played fast and loose with the source material anyway. But there are some things we
First off, Jean’s initial possession by the Phoenix force, which in the comics, happened while on a mission in space. I actually like the approach that the movies have taken, where the Phoenix, whatever it may be, has always been inside Jean, a true extension of her own powers. Maybe she’s tapping into something cosmic, maybe not, but we don’t need a possession scene in space, as per the comics.
Also, the entire Hellfire Club’s manipulation of turning Jean to the dark side involved getting her caught up in a psychic fantasy world where she was an 19th century noblewoman called “Lady Grey.” All of that should probably be dropped from the movie. The Hellfire club can mess with her mind is ways that don’t result in her wearing black corsets and speaking in cheesy romance novel dialogue. Let’s skip all that.
3. Show Jean’s Inner Struggle
By far the biggest screw up that
Other things from the comic can come and go, but this part is
4. Bring in Mr. Sinister
Arguably the last truly major X-Men villain who has yet to appear on film is Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mister Sinister. The centuries-old genetic manipulator is maybe behind only Magneto and Apocalypse in terms of the great X-villains. They ended up giving a lot of his traits to Sebastian Shaw in
5. Go Ultimate
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has take a lot of cues from the Ultimate line of comics over the years, while keeping some classic Marvel Universe elements as well. The X-Men movies have done this before too – Bryan Singer’s
So what do you out there think? Should the Dark Phoenix Saga get a massive cinematic do-over? Sound off in the comments below.
And gets excited for
X-Men: Apocalypse with our look at the latest trailer!
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