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X-Men Director Simon Kinberg Explains How He Got Dark Phoenix Right This Time

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As a writer and/or producer, Simon Kinberg has a longstanding relationship with the X-Men franchise that goes all the way back to 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Disappointed with that film’s handling of the Dark Phoenix story, Kinberg is bringing it back for the next entry in the enduring superhero franchise. While we already met the adult Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, Kinberg recently told Empire that Dark Phoenix explores aspects of her origin story.

“There are not a lot of flashbacks in the movie, but that foundational relationship between Young Jean and a younger Charles [Xavier] is one of the core themes of the film,” he explained. “The question of Jean’s relationship to her own powers becomes a big conflict for her throughout the film once she’s transformed by something that happens up in space, that has nothing to do with her childhood. It opens with a mission that takes them up into space that has consequences for Jean that ripple throughout the movie.”

Late in the film’s trailer we see Jean heading into dark territory, but Kinberg revealed that this glimpse of Grey is subdued compared to her ultimate destination. “That’s a two or a three on the Dark Phoenix spectrum,” he said. “It is a manifestation of her transformation from the Jean we know into Phoenix. Over the span of the movie, we see different symptoms or iterations of that. The lines on her face let you know that Jean is losing control, and that force inside her is trying to escape, push through, take over. Those cracks are almost as if something inside her that’s more powerful than she is is trying to push out of her body.”

X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrives in theatres on June 7, 2019. Check out the trailer below.