'Dark Phoenix' Was Always Conceived As the End of the X-Men Franchise, Even Before Disney Purchase

The X-Men franchise will once again attempt to adapt one of the most iconic storylines in the history of Marvel Comics, with Dark Phoenix premiering later this summer. But that film will likely serve as the conclusion to the long-running franchise, which will face an inevitable reboot from Marvel Studios.

If Dark Phoenix sounds like the end of the X-Men franchise, that's no coincidence. Director and writer Simon Kinberg explained the decision to conclude the series, and how the Disney purchase of 20th Century Fox didn't have an impact on their storyline.

"From the beginning of conceiving what we were going to do with this film and writing it, which was three plus years ago, so long before there was a Disney merger, I felt like this was the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies," Kinberg explained to ComicBook.com during an interview at WonderCon. "Because it is seeing this family that you've come to love and know for how ever many films, and if you count the originals almost 20 years now, you see that family tested in a whole new way. You see that family start to fall apart in a real way for the first time, ultimately come back together.

Added Kinberg, "That felt like the culmination of a storyline or a cycle of these films. And for me, and for most of the fans ... Dark Phoenix is the ultimate and most iconic storyline in the X-Men universe. And so I didn't know how we would top Dark Phoenix within this cycle. This felt like we had to earn our way back to Dark Phoenix. And I feel like we did hopefully, and beyond that felt like we'd want to sort of create an ending and the possibility of a new beginning. And that's what we do on this film."

It remains to be seen if anything from the X-Men franchise will stick around after Marvel Studios takes over, but fans can take solace in knowing an epic finale is in the works.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix premieres in theaters on June 7th.

Additional reporting by Scott Huver.

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