Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is still setting box office records entering its second weekend in theaters, making a ridiculous $1.2 billion opening weekend, growing to more than $1.7 billion worldwide Thursday. The final film in the Infinity Saga is already the fifth-highest grossing film of all-time, and is almost a shoo-in to pass Avatar for the number one spot when it’s all said and done.
But while the culmination of the last eleven years of the MCU is still fresh on everyone’s minds, let’s address the elephant in the room: Dark Phoenix. The latest X-Men film from 20th Century Fox, is due in theaters June 7th, and is expected to be the final film released by Fox before it goes away and undergoes a reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"It’ll be a while. It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home."
- Kevin Feige talking about the X-Men to io9 in April
Dark Phoenix just hasn’t gotten the hype it should have; people are disinterested for a number of reasons, the impending doom being one of them. But Fox has had its inconsistencies with their timelines, and has struggled with comic book accuracy. This is also Fox’s second attempt at the iconic Dark Phoenix saga, as first-time director and long-time X-Men producer Simon Kinberg tries to fix the mistakes of 2006’s clusterfuck, X-Men: The Last Stand.
Overall, despite Hugh Jackman’s brilliant portrayal of Wolverine/Logan, Fox has been pretty sloppy with the X-Men franchise. Fans are either excited about what could be the final incarnation of this 20-year long run for the franchise, or they just want it to be over already. No in-between. In spite of your apathy, here’s why this highly anticipated movie will be good and ultimately, why you should just go into this movie ready to enjoy it!
Every X-Men fan knows there's no one character that takes the spotlight, and the people at Fox clearly forgot that. However, I've always credited 2000's X-Men as being one of the movies to revitalize the comic-book movie genre. Long before the MCU, Fox went in a very grounded direction with the famous mutants, and it worked--until it didn't. Then Marvel shook the table and created comic book movies with large-scale continuity and a shared universe full of characters that were either grounded, god-like, alien, or all of the above.
From the most recent trailers of Dark Phoenix, it looks like we’re getting the drama this story deserves. We’re getting ACTING from the Phoenix, Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), and as always from Professor Charles Xavier and Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr (played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively). The action in those trailers has looked incredible. Can we talk about Quicksilver and Nightcrawler? Or Storm unleashing her powers?! We didn’t get a lot of non-Wolverine action scenes in the last trilogy, and I'm excited to see what Dark Phoenix has to bring.
"I thought part of what happened in X-Men: The Last Stand is that instead of making it a Jean story, it became a story of the cure, which was really Charles and Erik and Wolverine’s story, and I really wanted this to be Jean’s story. She is the dominant character in this movie."
- Simon Kinberg when asked about Dark Phoenix's focus by EW
My only ask of you is that you simply try and enjoy this movie. Rather than being cynical and waiting until Marvel adds them into the MCU, think of Dark Phoenix as the bookend of a well-told story of the mutants we have come to love )and hate). Think of it as the end of McAvoy and Fassbender’s incredible renditions of Professor X and Magneto. Think of it as an eloquent end with the dramatic re-telling of one of Marvel’s greatest tales.