dark phoenix reshoots

You know what’s exciting? Space! The final frontier! Vast and mysterious! But who needs space when you can have…a train. At least, that was the thinking behind the Dark Phoenix reshoots. A new piece about the production reveals that the filmmakers behind the latest X-Men movie changed the film’s big climactic action setting from being in outer space to being on board a train, which is probably just as thrilling. Maybe.

Dark Phoenix will bring an end to the X-Men franchise as we know it. Now that Disney owns Fox, changes are in store – although we won’t see them for a few years. For now, it’s time to say goodbye to the confusing continuity nightmare that this wobbly series has become. Dark Phoenix‘s flight to the big screen wasn’t without turbulence. The movie started shooting in summer 2017, and wrapped in the fall. The original release plan involved a November 2018 opening, but a lengthy post-production schedule, followed by big reshoots, pushed it into the future. Now, Dark Phoenix will open this June.

But what of those reshoots? When it come to big superhero movies, reshoots are usually built into the schedule beforehand. Adjustments are made, some minor, some major. In the case of Dark Phoenix, it sounds like the reshoots fall into the latter category. In a new piece up at EW, the filmmakers reveal that the entire climax of Dark Phoenix underwent a major reshoot:

Dark Phoenix has gone through its own dramatic evolution. While the film originally wrapped production in October 2017, the filmmakers decided to revamp the look of Phoenix in post (more “cosmic” and less “flamy,” according to the director) and shoot a new third act (instead of taking place in space, the climax finds all the X-Men kidnapped and on board a military train).

Oh, how thrilling. We should all give Dark Phoenix a fair shake, and see how this train scene (which is teased in the trailers) turns out. But I have to say, switching the action from the vast reaches of space to something many people ride home from work every day is a bit…dull.

According to director Simon Kinberg, this change was all in the name in trying to balance big scale action with small scale drama:

“I think the biggest challenge is modulating the film so that we have the big scale and visual-effects action that these movies require, but balancing that in a way that feels calibrated with the drama. You have these big space sequences and trains flying through the air and people firing lightning bolts, but you also have a lot of emotional, four-page dramatic dialogue scenes.”

Dark Phoenix opens June 7, 2019.

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