The Real Reason X-Men Isn't in the Title of 'Dark Phoenix' Revealed

Last week, 20th Century Fox released the first trailer and poster for Dark Phoenix, the next film in the X-Men franchise. Some fans found it strange that the word “X-Men” wasn’t a part of the film’s title, however, but now we know why.

Speaking to Collider, director Simon Kinberg explained that it was a choice made to signal that the movie is taking a different approach retelling “The Dark Phoenix Saga” than the X-Men movies’ last attempt.

“I wanted to call it Dark Phoenix in again very much the way we wanted to call Logan 'Logan' as opposed to 'X-Men: Logan' to indicate that it’s a different kind of film and to indicate that it’s a more character-driven movie,” Kinberg said. “And for me, and Hutch [Parker], as people who worked on X-Men III: The Last Stand, that didn’t have any trace of Dark Phoenix in the title, we really wanted to indicate that this is the Dark Phoenix story and that she’s at the center of this story, she’s the A-plot of this story, everything around this story revolves really centrally around Jean/Dark Phoenix as really the subject of the movie, not the object of the movie.”

Kinberg has spoken previously about the influence Logan had on his approach to Dark Phoenix.

“The way I wanted to make the movie was very different than the aesthetic of previous X-Men movies, which I’ve been very involved in and proud of,” Kinberg told Empire. “But I wanted it to feel more naturalistic, I wanted it to feel edgier, more handmade, more real. I was very inspired by what James Mangold did with Logan, and I felt like if I could bring a measure of that aesthetic in the film that all of the intergalactic and larger-scale things that happen in the movie would feel more shocking, more realistic, more emotional. They’d be grounded in some reality.

"And so, all of the movie – from the costumes, to the title card, to the set design, to the way the X-jet looks – all of that stuff is just more analogue in a way," Kinberg said. "More like, let’s say, the original Star Wars movies. Not that analogue, but the movies I grew up loving had this very gritty, edgy, cool, human feeling to them."

A fan trailer for Dark Phoenix suggests that the film may not be all that different from X-Men III: The Last Stand after all.

What do you think of the reason that X-Men was left out of the title of Dark Phoenix? Let us know in the comments!

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Dark Phoenix opens June 7, 2019.

Other upcoming X-Men movies include the PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2 on December 21st, The New Mutants on August 2, 2019, and Gambit in March 2020.