However, whoever replaces Hugh Jackman as the new Wolverine has some very big shoes to fill.
Well, during a recent appearance at the Celebrity Fan Fest event in San Antonio, Texas, Aquaman star Jason Momoa told fans that if he could play anyone from the MCU, it would be Wolverine.
We don’t currently have any footage or direct quotes from this exchange but those will hopefully appear online in due course. Unfortunately, no matter how much Momoa might want to play the clawed mutant, it’s unlikely to happen while the actor remains under contract to Warner Bros. as the King of Atlantis in the Aquaman franchise (a sequel is already in development as is The Trench).
In a different world, though, it would be very interesting seeing this happen. Do you think Momoa would be a good Wolverine? Let us know your thoughts on that in the comments section below.
Dark Phoenix marked the end of Fox’s X-Men movies. Hit the “View List”
button to check out scenes from the trailers missing from that movie!
A Covert Meeting
Well, it seems as if the meeting between these two was originally going to take place in a location a little more exciting than a car park! Bear in mind that the Phoenix is viewed as a God-like being, and with reports claiming that Chastain was named Lilandra in an earlier cut, it looks like Kinberg originally planned to lean into those religious undertones a little more heavily.
There’s no way of knowing why this was cut, but if this was indeed their first meeting or even just a random rendezvous, it clearly couldn’t be salvaged for the final version of Dark Phoenix.
There’s a shot in the teaser trailer of Hank McCoy walking up a hill, and it seems pretty obvious that he’s visiting Mystique’s grave. This must have played into why he ultimately chooses to team up with Magneto and it would have benefited the movie to focus more on the fallout from her demise.
While it obviously sets up the entire third act, an argument could be made that Raven is mostly forgotten about until that awkward moment Hank looks at a promotional photo of her on his desk.
“You didn’t come here looking for answers…you came here looking for permission.”
That’s what Magneto says to Jean in the trailer, and she looks positively evil during this moody sequence. While these two do have a conversation on Genosha, it mostly revolves around him trying to find out where the blood on her shirt has come from and not whatever is going on in this earlier version.
It seems as if Jean originally went there looking for Erik’s “permission” to unleash her powers and presumably battle the X-Men, attack the humans, or something equally as sinister.
Carnage At The United Nations
We’ve heard from a number of reliable outlets that Dark Phoenix‘s final act would have taken place as the United Nations came under attack from the D’Bari (originally meant to be the Skrulls). We would have then had a much smaller final act involving Jean, Cyclops, Professor X, and Vuk.
Well, there are a number of action shots in the teaser trailer that were quite clearly from this battle, and it’s crazy to think that all of this is sitting on the cutting room floor and that Fox spent a considerable amount of money on that train sequence. Somehow, a “Kinberg Cut” seems unlikley.
An Emotional Farewell?
Scott Summers spends the vast majority of Dark Phoenix trying to track Jean down, but we never get to see them have any sort of emotional reunion. He protects her on the train and watches on as she battles Vuk, but her final act is to give Professor X a nod and she doesn’t even look Cyclops’ way!
That wasn’t always going to be the case, though, and here we get to see Scott seemingly trying to talk his girlfriend down or simply tell her how much he loves her before she powers up as Phoenix.
A Split Personality
After inadvertently killing Mystique, Jean does sit in the rain crying and talking to herself, but one trailer featured her seemingly talking to the Phoenix as she asks, “Why did you make me do that?”
This appears to be a pretty strong indication that an earlier version of Dark Phoenix would have treated this power as a separate entity that Jean was battling with for control of her body. Perhaps that was just too similar to X-Men: The Last Stand, as it’s basically just a superpower in this movie rather than a living force which uses its host to unleash its devastating abilities.
Cyclops Vs. Professor X
There’s a lot of dialogue in all the movie’s trailers that’s absent from Dark Phoenix, but this was arguably the most noteworthy. In a scene hard to place in the version we got, Cyclops argues with Charles Xavier in Cerebro before the team’s leader admits that he simply doesn’t know what to do.
Professor X is surely referring to Jean here and this may be an indication that she was really set to go off the deep end and do some terrible things (there are also hints in the trailers that Vuk would have manipulated her into destroying the team). Reports about the final act focusing on Charles, Scott, and Jean must be accurate, and this tension could explain why Scott renames the school.
X-Mansion In Ruins
There are a few different shots of Professor X wearing this white shirt and looking worse for wear, but him wheeling himself around what appears to be an abandoned X-Mansion is very interesting indeed. Could it be that an earlier version of the movie would have ended with the team disbanding and him left alone? His chair was destroyed by Jean in the final act and that looks like a regular one.
With that in mind, this probably was from near the original version’s conclusion, and while it would have been a somewhat dark ending for Charles, it would also be pretty fitting after his actions and could have even set him up as a villain in a sequel we’ll now never get to see (thankfully).
The New Brotherhood?
This is actually an official still rather than a shot from the trailers, but it’s still worth discussing. Magneto looks badly beaten up here so this must be after Jean crushed his helmet while he was still wearing it. It seems as if he’s wheelchair bound and flanked not only by his Brotherhood, but X-Men members Nightcrawler, Storm, and Beast.
Were they going to leave the X-Men and join up with the Master of Magnetism, or was this simply from the final act as Storm and Nightcrawler also decided to take a stand against Jean at the UN? We’ll now never know, but there’s clearly a considerably different version of the film out there despite what some recent reports have said.
Jean Grey Powers Up
As you’ll no doubt recall, this was the first official image released by Fox via Entertainment Weekly. No matter how fans felt about the movie at the time, there was no denying how impressive this looked, and the first time Dark Phoenix was delayed, it was put down to these effects needing to be finished.
Well, this must have been too expensive or too close to Captain Marvel ,because the version of Jean we got looked nothing like this. Instead, there were just some cracks on her face and some cloud-like energy around her when she powered up. Perhaps Fox just misled us with these photos, but something tells us that this take on the titular character was scrapped due to those reshoots.
Did you guys notice any scenes missing from the trailers we haven’t covered here? How different do you think the original cut might have been? Let us know in the comments section below.
Continue reading below for a look at how Dark Phoenix
kills the X-Men franchise…and how Marvel Studios can save it!
How Dark Phoenix Kills The Franchise
It Fails To Embrace The Source Material
You don’t need me to tell you that Dark Phoenix isn’t a faithful adaptation of “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” but that’s honestly the least of this movie’s problems. Kinberg is probably patting himself on the back for including an obscure race of aliens from the comics, but it doesn’t feel like he’s read a single one of them based on how these characters are handled.
While Marvel Studios has taken huge liberties with a number of beloved storylines, they still manage to stay true to the source material. Beast being able to switch between his human and blue forms is an insult to the character, while Kinberg ignoring the fact that Jean already has the Phoenix’s powers before giving them to her again via a cloud of space dust is utter gobbledygook.
The costumes may look familiar, but it’s as if they’re only used because they had to get them in the trailers because they completely disappear after the first act in preference for street clothes.
The Cast Is Completely Wasted
Dark Phoenix boasts an amazing cast made up of names like Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Nicholas Hoult, and countless others.
Unfortunately, not a single one of them delivers the sort of performance you might expect, and there’s not a single moment that gives them the chance to stretch their acting abilities beyond delivering stilted lines in scenes where they might as well have signs hanging around their necks reading, “We’re only here for the money.”
Honestly, though, being saddled with this sort of material is enough to make even the world’s best actors (and there are some contenders for that crown in Dark Phoenix) want to just phone it in. Using talent like this in such an underwhelming manner is nothing short of unforgivable.
Retelling A Story For Only One Person’s Benefit
Kinberg has been saying for a while now that he wanted to retell this story because he feels he dropped the ball with it in X-Men: The Last Stand, but since when is that a good reason to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a movie? What we get in Dark Phoenix really isn’t that different to the 2006 version (he even deliberately adds some parallels), and this just comes across like a total ego trip.
Kinberg wanted to focus on “The Dark Phoenix Saga” in The Last Stand but was forced to add that subplot about “The Cure.” Dark Phoenix is basically him finally getting the chance to do what he wanted and, well, the result are just as bad and arguably worse.
If he’d had an idea to tell this story over a number of movies, that would have been something, but the second he saw the opportunity to jump in the director’s chair and have control of this storyline, his ego clearly got the best of him and the results speak for themselves.
The Same Old Mistakes
Marvel Studios is not perfect. They’ve made their fair share of mistakes over the years, but they learn from them. After Iron Man 2 was criticised for spending too much time setting up The Avengers, they cooled off on being so heavy handed when it came to teasing the MCU’s future and when Thor came under fire time and time again, he got rebooted in the critically acclaimed Thor: Ragnarok.
Dark Phoenix does not learn from past mistakes and instead repeats ones we’ve seen in these X-Men movies on countless occasions. Important subplots are ignored, character motivations change to suit the story and not their actual personalities, and we get another of those endings (a tease about Jean surviving) you just know wouldn’t have been followed up on in a satisfying manner.
Remember when Mystique was supposed to have “rescued” Wolverine from Weapon X? Just like that was dropped, I would put money on the next X-Men movie – had it happened – starting with Jean once again a member of the X-Men. It’s just ridiculous.
It Brings Nothing New To The Table
There are a lot of superheroe movies out there these days, so doing something new is no easy feat. However, just like Avengers: Endgame introduced time-travel to the genre and Aquaman utilised state of the art special effects to take us beneath the sea, Dark Phoenix could have easily gone down a far more exciting route.
Well, despite introducing a cosmic element, Kinberg keeps the action squarely on Earth when he could have very easily delivered the first instalment of the franchise to take the heroes into space.
It would have been amazing to see the likes of Professor X and Cyclops in that setting, and he could have easily introduced the Starjammers (giving Scott a subplot about his missing father) and explored Jean’s powers in a satisfying manner before setting the stage for her to turn “Dark.”
What Marvel Studios Needs To Do
A Fresh Take On The Franchise
This is going to be tough, but Marvel Studios will have to go back to the drawing board in order to deliver a version of the X-Men we haven’t seen before. After all, pretty much every major team member has been featured on screen and we’ve seen both an established version of the group and an origin story for a much earlier iteration.
Keeping things simple by putting the focus on the original five might be smart, especially as Angel and Iceman’s screentime has been limited. However, it will still be tough to have Charles Xavier lead the team as the X-Mansion, Cerebro, and everything that entails is extremely familiar.
So, what if the “X-Men” are just a team of young mutants who come together to try and protect their people and aren’t actually recruited by Professor X until a second or third movie? It would be a different approach, but one that would be something we obviously haven’t seen before now.
No More Magneto
I love Magneto. He’s one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest villains and there’s a lot Marvel Studios could do with him, but the problem is that he’s had a significant role in every single X-Men movie, and going back to that well (regardless of how great it would be to see a comic accurate version fighting the team) isn’t going to excite the general audience.
There are ways to include Magneto without repeating the past; what if it’s him the X-Men are initially recruited by before realising he’s a villain, for example? We could also meet him as a young man since that Holocaust survivor origin story won’t work now as he would have to be an elderly man. Either way, it might just be best to save him for much further down the line.
A Brand New Villain
So, if not Magneto, who should the X-Men square off with on the big screen?
Well, Marvel Studios has a wealth of bad guys to choose from, including Mister Sinister, Cassandra Nova, Proteus, Sabretooth, Apocalypse (who desperately needs to be rebooted), and countless others. Given their habit of making over classic villains in inventive new ways, we could even see someone like Onslaught, and Mojo would be a brilliant, unexpected choice.
In recent years, Kevin Feige has made a great deal of effort to escape those criticisms about underwhelming foes for our favourite heroes, and I’m sure they could nail any one of these baddies.
Make Every Mutant Count
There are a long list of X-Men characters we all want to see Marvel Studios do justice on screen, but it would be silly to introduce too many of them too soon. That’s going to disappoint some fans (especially if we only get the original five and a handful of cameos) but it’s essential that every mutant count this time around as that’s not been the case on Fox’s watch.
Professor X’s school is full of regular looking kids who are supposedly mutants, and I’ve lost count of how many X-Men and members of Magneto’s Brotherhood who have been glorified background extras.
Remember Toad? The original Sabretooth? Pyro? Iceman? The prevailing theme there is that they’re all great characters who weren’t given the spotlight they deserve because they were only included for a cool action scene or in a bid to appease fans wanting to see their favourite characters on screen.
Don’t Go Anywhere Near Simon Kinberg
Dear God, can you imagine? Kinberg reportedly has some sort of deal where he’ll receive a producing credit on any future X-Men projects, but there’s no way Marvel Studios could be foolish enough to bring him back on board the franchise, especially after Dark Phoenix has crashed and burned.
After helming this mess of a movie, having him anywhere near these characters would be a horrible mistake as he’s proved numerous times that he doesn’t understand them. Luckily, common sense says that Feige will turn to a new creative team for the next iteration of the X-Men, while carefully overseeing this reboot to make sure they’re done right.
As for Kinberg, he shouldn’t be allowed to touch another major franchise ever again.